This is a great time of year to get to watch some of my favorite movies. I enjoy Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye in White Christmas. I love to watch the Muppets along with Michael Caine tell Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol. Even Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer holds a special place in my heart. However, one of my most favorite Christmas movies is Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.
I have watched that movie every year since I was a teenager. I can’t imagine anyone not liking it. So you can imagine my surprise during a recent conversation with a colleague when she said she didn’t like the movie at all! She said that she found it depressing and sad. She thought it was horrible his (George Bailey’s) life never went the way he hoped.
I admit that there is a dark side to the movie. When George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart’s character) sees what Bedford Falls would have been like if he had never been born, it is definitely depressing–especially when he sees that his kid brother, Harry, died at age 8 instead being alive to save a ship full of soldiers during World War II. I think that is why I like the movie and the message. It makes me think that the world might not be as good if I were not here. I think that is the message for everyone, no matter what time of year.
This might seem a little corny, but one year I had the idea to write poems to people close to me that shared the same message. I started with the poem I wrote to Bobby, my husband, for his birthday. (A long standing tradition.) I titled it “A World Without Bobby.” Throughout the poem I shared things that would not exist (at least in my life) if Bobby wasn’t in it. I liked it so much, that I wrote one for my dad, one for my mom and then for a handful of other people within the next year. They seemed to enjoy them and I liked capturing a bit of our history at that point in time.
So while I guess not everyone needs to like the same movies I do, I hope the message of It’s a Wonderful Life doesn’t get lost. I would hate to see a world without you in it. I guess Clarence the angel is right, “no man is a failure who has friends.”
I pray that all who read this has a blessed Christmas and a Happy new year!
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