“Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is… the latest and greatest from Twentieth Century Fox!”

I use popcorn at Christmas, but not to string around the tree.

Over the years I’ve often found difficulties with keeping up, using my memory, processing certain types of information. In school, math was definitely not my strong suit, still isn’t. Arrgh… the anxiety that would build up; the feeling of being overwhelmed. Concentration often felt strained. But there was one thing that put me at ease and would allow me to relax and to take an enjoyable journey with my imagination: movies.

In many ways, that one thing has not changed.

I am sure that there are some facts out there about movies and how they affect the brain, but for this brain injury survivor, I don’t need to know any of them except for what the film experience means and does for me. And it can be summed up as fun and fantastical, but also laid back and chillin’! Besides, I thinking coping mechanisms can be different for everyone.

These days, I find that it is most usually the holiday season when it is cold outside and I can cozy up near the fire. It is my movie time. It is the best present I can get.

Time to relax and escape. No brain overload.

Time to sit back and settle in. A chance to really just breathe and clear my mind and allow it to fill with wondrous things.

Time for some warm buttery popcorn.

Holiday favourites always come out with the likes of Scrooged, The Santa Claus, and Elf, Home Alone 1 and 2, Die Hard 1 and 2… and then I just have to follow up with 3 and 4. I also end up cycling through the Star Wars or Harry Potter stories as well. The list can alter, there are just so many.

A trip to the theatre by my own wallet or a gift card may do once and a while, (and I sometimes like to go on my own) but I prefer the DVD, my couch, the microwave, and the fireplace. I do watch movies all year ‘round, but kicking back and vegging in front of the television has become my own little holiday tradition.

Deck the halls with movie time works for me.

Mark’s passion to lend a helping hand, offer advice and give back, has developed into a moral and social responsibility with the goal of sharing, inspiring and growing, for others as well as himself. His experience as a Survivor, Caregiver, Mentor and Writer, has led to his credibility as an ABI Advocate and author of his life’s story, Challenging Barriers & Walking the Path. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Koning or go to