All hail Jean Shepherd! When he wrote down his memories of his late 1930’s childhood, he somehow captured all of our Christmases. Because, I don’t know about you, but as much as I love Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and The Gift of the Magi- Mr. Shepherd’s stories nail it for what it felt like being a kid at my house. He gets it right about the messy passion of it all: the larger than life bullies, the outsized yearning for that special gift, the weirdness of the opposite sex, the excitement bordering on mania that set in about Thanksgiving.
Recently I came across a quote about the truth as it relates to writing. The thought was that journalism captured the facts of what happened in a moment, and that art captured what the moment felt like. By that standard, our friend Jean is nothing if not a true artist. He puts the lens of childhood back over our eyes so we can experience what things really felt like when we were little. So let’s go back, everyone, and experience the epic truth of little-kid Christmas, when the world felt this big and safe and dangerous and important all at the same time. Have a Merry Christmas and don’t shoot your eye out!
Director, Katy Brown