Because I’m a fan of movies, particularly feel good movies with a message, this month’s resource is, you guessed it, a Christmas movie! This is a movie that you can watch at home, snuggled up by the fire, drinking your favorite yuletide beverage. Hot chocolate anyone?
There are many wonderful Christmas movies – perennial favorites like It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, and even cult classics like A Christmas Story top many people’s lists. Animated movies and television specials such as The Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Charlie Brown Christmas amuse kids and adults alike every holiday season. Whose heart doesn’t melt when Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree springs to life?
My personal holiday favorite is Miracle on 34th Street. Have you watched it yet this season? It’s old-fashioned movie magic at its best. Edmund Gwenn plays a maybe crazy, maybe senile, maybe real Macy’s Santa who spreads a wave of love and good cheer throughout New York City. Winning the hearts and changing the minds of the main characters – a cynical, divorced, single mom and her too-serious little girl, “Kris” and his warm ways bid all to believe and imagine all the joys of Christmas. Watch this movie! This film is often shown colorized; the original is black and white. I suggest you watch the black and white version – the magic seems more vivid when you can create the colors in your imagination.
Here is part of one of my favorite scenes from the movie. Susan, a very somber little girl, finds it challenging to play and enjoy other children her own age. Kris shows Susan (and us) how to explore the imagination:
Kris: No, to me the imagination is a place all by itself… a separate country. You’ve heard of the French or the British nation. Well, this is the Imagine nation. It’s a wonderful place.
How would you like to make snowballs in the summertime?
Or drive a big bus right down 10th Avenue?
How would you like to have a ship all to yourself… that makes daily trips to China and Australia?
How would you like to be the Statue of Liberty… in the morning and in the afternoon… fly south with a flock of geese…
It’s very simple. Of course, it takes practice. The first thing you’ve got to learn is how to pretend.
And the next time Homer says, “What kind of animal are you?” Tell him you’re a monkey.
Susan: I don’t know how to be a monkey.
Kris: Sure you do. Here, I’ll show you. Now just bend your body over a little.
Let your arms hang loose, see? Now put your right hand up here… under here.
Now scratch yourself, see? That’s right. Put your tongue under your lips, over your teeth.
Susan: Like this?
Kris: That’s right. Now scratch yourself and chatter, see?
Bla bla bla! Eeek! Eeek erp!
Faith is believing in things… when common sense tells you not to.
I still believe. Do you?!
Is common sense getting in your way this season? What kinds of things do you do to keep your child-like wonder? I’d love to hear your favorite Santa stories – from times past or something that happened yesterday.