Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise
HCP columnist

Times and tastes do change. I think each generation goes through the “if only it was like it used to be” phase at various times in our development.

We conjure up the past in the way we want to remember it, not always like it actually was. I think it’s a uniquely human trait that we try and reframe a time and think of it differently or better.

I’m sure there are tomes of psychology books and studies devoted to why we want to remember our past with a few altered filters. We’re a nostalgic people. I found that I had a bout of that as I decided to browse some Christmas movies to plan to watch recently.

Naively, I thought there might be a dozen or so, some I remembered waiting and watching for in my childhood. Now, there are more holiday-themed movies than one can watch in a year of binge watching.

Somehow, rather than be excited about my expanded choices, I felt a bit of melancholy. Now, there is so much at our fingertips, the joy from the anticipation has vanished. The tradition of “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Miracle on 34th Street” seems lost now. I think I quit counting the number of Christmas movies now being produced. It was overwhelming.

The idea waned along with my expected excitement. The thought went through my head that “if only it was like it used to be.” I remember at school a bunch of us would plan our sleepover the night the networks aired “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

We talked about it at the lunch table and between classes at our lockers. The airing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” was a family-friend occasion, and everyone usually knew where their friends were as it was a one night only event during the holiday season.

There were no VCRs or DVRs to watch at our leisure, commercial-free. You planned for it, schedules were re-arranged for it. If you missed it, you had to wait until the next year.

With typical human incongruence, I also find that now I get irritated if I can’t pause my show to refill my wine glass or have a potty break. It doesn’t make any sense, does it? We long for a time gone by, but we want the creature comforts of the nano-second, technology age.

I decided to peruse my abundant collection of old VCR tapes and DVDs recorded from TCM since I enjoy the movies of old. I wanted to find some of the Christmas classics that left me in awe so many years ago. I wanted to be able to capture that fleeting feeling that never can actually be re-captured. So, I found “Christmas in Connecticut,” “Holiday Affair,” “White Christmas,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “A Christmas Carol” and Nureyev in “The Nutcracker.” I’ve kinda planned my watching, letting the anticipation grow.

I know it won’t be like it was in my youth, but it’ll be nice to have a little time to reminisce with some movies that have stood the test of time – even if it isn’t as it was.