Christmas is coming up fast this year. Why I’ve hardly had a moment to breathe and now I am in panic mode. As much as I would like to go ‘Christmas crazy’, I am resolved to keeping it simple this year.
We went to see The Nutcracker on the weekend. That put me in the mood for sure. But you know, the one show that used to always do it for me was ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’. Last week I saw it on the guide and with giddy anticipation I switched the channel.
I tucked my blanket around my toes and positioned all the pillows about me just so and my daughter curled up with her head on my lap.
A few minutes into the show, however, I found myself scowling at the TV.
THEY HAVE CHANGED IT!
For about 15 minutes I watched in horror at this ‘updated’ version of the classic only to find that I disliked the characters being portrayed immensely. The kids were selfish, egocentric and at times a little mean.
I know to, the original had some of those elements as well but there was an innocence to it that didn’t come across at all in this version.
After 20 minutes I could watch no more. No doubt they all redeem themselves at the end, or at least I hope they do. Unfortunately I couldn’t stick it out.
I have never been a huge fan of Christmas movies. More often than not they are disgustingly tear-jerky throughout. Clichéd endings of miracles abound and everybody learns valuable lessons and a brighter future always descends from the darkness. You just have to believe.
There is a formula to these films. It’s been around a good long while. From ‘A Christmas Carol’ to ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, we are reminded to believe. Our hearts will swell to bursting and we’ll all feel good for a nanosecond.
And so the challenge presented itself to me.
Could I write a Christmas story that was not chock full of clichés? Could I do it with a slightly bent sense of humour but get the meaning across? Hmmmm.
And could I actually add a fresh twist to it. Why not give it a whirl? So next week I will be lining up a five-part Christmas story to be presented to all of you.
I love to tell stories as many of you likely do as well. And don’t you love the process? How an idea catches?
I find myself rapidly visualizing the opening scenes, changing up characters and their purpose from the get go. I then scramble to find a sheet of paper to jot the idea down with a brief outline. It has now been committed to the page for further evaluation and development at a later date.
So I’ve an idea that I am currently plotting out for a Christmas story. Time to get the bare basics down.
Have a great day.