Sunday, December 13, 2009

Amazing, but true!

I was talking to one of my friends tonight. She is forty something. She has never seen the Jimmy Stewart movie "It's a Wonderful Life."

How can that be? I can not comprehend it. I thought every parent in the world would have seen that movie. What else do you watch when it's 1:00 am Christmas Day and you are still applying decals and hunting for batteries? (Did you know there are convenience stores that stay open all night Christmas Eve, stocked with all battery sizes? There's nothing worse than thinking that Santa is all finished and then discovering you needed "D's" instead of "C's"!)

There were a few Christmases when "It's a Wonderful Life" was not copyrighted, so that every station seemed to run it every late night in December. I know at least one Christmas Eve Ricky and I watched it through three times before Santa's chores were done.

I am not exaggerating in saying I've seen the movie at least a hundred times. Ricky may have seen it even more. He uses one of the scenes, the scene with Mr. Potter taking over the banks at the start of the 1930's depression, as an illustration in his economics classes. We both can speak the dialogue from most of the movie.

There are other great Christmas movies. "A Christmas Story" is the classic of the last decade, usually available on TV around the clock December 24th and 25th. My friend hasn't seen that one either.

Every mother should watch and cheer the mom in "A Christmas Story" as she tricks Randy into eating his mashed potatoes, hides Ralphie's misdeeds from his dad and "accidentally" shatters the ugly leg lamp her husband won as a prize. Every mother identifies with her admonition to Ralphie that he not shoot his eye out with the coveted BB gun.

Every father should watch "A Christmas Story" and cheer the dad who remembers his childhood joy well enough to know when he should give his own son a similar cherished gift. And it doesn't hurt for dads to watch that movie and realize that children copy what a dad says and does, not what a dad tells them to say and do. I'm thinking of the time Ralphie has to spend with a bar of soap in his mouth.

There are a lot of traditional holiday movies and television specials this time of year. So which ones will you take time to watch?


Wiley said...

Oh, so you're saying that "Santa" isn't real, and that you buy gifts, leave them unwrapped, and say they're from Santa?

P.S. I still believe in Santa

The one who hasn't seen Its a wonderful life said...

I believe in Santa too!! and this is my favorite post! made me laugh out loud... I could tell it really threw you for a loop.... you got a glazed look over your eyes! I will watch it this year.... just for you! But can I watch a Christmas story too? I'll make sure I get them all in... what else should I watch?

Life in the Fifties said...

I hope you've at least seen "White Christmas." I love that movie, corny as it is, except for the one jazzy dance they do and even though the dancing sister is way too thin.

And the original "Miracle on 34th Street" is awfully good. The remake (that you saw) is actually pretty good, but the authenticity, even with its working single mother, of the original makes it special.

jennifer said...

I ashamed to say that I haven't seen White Christmas either... Can I come raid your Christmas library? hahahahahha

Life in the Fifties said...

Any time! We have an extra copy of "It's a Wonderful Life" that you can even take your time returning.