Wednesday, December 23, 2009

For the New Year

A year and a half ago, I decided to start a blog about the joy of movies. you can see, that idea fell flat. 18 months have passed and not a single blog has been written. I know I can get a bit distracted sometimes, but this, of course, is life. It happens, pushing us in directions we never thought we'd go, and not always for the better. The last year and a half was filled with a unsatisfying job that has somehow sucked the joy out of my daily existence. Now I know I'm one of the lucky ones, for many have lost their jobs and are still jobless today. I have been privileged to have enough money to cover my bills, rent and medical needs. I appreciate that very much. But in an effort to start the new year off in a more positive direction for me and my happiness, I am starting this blog up again, and I hope y'all enjoy it.

And so, since it tis the season, let's talk about Christmas movies. For the past 8 months, I have been without cable. This is a huge deal for me, to which my family and friends will attest. However, thanks to the Internet, Netflix, and my friends WITH cable, it's been surprisingly easy to handle...until this holiday season started. There's nothing better during December than curling up in a blanket with a hot cup of cocoa and flipping channels to find a nice Christmas special to watch. Whether it be "The Flintstones" Christmas special or "Holiday Inn," there's always something on at this time of year. So in my depravity, I have been pulling out every Christmas DVD I own, and rewatching them over and over to fill the void my cable has left and truly discovering my favorites.

First is "It's a Wonderful Life." Most people think of the ending when they think of this movie. The last 30 mins where George Bailey sees his world as if he hadn't existed, realizing how special he truly is in the process, is one of the most iconic storylines in Hollywood history. However, the beginning of this movie I believe is the part to cherish. It takes aim at the simple life so many of us lead. I, like George, have had huge dreams my entire life, but they are currently still dreams. But his simple bits of happiness are the true joy of his life. He's real, he's all of us, trying to get through the day with our dreams still in tact, for that is what keeps us going, but searching for those tiny daily joys that make us human. Things get tough for him at the end, like so many of us. But I like to think that after the movie's ending, when George sees all the people who care about him, he still has his dreams to warm his thoughts. They may have changed, but especially in our world today, they are what help us through.

Second is a newer one, "Elf." This silly Will Ferrell vehicle still makes me chuckle every time I watch it. I think it works so well because it's a throwback to those Christmas cartoons we all grew up with, like "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." It's the simple story of a human "elf" named Buddy who only wants to find out where he really came from. However, this story focuses mainly on Christmas Spirit, a feeling that I believe really has been lost in our commercialized world. For me, Christmas is the time to celebrate all the love in your life, from your significant other to your best friend to your family (much better than that silly day in February). And this movie helps emphasize just that.

And my third favorite repeat? "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," the classic cartoon with Boris Karloff (not the horrible live-action movie). When I watch this, I feel a rush of nostalgia all over me. To this day, I can still recite every line, every pause, every song. This was the cartoon to watch every Christmas Eve with the Christmas tree glinting in the corner. Then you would turn off the lights, head to bed, and try your hardest to sleep in anticipation of what surprises awaited you the next morn.

So, if you are searching for something to watch tomorrow night, I recommend any of those three. Each one is the quintessential reason this season is the best time of year. Grab that blanket, that warm mug, and have a Meeeeeeeerryy Christmas!