Friday, December 19, 2008

My Favorite Holiday Movie

Every year, either on Christmas eve or Christmas night, I watch "It's a Wonderful Life." (Okay, a few times when I was younger, Channel 2 showed it on New Year's Eve, so I watched it then.)

My point: I love this movie.

It's my desert island movie.

I love this movie so much, that my family members laugh hysterically at the mere mention of it in my presence.

And in today's issue of The New York Times online, there is an interesting piece about what a terrifying tale George Bailey's life truly is.

And I agree.

Life is, generally speaking, not that pleasant most of the time. George's life in particular, is a long, hard road of deferred dreams and sacrifice, culminating in a suicide attempt at the depressing realization that he's "worth more dead than alive".

But like most lives, George has a choice. And no one is untouched by George's choices. And therein lies the redemptive power of this film.

When George finally realizes that his (self-perceived) horrible life touched so many others for the better, and that he was always surrounded by the only truly valuable thing we can ever have--love--it's a moment of pure grace.

And that's why I adore this movie so much. Grace, love, joy, the choice to do good....they are always possible even in the darkest and most self-doubting moments.

Embrace them.

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