When I was a little kid, maybe four or five, I was obsessed with opossums. I knew instinctively that the opossum was my power animal, so I was just completely obsessed with them.
At four or five years old, I was taken to visit Santa at the mall like any kid. When Santa asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I simply said, “A possum!” He was confused, concerned, and looked at my parents with a “What the hell am I supposed to follow that with?” look. Imagine what my parents were thinking.
As the days crept closer to Christmas, my parents likely engaged me with ideas of practical toys and things to put on my list to Santa, but I wasn’t hearing any of it. I was totally convinced he would bring me an opossum.
How it all happened, I’m not entirely sure. But when I woke up on Christmas morning and went to fetch my stocking, I found that Santa did, in fact, bring me a beautiful taxidermy of an Opossum! I named him “Clarence.” He was divine.
Later, I learned that my parents went on a wild goose chase to have Clarence trapped and eventually stuffed. Luckily we lived in Kansas, where opossums run around eating berries and otherwise keeping to themselves. Opossums here are friendly and lovely. They aren’t like big city possums, which can be rude and cranky.
Clarence lived at my mother’s house until I had a house of my own. Now he holds court in my dining room, watching over dinner guests and keeping an eye on any mischief.
I never really had a favorite Christmas movie growing up. By by the time I was in high school, I discovered Kubrick’s THE SHINING. I would watch it every year on Christmas Eve. It’s the best Christmas movie ever. MISERY came in as a favorite Xmas Eve movie for a year or two, but it just didn’t have the special holiday punch that THE SHINING does.
I have a screenplay somewhere on the back burner based on my family. It’s a Christmas movie caper, and will be downright hysterical whenever I decide to finally make it. It’s pretty complicated, and will take a special combination of actors to make it work.
I love the holiday season, and especially the music. Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Ella & Louis, they all have incredible Christmas albums. Even Barbra Streisand has a Christmas album (I know, right!?).
I love Christmas and I’m not even religious! I hope you all have a wonderful time sharing it with your friends and families, regardless of your religion. And, if you don’t have anyone to celebrate with, put on a good movie and treat yourself to something special.