'Tis the season. There is one thing that I may love more than anything about this time of the year, and it is the special television programming.
I am already eagerly checking my local listings for the airing times of my favorite holiday classics. I'm ready for my annual visit with Charlie Brown, Rudolph, Frosty and the Grinch. We've been meeting up annually for more than 35 years now and I still get that same childlike anticipation year after year. The ritual hasn't changed much either: bowl of buttery popcorn, mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows, and a cozy warm blanket.
I still get that same squidgy feeling after all these years when I tune in to watch these favorite friends. I dance the Peanuts Christmas dance. And then, I well up a little when the Peanuts gang get together to surprise Charlie Brown with his decorated tree and sing around it.
I applaud the Who's of WhoVille who continue to sing despite their being no presents or roast beast. The grinches heart grows 10 sizes that day.
I giggle everytime Rudolph's eyes boggle and he exclaims "I'm cute. I'm cute!" after meeting Clarissa, and then feel his pain after being told he could no longer play in the Reindeer games. And when Yukon Cornelius falls over the cliff.... oh.
I lean toward the TV, giddy for the moment that the magic hat will bring Frosty to life, and he will exclaim "Happy Birthday!"; and I weep a little along with Karen as Frosty melts into a puddle on the greenhouse floor while trying to keep her warm.
I know these programas are all available year round now on DVD, but that just isn't the same. There is no thrill in being able to watch these programs at my convenience. The thrill is in the hunt, the anticipation. I don't like things to be easy and available. I like to make the effort to be there when Charlie Brown is ready for me to be there, not the other way around. Having things available year round reduces the thrill, so I turn a blind eye when I see these classics available to buy or rent, and wait it out.
Its these small things that make the holidays special. Cuddling up with old cartoon friends, harkening back to childhood traditions, and remembering that Christmas is not solely about the commercial aspect. Now... go get your TV guide.