Our family has always lived in Southern California. It has never snowed here. I only dream of a white christmas. I am not certain why Bryan's favorite Christmas movie was Irving Berlin's musical White Christmas. I think it had to do with the whole tribute to a noble-military-general thing. Or maybe he really liked listening to Bing Crosby sing?
Forget Advent candles, Sunday School Christmas choir, acting out the story of Joseph and Mary dressed in our bathrobes, or reading the Nativity story nightly--not the Klungreseter family growing up! We went to the movies every Christmas Eve. We ate at Bamboo House for Chinese food. We counted each other's gifts under the tree to make sure they were equitable. And we watched every Christmas movie ever made. Bryan owns them ALL. I am not exaggerating. I can not remember a Christmas of of my youth when we did not watch It's A Wonderful Life, or A Charlie Brown's Christmas, or Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer on TV. Not one single year.
Bryan carried on our movie watching tradition as an adult. The kids just dusted off his collection in preparation for our annual movie watching fun. It is so handy to have the DVDs. No more wading through lame commercials. Bryan memorized the lines of most of his favorites. I am not exaggerating. I'm not. Ask my mom. She'll back me up. It was one of his more useful talents.
This year we will watch each one without his genius for editing out the "inappropriate" parts. We will watch them without his exuberant acting along with his favorite characters. He won't be there to make gingerbread houses or drink coco. He won't be there in the flesh. But Bryan's memory will be a part of every one of our holiday traditions this year. I miss my brother. I am so glad he left so much of himself for us to remember him by.
Gotta go light the advent candle and read the story and watch our kids act out the scene. Again. But we won't forget my childhood habits--we will watch White Christmas, just like I did as a kid. With my brother.