Sibling Strife in Holiday Films
I was born in December when my World War II father was in Stalag 17. My mother’s favorite holiday song was “I’ll Be Home for Christmas “. When I hear Judy Garland drippingly croon this song, I still cry.
The movie “Meet Me in St Louis” the Christmas film, where the song began, has been the top holiday pick on NPR.
The modern holiday carol warbles through a Christmas scene when the holiday tragedy is about to strike.
Johnny Depp is another victim of Christmas as mutant Edward Scissorhands
For many of us, the road home for the holidays is rutty. For some, the path has gaping potholes. It can remind us of childhood conflicts siblings that ruptured our relationship.
A great film to watch for nasty sibling rivalry with the comic brilliance of Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti is Fred Claus. Fred neglected by Mrs. Claus by favorite son St Nick, who takes all his presents, turns to life as a repo man to get even. It sounds like a dumb film and is a little dumb but has a stellar cast in Kathy Bates, Miranda Richardson, Kevin Spacey and Rachel Weisz.
Serious sibling rivalry happens when the damage was done by a sister or brother years ago. This leaves a never healing gash in our minds. In fact, that old wound from a sibling may still fester and ooze enough to lead us to say we believe we don’t want to see the family on the holidays.
Christmas Gift Envy in Midlife
We feel we hate our siblings for many different reasons. The chief complaint that lurks in our mind is that Mom or Dad favored them over us. She got the new prom dress for her high school celebration, and a few years later we ended up with her hand-me-down. Dad sent him to a great four-year college, and we were sent to a community college near home. She was the baby so got to grow up with late curfews and loose rules, when Mom and Dad were unbearably strict with the rest of us. He was the oldest and Mom needed him to take care of the bunch of us, so she let him boss us around. He was the stepsibling who moved in and took over half our room.
That can all come back again with Christmas gifts that don’t seem fair or equitable. What you open is more than a gift. It’s Pandora’s box of past, picking favorite siblings or parental slights. Whatever happened in your childhood, can flashback like holiday PTSD.
Check out these iconic films and see if they either prepare you for the holiday gathering or make you feel better after the annual family breakdown.