I’m writing Christmas cards while rewatching the film, Carol, on Netflix. It’s not a Christmas movie, but takes place around Christmas. (I’m actually not a fan of Christmas movies but do enjoy movies with that holiday as a backdrop.) While the film is a beautiful depiction of a forbidden love affair between two women in the 1950s, it speaks to me for another reason. The film has a strong sense of time and place. The younger woman works in a department store, the kind my grandmother shopped in when I was a child. In the film, the women take a trip together and stay in roadside motels along the way and in a luxury hotel in Chicago. The older woman’s white suitcases even remind me of those my mother owned, which were probably a wedding gift.
During one scene in the film, the Christmas song ‘Silver Bells’ plays on the radio. The first time I watched this scene, in the movie theater, I felt an overwhelming sense of longing for the Christmases of my childhood and missed my mother terribly. Mom made Christmas so special. I remember sitting in our living room one night just before Christmas … the room was decorated to perfection, as always. The lights were low. Candles were lit and had a pine scent (or maybe that was the tree). A Christmas album was playing. It felt so cozy and warm. I just sat there alone on the sofa and absorbed it all — the twinkling lights and the Christmas smell and the music — and I wanted time to stop. In fact, it felt like time had stopped for me. It was an idyllic moment. I felt happy.Continue reading “Silver Bells”