Photos Inc: A journalists’ Christmas Story

OK, I admit it, I’m a sucker for feel-good movies and this time of year is the best/worst.

Mark's Christmas reindeer Millie who is really the family shih tzu

OK, I admit it, I’m a sucker for feel-good movies and this time of year is the best/worst.

Watching It’s a Wonderful Life the other night for the umpteenth time, the outcome was once again predictable, and I don’t mean the movie.

In the closing scene there’s the tinkling of the bell on the Bailey Christmas tree.

Zuzu Bailey: “Look, daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”

George Bailey: “That’s right, that’s right. (looking heavenward) Attaboy Clarence”

Mark: Sob.

And on it goes and so by the 12th day of Christmas I’m a wreck, but a happy one.

Then there’s A Christmas Story, another of my favourites. Not so much a tear jerker, but one that brings back so many memories, which is really what this season is all about.

Walking to school in the Michelin man snowsuit, and, oh yes, the annual (yes, every year) winter rite of passage of tongue on metal in the school yard, bicycle bars or railings, take your pick.

“Are you never going to learn?” actually became my anthem during those years.

Thinking back, those frigid pieces of steel must have been a DNA treasure trove, but it’s better to give up bit of flesh than lose face.

And while I did get a gun one Christmas, I did not put out my eye or anyone else’s.

Christmas is also a time of peace on Earth, good will toward mankind but due to holiday shopping stress that phrase is pretty much out the window.

Just ask the guy in the pickup truck whose parking place you snuck into.

Ho, Ho … is that a baseball bat?

That takes us to shopping for the special gift for that special someone.

There are two types out there, the shoppers and the buyers, which seems to be gender specific but I’m not saying which.

As a rule, the shoppers have usually bought all their Christmas gifts by the end of July so really don’t come into play here.

Buyers can be spotted late this afternoon (Dec. 24) either wandering aimlessly and zombie-like or wide-eyed and frantic through retail outlets.

The common denominator is members of both groups usually wind up at the jewellery store 10 minutes before closing.

Diamonds are my best friend for sure.

One pet peeve of mine is the $1 lottery ticket contained in the Christmas card I opened today.

The senders could of at least sprung for the EXTRA, I mean, really, it’s supposed to be the season of giving.

I guess pre-draw it has the potential to represent millions of dollars, afterwards nothing but a wasted piece of paper.

Then there is the always popular, although I’ve never done it personally, re-gifting of items and gadgets.

If caught, the perpetrators of this particular Christmas crime should also be hung from the chimney along with the stockings.

On the serious side, Christmas is also a time of remembering friends and loved ones who aren’t going to be with us for the holidays this year.

That means a few less cards and gifts to send or receive and the phone calls we look forward to making that special morning while sitting around the Christmas tree.

Sadly, the passing of those dear to us also gently strikes a chord of mortality but life is to be enjoyed and the memories of Christmas past will live on.

Merry Christmas mom. Thanks for those memories.

Mark Brett is a photographer and writer at the Penticton Western News