I was talking to a close friend the other day (hi, L!) and she offhandedly mentioned having just bought something, “some last minute Christmas shopping” she called it. And I had to interrupt her. We have days and days until Christmas! It’s not last minute yet! It can’t be! Because I haven’t even started!
We do keep things fairly simple here. But I admit that I am feeling a wee bit of pressure. Although, of all the things to have hanging over your head, a rush to acquire those few perfect, thoughtful things, is a gift itself. If you’re feeling the time crunch of Christmas, if the days seem to be passing too quickly, you are so fortunate. You know, I’ve spent enough time in hospitals over the last year (and not nearly as much as many do) that I can’t help but think of how many people are in that kind of timeless space right now. When crisis is happening, time solidifies and instead of traveling through, a person feels suspended, enveloped by the present trauma, like being stuck inside a jell-o mold; life keeps happening out there, but it’s hard to feel a part of it, or even see it. I think of families worrying about children, I think of families grieving for lost children, and I think I am lucky to be double checking shipping times from Amazon dot com. (full disclosure: we actually attempt to buy the bulk of our gifts locally, from some of our town’s fabulous independent brick and mortars, but I am grateful for the convenience of online shopping, too.)
This weekend there were plans for the husband to take the children (not the baby!) to see The Hobbit. And then yesterday I noticed that the rating is PG-13, so now I’m not sure what to do. I don’t usually care what movies are rated; I think it’s an inconsistent system, labeling hollywood politics, more than content. It can be a matter of one extra harsh word, or one less violent scene. Anyone with any movie watching experience knows how conflicting ratings can be from one similar movie to the next. It’s a rough guide, but I make the final call for my children. Here’s the trouble: my boy, mister just-turned-seven, knows the story of The Hobbit inside and out. He has listened to that whole book so many times: first, as a bedtime read aloud with his good dad, and then several times, as an audiobook, a background to his quiet play. I use common sense media as my go-to double-checking source. Mostly, I use it for finding YA books for my daughter. I find the reviews very complete, providing enough details that I feel like I can make a fairly solid suggestion, even when I’m unfamiliar with the title. But, in this case, they mark The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as Green (a go!) for age 11. That seems a little old, to me. But, then, I haven’t seen the movie. I guess I should send the husband and daughter first to preview, but the boy will be so disappointed! He has practically had his bags packed for Middle Earth for a year! Or maybe I will send them off and trust he will be fine. Such a silly but pressing dilemma!