A R T ~ imitating ~ L I F E




When I hear the phrase ‘Merry Christmas’ I’m flooded with mixed feelings. Not the socio-political controversial distraction that is hyped, although that realm does its levelled best to command focus. It’s more the experiential past that has indelible signposts etched on my emotions while observing the current goings on.


While watching an episode of ‘A Night at The Movies’ ~ S1/E4, the following ‘etched’ memories of Christmas’ Past flooded the forefront of my conscious mind.


The first was a memorable family outing to a photo studio where our family trio, mother-sibling-myself, were to have our portrait memorialized on celluloid. On this occasion I was to take a fancy to a dual lens Rollie-Flex Camera, which I was allowed to explore. I found its general functioning, especially a reflected inverted image atop the framed flip-up apparatus puzzled me. Without actually using it, I was fascinated!


Skip ahead a few years, while I was residing in a boarding-house, Christmas no longer our family trio affair. I was under the guardianship of the proprietors in a boarding house had established, albeit forgetful rituals of the season which was as uneventful an experience except for one memory of a neighbour’s home where a very large and well decorated Christmas tree resided. It was there I had a most ephemeral experience upon seeing ‘Angel Hair’ glow atop coloured lighting!


Days prior to the Christmas Day, I had the occasion to encounter my father on his motor-cycle coasting down the road towards me retuning from my meanderings. This encounter became an indelible moment. He made it clear I was not to expect any present that year. He explained it was due to my unremarkable school report. Interestingly, in that moment I couldn’t recall ever receiving any presents the previous years?


Jump ahead 7yrs, which at the time felt like an eternity, I was in my first attempt at university education where many friendships developed. One such friendship was to result in an invitation to the family’s home to celebrate Christmas. This, of course, was an occasion I accepted, since our family Christmas celebration often depended on the work schedule of the family matriarch. It was not until later did I experience similar ‘family’, with relatives, gathering. This invitation to a family Christmas Dinner, in hindsight, was a foretelling of what I would later experience over several times.


Skip ahead another 7yrs, there was another intervention Christmas. This time it was the birthday of my nephew. My sibling was in the hospital giving birth to her first and only. I was home for the holidays, house-sitting while awaiting the news. Curiously, the birth was but the tip of the iceberg of what was to unfold in my life. Synchronistically, I happened to be watching a Frank Capra movie on television, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Being alone I allowed myself the luxury of being brought to tears for the first time ever watching a movie.


Thereafter, I took my-self out for a walk and began singing a Christmas song, ‘Do You Hear What I hear’, bringing my-self to tears once more. Upon arriving to the house, I learned my sibling’s son was born that Christmas day.


I resumed being an observer of Christmas experiences, especially with work and study schedules affecting any family-type gatherings. I was not one to find being in Christmas social gatherings any different from especial gatherings throughout the year. Possible, the culmination of all previous experiences biased by formative years omissions, including my indelible father/motorcycle experience on that pre-pubescent year.


Beware, pity/sympathy are unnecessary as I am one accustomed to a wide range of Christmas celebrations. In fact, being alone is less uncomfortable as I find all celebrations temporal. What most often follows are struggles at regaining lost equilibrium, and I accept being very unfamiliar with the ‘celebrated’ Christmas social gathering sensibilities.


I am quite enamoured each year as society ramps up to celebrate the Holidays of Its many Faiths, sharing in their meaningfulness according to their predilections. Hence, whatever ‘your’ Faith, I bid you enjoy in your celebrations knowing I do as well, according to my comprehensions.

As one noteworthy historic figure penned through one of his notable characters, “God Bless us Everyone.”






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