our peculiar traditions…

Once upon a time, two little girls* couldn’t fall asleep on Christmas Eve…

It’s impossible, you see, to sleep when you know that Santa is coming. You constantly want to sneak down the stairs. And if you think harder about going to sleep, it only gets more difficult. There is no longer night.

That’s why, many years ago, we started watching The Great Escape on Christmas Eve. At the time, for two little girls, it was the longest, most boring (ie., sleep-inducing) film we’d ever seen. Clocking in at 172 minutes, it required not one but two reels of video tape (which the library bound together with a rubber band), and the fact that it was a war movie with a bunch of men in army drabs put it over the top for us. And you know what? It worked. We fell asleep — thank goodness.

And so, we watched it year after year. Today, of course, I LOVE this movie. I make references to it all the time, even though most of my friends haven’t seen it. And, whenever I garden, I think of better ways of moving dirt. If you haven’t seen it, you really should; it has an amazing cast, and it’s funny/charming/inspiring all at once. Plus, you’ll get my references to dirt-moving, baseball corner tossing and Tom, Dick & Harry.

I can’t wait to watch it again this Christmas Eve with my husband and, someday, with my kids. Merry Christmas everybody!

* * * *

* So, I’m realizing now how fuzzy my memory is. In my brain’s version, my little brother was just a baby when we started watching…but maybe not? Were we all older? Maybe it was all his idea? Who knows. We bend these things how we wish, I suppose…


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