I can recite the words from "Polar Express" by heart now as the movie has repeated in a seemingly endless loop since Thanksgiving. Whatever happened to "Charlie Brown Christmas"?
The holidays at the Sherrill house are set off by two things – decorations and movies. My wife transforms the house to match the pending holidays, especially once we get into fall. Beginning in October, you have no doubt what day is coming. Presently, the interior of our house resembles a Scandinavian forest with flashing lights donning the trees. However, this is just one part of the holidays. The second is movies. That presently falls to Henry, handed down to him by my 19-year-old son Jack, who isn’t into holiday movies anymore.
This all begins in earnest sometime around October. You can set your watch by it. No sooner does the wife set up that inflatable Snoopy sitting on the doghouse fighting the Red Baron in preparation for Halloween than the movie "Monster House" begins playing on a loop. This tradition actually dates back to the Jack days as a kid when he would begin watching it around Halloween.
Frankly, I doubted Henry would inherit the tradition since the scary house would make him flee into the next room when it would try to chomp on the children. However, it appears he has gotten over his fear of people-eating houses as he watches it constantly up until the day after Halloween. If I’m lucky I get a little bit of "The Great Pumpkin" thrown in for variety.
After a short gap during November, the house begins to rumble the day after Thanksgiving when "Polar Express" gets plugged into the DVD upstairs and played through the stereo sound system which, I might say, is a kicking sound system since it was the first thing the wife and I bought after we got married 24 years ago. It’s still going strong and has a great bass kick that will shake the house.
I’d kind of forgotten what time of year it was, despite the hundreds of twinkling lights, when I started hearing a rumbling as I was sitting in my living room watching TV this past week. I even went out to the porch to see if there was a storm approaching. That’s when it hit me, the rumbling wasn’t coming from outside. It was coming from inside the house.
I headed up the stairs to find Henry sitting on the bed watching "Polar Express," the train rumbling toward the North Pole. That movie has to have the most bass of any movie ever made. It literally rattles the rafters in my house.
Myself, I don’t have a go-to movie for Christmas like my children always have. Sure, I’ll watch "A Christmas Story" once or twice to see Darren McGavin mispronounce “Fragile” on the box that holds his “major award” and to see the Bumpus’ hounds ruin his turkey but unless it’s wearing a helmet and got a pigskin tucked under its arm, you probably won’t catch me watching it.
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.