There is nothing better than sitting down with my kids to watch Christmas movies.
That is, until I do – and my children spoil my favorites.
They ruin them with questions that interrupt the comedic timing.
They ruin them with observations of holes in the plot that I otherwise choose to consciously ignore.
This Christmas season my kids have, again, spoiled my top three selections.
A Christmas Story
Spoiler #1: The leg lamp
My kids do not find Ralphie’s Dad’s fish-net adjourned leg lamp hilarious. I, however, cannot stop laughing at the father proudly directing his wife to re-position the light from the street as passerby’s stop to take a look.
Spoiler #2: “Oh, Fudge!”
Having to explain substitute (or soft) swears to my kids is agonizing – a delicate dance of providing an explanation without unintentionally adding to their ever-expanding vocabulary.
My 10 year-old has an honorary doctorate in soft cursing so no freaking explanation is required for him.
Spoiler #3: Shooting your eye out
My little ones are horrified at the thought of Ralphie actually losing an eye while my older kids seem disappointed that the statement is hyperbole.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Spoiler #1: The Griswold family Christmas tree
From the moment Clark positions the family’s station wagon under the semi transporting lumber, my sons are disinterested. Their “that’s impossible” comments persist through the point where Clark forgets the saw and, presumably, digs the tree out of the ground with his bare hands.
Spoiler #2: Too many plugs in an outlet
My kids diagnose the issue with Clark’s lights instantly – too many plugs in one outlet. They are quick to point out that no switch could power such a spider web of extension cords.
Spoiler #3: Why doesn’t Clark crawl out of the attic after the ceiling collapses?
When the attic ceiling gives way beneath Clark Griswold’s feet, my kids cannot understand why he would not crawl out. I must admit that I’m with them on this one.
Spoiler #1: How did Buddy not know he was different if he was so much bigger?
My kids are skeptical of Buddy’s childish innocence – commenting during the first scene, “He’s double the size of the other elves, he has to know he’s human.”
Spoiler #2: Why would Buddy continue to wear an elf outfit when no one else around him is?
When Buddy wears his elf uniform around New York City, my kids are divided. My youngest children are horrified that people are mean to one of Santa’s elves. My older boys laugh that a man would wear such an outfit so openly in public.
Spoiler #3: Why does Buddy fight the Gimbel’s Santa? Everyone knows those Santa’s are never the real ones.
When you have one non-believer, the “real versus not-real” Santa story has to be tight. To my kids, the Santa’s we see in stores are helpers of the big guy – not the real one that delivers gifts.
The unfortunate byproduct is that my believers find little humor with others that do not share that understanding as fact.
This is particularly evident when Will Ferrell’s character fights a store Santa. In their opinion, everyone should know that any store Santa is not the real deal.
No matter the Christmas movie, my kids play the spoiler role – at least for an hour until they inevitably lose interest.
Although they do not share my love of these Christmas classics, I won’t let them dampen my holiday spirit.
Instead, I’m choosing to crystallize their off-handed comments as holiday memories.
After all, in the indelible words of Clark W. Griswold, “That is what Christmas is all about.”