Monday, December 20, 2010

Reader's Diary #672- Wayne Curtis: My Mother's Christmas Art

(Special thanks to Chris at Chrisbookarama for linking to this week's story.)

A few years back I was quite surprised to buy a pack of postage stamps that had a picture of my old high school girlfriend's house on them. Only, it was different somehow. All painted up and such. I heard after that a CFA (a come-from away) had bought it, fixed it up, and turned it into a tea room or bed and breakfast or some sort of thing.

A friend of mine, also from Newfoundland, takes issue with such things. Apparently when rich people from the U.S., mainland Canada, Germany or wherever buy summer homes in Newfoundland, the local property taxes and real estate values become grotesquely inflated and the locals, whose families had lived there for generations, suddenly find the place unaffordable. But that wasn't my friend's issue. His was that they fix up the homes into cliched replicas of Newfoundland's cultural past. I suppose the argument is that culture cannot progress naturally when it is too self aware (even worse when the self is someone else).

To make a long story short, a lot of those thoughts came back this week as I read Wayne Curtis's short story "My Mother's Christmas Art." Nostalgic for his mother's Christmas preparations, there's a touch of melancholia as the narrator concludes that things "are not the same and of course never will be."

I've gone down that road before. Yes Christmases of days gone by have been great. And when I put up certain decorations and eat certain foods and watch certain movies, a lot of those great memories come back, but I have to say, now that I have my own kids and I see how excited they are for the whole thing, I'm not nostalgic any more. It's 2010, we're all happy and I don't care if it makes it on a postage stamp.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)


Teddy Rose said...

I'm not into Christmas Stories much so I think I'll pass.

I read a excellent story:

Robert said...

Sounds like a wise friend you have there!

Merry Christmas.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Wow, that was an uber-nostalgic short story! It did offer a nice feel for his past, though.

John Mutford said...

Teddy: Come December I'm all for Christmas stories!

Robert: Beyond his years, he was. Merry Christmas to you too!

Barbara: Only at Christmas can he get away with something like that.

Anonymous said...

It's a lovely post, I wish I had read it a few days ago as I'm feeling a bit nostalgic (a rare thing in winter, I'm usually nostalgic during the summer).