Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

And the excellent movie season continues with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a brilliant take on John LeCarre’s novel of the same name.  With it’s slow-burning, almost methodical storytelling, it brings a new edge and a new depth to the spy movie genre.  Bourne Identity, this is not. 

And the cast?  The incomparable Gary Oldman, along with Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt and Benedict Cumberbatch (among others) give their characters a humanity and desperation that is amazing to see.  I adore all of them, and have for a very long time.  But Tom Hardy in particular – the man is on fire. He’s one of those actors you could watch read the phone book and somehow have a new appreciation for the A-Z of the telephone world.  LOVE him. 

Fantastic film all around… Highly recommend it.

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Happy Christmas (War is Over)

Christmas decorations are up!

I heart Christmas.  A lot. 

And in honor of Christmas and the fact that I’m an LA-girl with absolutely ZERO chance of any real snow, it has snowed on my blog!  🙂  Call me sentimental, but now I can sing “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” and actually mean every word! 

Pandora’s Indie Holidays station (check it out here) is rocking my Christmas music world.  I am discovering so many new artists and so many lovely versions of some of my favorite Christmas music. And any station that plays She & Him, followed by Sufjan Stevens and Copeland is a winner in my book.  

I don’t know if this song is just particularly affecting this year or if I’m just hearing it over and over, covered by every artist from A to Z, but John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” has been a mainstay this year. A very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.  Let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear.  And so this is Christmas, for weak and for strong, for rich and the poor ones, the world is so wrong. And so happy Christmas…    Maybe that’s part of why I love Christmas so much – it really is for everyone.

No matter how wealthy, no matter how strong or weak or broken or brilliant … Christmas comes every year just for you.  I spent some time earlier in the week going back through my old journals (a new blog post on that journey is coming soon…) and I was amazed at all the Christmas memories that were brought up.  The year I first realized that I loved having my birthday so close to Christmas.  The year I got my Titanic soundtrack for Christmas.  My first Christmas with Luke.  The year Grandpa and I fell asleep on the couch watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the millionth time. The first Christmas after Grandpa was gone.  The first Christmas I missed with my family.  The first time I put my own Christmas tree up. My first Christmas season in Los Angeles, where you can sing “White Christmas” and “Frosty the Snowman” with only a tiny bit of irony, as it’s currently 80 degrees outside. Driving around to look at lights.  Fancy Christmas dinner parties and waking up early on Christmas morning with crazy hair and Christmas pj’s, laughing with my sister as we unwrap gifts.  

But one of my favorite Christmas memories is still perfectly etched into my memory.  I have no idea why it’s one of my strongest memories of childhood, but it really was perfect.  I was six or seven, in the basement of our old house, with its orange carpet and brown walls (still stylish at that point, don’t worry).  The Christmas tree was up and glittering away, and I was watching Rudolph, eating one of these fabulous cookies my mom always used to make.  The furnace kicked on, with this beautifully warm woooosh of air, and I felt content and safe and peaceful. I wouldn’t trade that memory for anything.  It’s been one I’ve revisited over and over the last few days… So beautiful. 

What are some of your favorite Christmas memories?  Or favorite Christmas traditions?  Are your lights up yet? Or your tree?  

And so – dear friends and readers, at the beginning of this lovely Christmas season, may you have many perfect and peaceful moments with friends and family alike.  May all your baking be stunning, may your parties come together exactly as you’d imagined them, and more than anything, may hope and joy inform every moment with their breathtaking freedom.  

Thanks so much for being a part of my life. 

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