I'm at a Christmas party and no one I know is there.
For the shy (INFJ in my case, if you're into all that Meyers-Briggs stuff), this is a pretty solid definition of hell.
I attended a couple of earlier festivities with The Boyfriend, and the poor bastard was as usual stuck talking to me all night, but he's not at this shindig.
This is an alumni thingie for my college. Those functions tend to hit me where I live because everyone there was valedictorian and is clever and poised. This particular alumni thingie is in Los Angeles, so not only was everyone there valedictorian, but also homecoming queen or king. The ones that weren't now run record labels.
In such situations I can't even take refuge by tucking into the free pinot because I don't want to be That Girl, you know, the one who after midnight turned into Tara Reid and fell into the pool.
So I'm stone-cold sober, socially paralyzed, and wishing I was home watching Christmas movies.
Speaking of! The real reason for this post, some of my seasonal movie faves. In no particular order:
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE - Darker and funnier than you remember.
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS - WARNING! VERY IMPORTANT!! I mean the ANIMATED version, with charming Chuck Jones art and plummy voice work by Boris Karloff. Not the Jim Carrey redundancy, for the love of Fah who for-aze.
WHEN HARRY MET SALLY - Not strictly speaking a Christmas movie, but many of the story's key moments happen at the holidays. The season of groveling, revelatory Mallomars.
MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL - I'm serious. Michael Caine gives excellent deadpan as Scrooge in the face of adorableness (Fozziwig!) and catchy songs, but the movie gets scary and sad right when it's supposed to. All that and mini Miss Piggies. Get over yourself and rent it.
THE THIN MAN - Another not-quite-Christmas movie, but who cares when you have William Powell shooting ornaments off the tree with a BB gun while Myrna Loy watches, amused, in a new fur coat? In a movie that glimmers with champagne dialogue, this wordless moment is a standout.
THE GODFATHER - Okay, okay, I'll stop cheating, but the Godfather saga is framed around moments rich with ritual and family significance: weddings, baptisms, the holidays. I love Al Pacino's tense and terrifying vigil at the creepy, Christmas-quiet hospital.
A CHRISTMAS STORY - Some time ago I came across a rant against this movie, which I just don't get. So it's faux nostalgic. Nostalgia is false almost by definition. A CHRISTMAS STORY is funny, sweet, just arch enough, and yes, authentic, capturing the tribulations and joy of being a kid at yuletide. Plus Peter Billingsley now is poker buddies with Vince Vaughn, so there's that.
What about you? Any other holiday flicks you find yourself watching year after year?