The lights are shining bright. The festivities have been taking place. There is a chill in the air. Still, for some reason, this particular holiday season came out of nowhere. It seems like it was summer just yesterday and here we are at the end of another year. Oh well, that’s aging for you, right? Perhaps my “holiday perception” came to me this way because both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah came early and left in the blink of an eye. On most years those two holidays are closer to Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve – which somehow “complete” the season in a more cohesive fashion. This year, it all seems disjointed. On some psychological level, that holiday spirit is not as strong as most years. Certainly we are not skipping November and December in our minds, but it all feels a bit unusual this year.
At this time of year as we gather around tables, we ask what we are thankful for in our lives. Most of us say that we are thankful for the fact that we are around the tables with friends and family and are in good health. We say all of this while keeping in mind that there are scores out there who are struggling for so many reasons. With that said, we have many who gather with us who have a smorgasbord of opinions on that subject and many others. Don’t we all have that opinionated uncle or brother-in-law who turns holiday gatherings into an episode of cable TV’s “Hannity?”
My biggest thanks for 2013 is water down here in Georgia. We received an abundance of H20 in these parts throughout this year. Many of us around here would say that we received too much water, but remember there are most likely more extreme dry years in the Southeastern United States than wetter years. So with that in mind, let’s be grateful that we have a good water supply at the moment. The challenge is in managing that supply for now and the future. Here’s hoping that the Peach State, Alabama and Florida work out some type of peaceful solution in the water wars.
I’m grateful for a holiday season filled with great movies. I recently saw the Alexander Payne film titled Nebraska. I’m hoping that the movie starring Bruce Dern will go into wider release as it racks up accolades. Nebraska is my favorite of the year followed by the Woody Allen vehicle Blue Jasmine with a knockout performance by actress Cate Blanchett. I’m hoping that Mr. Dern and Ms. Blanchett will receive the awards that they so deserve.
I’m putting American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street on my must-see list. I’m looking forward to The Golden Globes Awards which will probably inspire me to finally see 12 Years A Slave, Dallas Buyers Club and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Nevertheless, I’m incredibly impressed with Nebraska. The black and white film is authentic in that it accurately depicts an America that so many of us do not think about in this day and age of “Timberlake/Flying Tomato/Kardashian-Kanye/Kobe-style glamour.” You know it’s a different type of film when former Saturday Night Live player Will Forte is probably one of the more attractive actors in the production. Honestly this is the way more films should be: displaying authenticity instead of saccharin-laced poses and banal acting like too many witnessed in We’re the Millers.
As we look back on the year, let’s look forward to a 2014 filled with promise, hope and most of all, laughter.