Christmas 2011

Christmas is an automatic time marker, the surest way to tell that another year has passed.

The most satisfying way to visualize the march of time is by watching our girls enjoy the march of time. Here’s Kishia and Natasha in 1988 and 2011.

Kishia and Natasha, Christmas Eve 2011. Kishia is due to deliver Kianna Allene Brown in seven weeks. Our joy of impending grandparenthood is surpassed only by the joy of Kishia and hubby Darnell to be parents.

Kelly holds Kishia, left, and Natasha, showing off the soft sleepware made by Grandma Nola who we said good-bye to on Friday.

Specific Christmas memories? Best gift(s) ever: 1973 – microscope. Worst ever: Not sure if it was ’73 or ’74 when I opened a present inadvertently labeled for me. My youngest sister’s (training?) bra. That microscope gave me a window into the unseen world and fully unlocked my already active imagination. (We’ll skip the effects of the other aforementioned, mislabeled gift). Then 1978, my brother gave me a typewriter. For me, it was one of my life’s most profound moments, a validation — and encouragement — that even as a freshman in high school, I was destined to be a writer.

Maybe not the same dramatic impact as when John Walton presented John Boy Walton with Big Chief writing tablets in that 1971 classic, “The Homecoming,” but close. And speaking of that Christmas season classic, here’s a clip that contains one of the most moving scenes of any film I’ve seen. If you don’t want to watch the entire clip, the scene I’m referring to goes from the 5:59 mark to the 11:00 mark.

“Things stay in my mind, Mama. I can’t forget anything. And it all gets bottled up in here. Sometimes I feel like a crazy man. I can’t rest or sleep or anything until I just rush off up here and write it down in that tablet. Sometimes I think I really am crazy.”

Oh, yes, I know, John Boy. I know it.

Now to lighten the mood, how about some Will Ferrell as “Elf”?

Good night, Christmas.

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