Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas is Forever Changed

Some things from your childhood, you're happy to see go.  Like the braces and acne combo.  Or your unfortunate preference for metallic blue eye-shadow.

But this Christmas was the end of an era that I'm taking a bit hard.  This year, we officially laid Old Dog Productions to rest.

You have absolutely no idea what that is so I’ll try to explain this without making my family sound totally nuts (which in this case, might be hard).  Put simply, “Old Dog Productions” is a home-movie producing organization, directed by my dad...

...that holds an annual showing once (and only once) a year on Christmas Eve.

Before you go thinking that my dad is some below-the-radar Steven Spielberg, let me clear a few things up: the cast for this yearly production is limited to me, my siblings, my mom, and occasionally either my grandmother or grandfather visiting from Colorado for Christmas.  The editing for the movie is executed solely by Windows Live Movie Maker, and filming is limited to the day before Christmas Eve.

Although every year’s film is different, they all have one thing in common: they’re a collection of every stupid thing anyone in my family did that year.

(One year that really stands out was when my sweet, little old grandmother got in a fight with a Polish nun in Europe.  Another was when my aunt put a plastic dish of porkchops in the oven.)

The tradition started before I can even remember, when my dad was a young 30-something.  Back in the day, Old Dog Productions consisted only of my dad and a script that he performed live on Christmas Eve.

All I remember of those times are flashbacks of my dad in a women’s sun hat, imitating my great aunt with an impressive likeness.

Over the years, he started casting the rest of my family.  And after one disastrous year when my brother refused to perform (due either to cold feet or a brand new Game Boy, I don’t know), my dad decided to go professional and film the skit the day before.

Once we were old enough, the kids started to contribute more to the production.  My all-time favorite year was when we executed some impressive amateur special effects.  These effects included my sister dressed like a genie riding down the street in the back of my dad’s pickup (we got the camera angle just right to make it looks like she was flying) and a “pen that makes you disappear” (i.e. a pen hanging from the ceiling by fishing string).

The movies got much less elaborate over the years. (With the kids growing up and moving all over the US, it’s hard to put out a quality film.)  Recently, they had evolved to just a slideshow of pictures from that year, set to a few Siberian Orchestra songs.

It’s the most my dad could do with what he had to work with though (my dog, Jazz, just doesn't have the comedic timing necessary to pull off my dad’s witty scripts).

But this year, the show did not go on.  The Era of Old Dog Productions has officially come to a close, and it's a hard truth to swallow.

It's not that I particularly enjoyed dressing up in a turban like I did for our somewhat (okay, entirely) politically incorrect edition one year.  It's a hard truth to swallow because it signifies a major shift in my life.

As much as I try to ignore it, I'm an adult now.  My grandparents are getting older.  My parents are getting older.  Hell, I'm getting older.  The comfort of childhood is gone, whether I want to let go or not.  I'm excited and looking forward to what life as an adult will bring... but that doesn't mean it's not scary.

It's going to happen whether I want it to or not though, so I guess all I can do is hold on for the ride and embrace it.  And who knows, maybe in ten years, I'll be directing my own little clan of minions on screen.

And now that I've broken the golden rule of blogging (use more pictures than words), I'm going to make up for it by overloading you with holiday pictures.  Because this is a blog and that's what we do here.

Happy Friday! 
This holiday season, I hope you remember what's important...

... and that's loved ones and wine.  In that order.

And Ke$ha.

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1 comment:

  1. Yes, I am with you! Getting older is a drag, and it becomes especially apparent how the years have passed when I see my whole family.

    Also, loving the guy in the Ditka shirt :)