Well, this has been a long time coming. Exactly 1 month today.
This was a very different Christmas Eve. Typically (as in my entire life) we’ve done Christmas Eve with my mom’s family. As we’ve gotten older and busier, that gets harder every year.
Last year, the “adults” (that’d be my parents and aunts and uncles) went out to dinner and we weren’t even invited! I really didn’t like that plan, so I decided (literally by myself) that we’d try out a new tradition. An early Christmas with the family on a Saturday in December.
Since I have a new house–I’d host first. More to come on that story later.
However, making that sweep change to a holiday tradition left some of us at odds and ends when Christmas Eve rolled around. My parents had no plans. I had no plans. My siblings were all elsewhere–doing sibling things.
Genius struck once again and we decided that my mom and dad and I would go to a movie.
This is the point when I’d like to note that my dad–not a big movie goer.
As a matter of fact, I can tell you the last four movies he’s seen in the theater.
4. Jaws (1975)
3. Titanic (1997)
2. Death to Smoochy (2002)
1. The Fighter (2010)
4 movies in 35 years in a theater. And if you look at that list, it says something about my dad. Not really sure what, but it definitely says something.
So, upon suggesting that we see a movie, I was a bit hesitant. When it comes to holidays, I’m looking for tradition. I’d love to make this an annual event, a movie on Christmas Eve. But it had to be good.
I immediately narrowed my choices to two. The True Grit remake and The Fighter.
Of the two, no doubt I’d rather see The Fighter. I’m all about Mark Wahlberg (Wahlberg’s in general, actually) and have liked pretty much every movie of his that I’ve seen. True Grit. Meh. The Coen Brothers helps, of course, but Westerns are so not my thing. Still, if it helped dad become more comfortable, I was game.
The night before (maybe two nights–) my mom caught my dad watching the original True Grit on tv. When she and I spoke, she said that we should probably go see The Fighter because he just watched True Grit. I loved it! I checked the times and we were all set.
I met at their house and we got all ready to go. I said something to my dad about Mark Wahlberg and he said, “I thought we were seeing True Grit?” I told him what mom said about him just watching it and he said, “I watched the original to STUDY so I’d be prepared for seeing the new one!”
We both felt guilty about that, it never occurred to us that was what he was doing. Luckily, he was game, and he also likes Mark Wahlberg, so we headed out to see the movie.
I loved it!
Great story, amazing acting, really quality film. I was happy with that as our first choice.
Dad slept through the beginning (he works a lot of hours during the holidays) but what he saw he liked very much. Mom said she liked it a lot, too, but her enjoyment was tempered a bit by guilt at not taking Dad to see True Grit.
I offered to make it a double feature….
After the movie, we went to Applebee’s for dinner because Zack was working. Due to his house arrest, he wasn’t going to be at Christmas, so this was our chance to see him for the holiday. When we got there, it was P-A-C-K-E-D. Evidently, the managers thought it would be a slow night and staffed for it. It was busy like a Friday night in there. Waiting list of an hour+, no seats at the bar, food was taking forever, it was crazy.
Zack was the only bartender and he was way in the weeds.
When we walked in and he saw us (it was a surprise) he looked at us and made a disgusted sound. Such a warm welcome! It’s no wonder we go there.
Eventually, things calmed down and we were able to get seats at the bar. My food was atrocious, which was unfortunate, but I survived. Mostly, it was fun to hang with Mom and Dad and make fun of my brother. A classic night.
My mom said that her favorite part was that she didn’t have to spend all day cooking to get ready to go to a family party. She just relaxed and prepared for the next day, so that she could enjoy that day more.
Christmas Eve movie/dinner was a hit!
That’s the plan for next year. Let’s hope they release something good–we owe my dad.