George Bailey, I’ll Love You Till the Day I Die

I’m a bit of an It’s a Wonderful Life fan. (Like…it’s my very favorite-est!) I’ve already shared a bit about that. To me, the movie resonates deeply on a number of levels. But it’s Frabjous Friday time, so I won’t get into a long discourse on why this movie is so amazingly awesome.

What I will share here is a new joy that the movie is bringing me. See, I’ve always been an old movie buff, so it’s no shock that my relationship with IAWL began when I was just a kid (back in the day when the copyright had expired and they showed it approximately 20,498 times a season). But in this day and age, most people under 30 (or maybe even 40) are pretty much not interested in a black and white movie. (“It’s booooring.” Sigh.)

That’s why the fact that my kid is loving It’s a Wonderful Life is a huge joy to me. The torch has been passed. My kid is starting to “get” the depth that the movie has to offer, and I am delighted. As the years go on, I’m hoping his love for it grows, and that he’ll be able to share it with his child one day.

That’s all I’ll say on my beloved movie today. Except if you haven’t seen it in a while (or…ever?!?!?), you should make the time to do so. It will be time well spent. (And someday I’m going to watch it with the sole purpose of counting how many sayings from the movie have become a part of our family’s lexicon–I’m a little scared to find out. I know it will be a number deep into the double digits.)

Happy Frabjous Friday, folks. I hope you were all able to make some wonderful memories this Christmas season…after all, it IS a wonderful life!

[Email subscribers: please remember you will have to click through to my blog to view the clip.]

We Could All Stand to Be a Little More Like Elf


Son of a nutcracker, do I love the movie Elf. Watching it with my family last night for the umpteenth time, I realized why this has become my second favorite Christmas movie (after It’s a Wonderful Life, of course):

Buddy the Elf has a passion for life that I want. He is full throttle in a world that is used to idling, and it’s contagious.

[Side note: if you have yet to see this movie, you need to. Not only will it make you smile, but this post might make more sense!]

Buddy is excited and curious and wonderfully open in a very jaded, guarded world. Every day is an adventure that he just can’t wait to begin.

Words to live by
Words to live by

Nothing like a cup of coffee between friends
Nothing like a cup of coffee between friends

His over-the-top enthusiasm is on full display in the mailroom scene, where he is talking to the ex-con who is adding “syrup” to his coffee. Before long, he is having a tickle fight with the guy and Russian dancing on the tabletop. Even former inmates melt with the zest that Buddy brings to life. (Yes, I’m sure the coffee-spiking helped smooth the rough edges, too, but I doubt there would be table dancing in the absence of our exuberant elf).

Elf’s childlike qualities don’t mean he is one-dimensional, though. His life hasn’t been one big success after another. He has been an oddball since he was a child—and then he gets sprung from one world where he doesn’t quite fit right into another. And without getting too ridiculously analytical about a lighthearted Christmas movie, he also has to face the fact that the world and father he thought he knew aren’t really his—and leave to face rejection from his “real” dad. Not exactly a walk in the park—in fact, walks in the park with Buddy can result in getting mauled by an angry raccoon who is simply not interested in hugging it out.

Maybe a little intense, what?
Maybe a little intense, but…so what?

He could have let the world beat him down and lose his joy, but Buddy’s spirit is indomitable. Whether he’s having a blast discovering a revolving door or trying to put the angel on top of the Christmas tree, Buddy is all in.

And couldn’t we all stand to be a bit more like that? I know I could. What’s wrong with singing loud for all to hear or putting “snuggle” on your ToDo list? Not one darn thing.

Buddy’s enthusiasm and openness offers hope in a cynical world of disbelief. And, thankfully, that goodness has a ripple effect on those around him. The good guys win this round. Santa’s sleigh gets the lift it needs, and everyone is a little better off for taking a few notes from a big green and yellow tights-wearing elf who likes to put maple syrup on his spaghetti.

Yes, I know it is not as simple as that. After all, it IS a movie. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t remind ourselves that there is beauty in the unaffected approach to life. That looking at the world with fresh eyes helps us to see things that we otherwise would have missed with our world-weary blinders on.

And what better time to remember this than the Christmas season, where there is so much magic to enjoy and embrace?

So go find an escalator to explore or a snowball fight to engage in or someone to hug…The clock is ticking, and there’s a wide world out there with plenty of cotton balls for you to eat.