A different Christmas tradition

My sister and her husband will probably be going to the movies Christmas night, but it won’t be because of the hype surrounding the release of “The Interview.” It will be because it’s Christmas.
Sheila is a few years older than I and her husband Paul a few years older than she, so their dating world, in the mid-60s, was somewhat different from mine. It included a traditional Christmas night date to the movies. From the time they started “going steady” they would get dressed up — Paul in a jacket and tie — and go to a movie on Christmas night. So did most of their friends.
I don’t know how many of their peers continued the tradition but I know Sheila and Paul have.
I have a stock, wise guy answer to the question “What’s the secret to a happy marriage?” It’s “Marry your second wife first.”
It’s cheap, I know. But sometimes cheap is all we’ve got.
But if someone contemplating marriage asks me that question expecting a sincere answer, well, I have one of those too. I tell them to never stop dating each other.
Going on dates is part of falling in love. We create all these marvelous memories by going out for dinner, taking a ride in the country with a picnic lunch along, strolling on the beach at sunset, and, yes, going to the movies. And then we marry and stop doing all of those things.
“Don’t stop dating!” I’ll tell a young couple emphatically. Keep being boyfriend and girlfriend even, and especially after you become husband and wife.
It’s certainly worked for my sister and her beau. Coming up on 50 years of marriage, they are still hopelessly in love with each other.
It’s disgusting. And beautiful.

Ed Ackerman