|Ann Miller shakes the blues away in Easter Parade.|
I’ve been slow to post in the last few days (week) and it’s not just because I’ve been eating for six.
At the risk of sounding like a bah-humbug, I have to say that Christmas, once again, depressed the shit out of me.
It’s a beautiful time of year, sure. People put lights on their houses and trees, frosted cookies in festive shapes abound, and I saw several yahoos driving around with antlers on their cars.
But it’s also kind of a bummer somehow. I always end up feeling fat from all those cute cookies, the music is somehow sad because it reminds me of being younger and more excited about gifts and parties, money flies out of my bank account at incredible speeds, and the days are short and cold.
Are you depressed yet? I hope not.
This post is supposed to be about what I think can make the most sullen Scrooge McDuck feel a little bit better about life, even if it’s often more fun to think that life is meaningless and lay on the couch in the fetal position watching Sarah McLachlan sing about saving all the unwanted dogs and cats of the world (always thought that song was supposed to be romantic—boy was I wrong!).
|Sarah McLachlan's ASPCA ad.|
Here are my suggestions for riding out the holiday season, such as is left of it:
1. Watch a movie that has NOTHING to do with Christmas. In fact, I did that one better and watched a movie about Easter. Easter Parade, to be exact. Now Easter is supposed to be the really big deal in the Christian calendar, because of the Resurrection and all that, but it often gets passed over (no pun intended, though I’m chuckling as I write that. I’m so clever!) because Christmas involves presents. But Easter Parade has nothing to do with Easter, and it’s just so damn happy that you can’t help but feel a bit better after watching it. I’m a sucker for Fred Astaire and Judy is at her finest, as I know I’ve mentioned before.
2. Throw some stuff away. I went through my storage closet and started rummaging through boxes I hadn’t opened since I moved into this apartment seven-and-a-half years ago. Scary. And fun! I found clothes I didn’t want, spools of yarn from my short-lived knitting phase, a bunch of college papers and the screenplay my friend Gabe and I wrote in high school.
3. Find the screenplay you wrote in high school with your friend Gabe. Ours was entirely handwritten in pink gel ink inside a red notebook. I actually couldn’t tell my handwriting from Gabe’s. After reading that, I couldn’t stop smiling for days. I’m smiling right now just thinking about it. And I’ll probably read it again tonight. And not just because it’s brilliant.
4. Start your New Year’s resolutions early. I put the kibosh on eating entire hams and batches of cookies when I realized that I wasn’t at my parents house anymore, the scale thinks I weigh ten pounds more than I think I weigh, and I hadn’t exercised in six days. It’s only been one day (or 9 hours), but I already feel a lot better about my prospects for 2012.
5. Reread a book you haven’t read since you were in fourth grade. I chose Island of the Blue Dolphins. I highly recommend it. And it won’t tax your brain, which is key if this suggestion is going to make you feel happy.(And don't start thinking about how you'd never make it on an island by yourself for 18 years. That's counterproductive and it's unlikely you'll ever be in that situation anyway.)
6. Stop caring so much. I’ve decided to adopt a more hippie philosophy for the days sliding into the New Year. So what if life isn’t quite what I want it to be right now and I’ve not met my potential financially, romantically or artistically? There’s always the first of January looming and I can turn it all around then. In the meantime, I’m going to relax, bathe when it suits me, watch some bad television and let this year die with dignity.
I hope this doesn’t make it sound like I’m really depressed. I am, but that’s not the point. This is supposed to be a funny blog, so I’m giving you the best I got at the moment. Here’s to the end of the old year!!
*This quote is from "Shaking the Blues Away", a song from Easter Parade. It was performed by Ann Miller and written by Irving Berlin. It was pointed out to me by one of my charges that most of the famous Christian holiday songs were written by Jews. He is so right. Love it.