Sunday, December 13, 2009

Virtual Advent: No Man is a Failure Who Has Friends


It's my day on the virtual advent tour and I thought I would write about my favorite Christmas movie. I love Christmas movies no matter how sappy they may be, there's something nice about watching something that fans the flames of hope. There's enough in the world to bring us down, what I love about Christmas is that it gives us permission to set aside the skepticism in our hearts and believe.

From the quote, you've probably figured out that It's A Wonderful Life is my favorite Christmas movie.

It really is, in my opinion, the perfect Christmas story. It's the perfect Christmas story, because it's about imperfect people and imperfect circumstances and that joyful reality that even in our imperfection we matter to each other. We matter. Our lives matter.

It's a Wonderful Life is the story of a good man, though not a perfect man, who faces a crisis on Christmas Eve. Overcome with the weight of a great sum of lost money, he wishes he had never been born. When an angel shows him what that would have meant in the lives of those he loves, he realizes his live has more value than he thought.

Another thing I love about the movie is that it consistently makes something new from what has been broken or lost. And love and friendship is the means by which this happens. Nothing demonstrates this so beautifully as the old house George and his wife move into and start to restore.

There are many ways by which we measure success in this world. Money, career, number of books read in a year. ;) But the truth is that I believe that each of your lives are your own beautiful gift to this world. To love one another and show friendship is the greatest value we can give. Nothing else will ever matter as much in importance or last as long.

So I'm here to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, to encourage you to cherish and treasure the family and friendships in your life and to simply remind you that you matter and your life is of great worth. I'm thankful to all of you that I call friend.

I've been sharing a Christmas song everyday this week, and in honor of It's a Wonderful Life, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing". It's Amy Grant, because I had a hard time finding a version of the song I liked, which is basically one that sounds like we'd sing it in church! :)





Amy

19 comments:

Amanda said...

I sort of embarrassingly have to admit that I've never seen this movie. I saw part of it last year, but too much was going on and I never had a chance to finish it. Last night, the end of it was on when I turned on the TV to catch the news and I remembered that I really needed to watch it...

bermudaonion said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. So often, we measure success by the wrong things, but in the end what matters is how we live our life.

Cat said...

I used to get teased in my college film studies courses because I never, ever liked any of the "classic" movies. Unfortunately this is one that falls into that category. Although I completely agree with the meaning of the film, I just couldn't ever get in to it. I find it uncomfortable and slightly creepy. I wish I didn't because it has a wonderful message, but I think maybe it was just too "real" for me? I don't handle negative things very well.

Every year I discover new people that look at me in shock when I tell them I don't really like this movie. And when I tell them I don't like A Christmas Story either (that one was way freaky to me!).

But I love the message and I honestly wish I liked this movie!

Kailana said...

Great post, Amy! Thanks for joining in and Happy Holidays!

Chris said...

Zuzu gets me everytime.

Melissa said...

My husband and I watch this every Christmas Eve after the kids go to bed. And every Christmas Eve, I tell myself that I'm *not* going to cry. But, as the story barrels toward the end, I find myself (even though I *know* what's going to happen) tearing up. Every time. I love it.

Nan said...

I agree with every single word. This was wonderful. I like the way the movie is very honest. People make plans, have dreams, think they 'must' live a certain way, and for a million reasons their lives turn out differently. People who say it is a trite or sappy movie are really missing out here. They should pay attention to the look on George's face when he feels trapped, when he has to do what he has to do instead of what he wants to do. Oh, the whole thing is a masterpiece of story-telling, and a lesson in life. Thanks for this great, great post.

Molly said...

Love - love - love this movie and watch it every Christmas Eve as I wrap the stocking gifts. I never fail to cry at the end!

I also enjoy Preacher's Wife - which is a similar story but has great music sung by Whitney Houston.

sprite said...

I agree with you about the movie. Some don't like the movie because the villain essentially gets away with the crime he's perpetrated, but I think that's part of the movie's message: There are always going to be negatives that affect your life, but all you can do is to keep on plugging away, doing your best, and, in the end, you reap what you sow. Old Man Potter might have more money than God, but what does it ultimately matter?

Aarti said...

Like Amanda, I must admit that I've never seen this movie. I should really see it, based on how much you love it!

prashant said...

Thanks for joining in and Happy Holidays!

Work from home India

Lisa said...

I just watched this movie last night; love it! I also like the lesson that, while it's great to have ambitions, don't feel that you are a failure if you never achieve that particular ambition. Surely life has taken you down a different path and success needs to be measured by how well you've done on that path.

Dreamybee said...

What a great movie and a great post to highlight it. I think I cry more every time I watch it, even though, like Melissa said, I *know* what's going to happen. I think that's what makes it even better-it's like being in on a really great secret, and you can't wait for it to be revealed so you can celebrate with the benefactor. Gah! I'm tearing up right now just thinking about it! LOL.

kiirstin said...

Very nice post, Amy! This is such a wonderful movie -- sappy or not (and I agree with Nan) it's got sticking power. You've shone a lovely light on why.

stacybuckeye said...

I love this movie and plan on watching it next week with my husband. Such an introspective inspiration.

Memory said...

What a wonderful post! I must admit, I've never seen the movie, but I did see a theatrical adaptation a couple of weeks ago. It was lovely, and definitely kindled my interest in seeing the original film.

Michelle said...

I must admit that I've never seen this movie in its entirety. I keep being told its a great movie but I haven't ever taken the opportunity to watch it fully.

Susan Higginbotham said...

I'm getting here late, but what a lovely summary of a great movie!

Elizabeth said...

I love this movie, but my husband loves it more. I'm pretty sure he can recite it, beginning to end. We watch it every year as we decorate our tree.

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