|Photo from historyadventuring.com.|
“We know love by this. . . to lay down our lives for one another.” – 1 John 3:16
I put up my Christmas tree. I know, I know, I’m part of the problem. I should wait until after Thanksgiving. But as I sit here in the glow of my twinkle lights, I’m smiling.
Not only did the kids and I put up the tree, but I also watched It’s a Wonderful Life (It’s on Amazon Prime). My aunts on the Steffens side always had this playing during the holidays when I was growing up. I’m convinced it’s a Thanksgiving movie.
Top 10 Reasons to watch this 1938 film for Thanksgiving this year:
1. When that one guy bails in the pool. During the dance scene, the gym floor opens up. The man in charge (I think the Principal) starts to panic as chaos ensues. The moment where he throws his hands up and bombs in himself is a good life lesson, and it’s priceless.
2. People say so much while not saying anything. How often are George and Mary saying everything with just their faces? A favorite author of mine, Madeline L’Engle, had two signs hanging in her office: “Listen to the Silence. Stay open to the voice of the Spirit.” And “Slow me Down, Lord.” Sometimes fewer words are needed.
3. Keep it simple. The opening credits to this film are pieces of paper with someone grabbing one piece after another, sliding them out of the camera shot. Don’t make it complicated. Simple can be beautiful.
4. Look at my life with fresh eyes. When George runs through Bedford Falls near the end, suddenly normal is beautiful and worth yelling about. “Merry Christmas you wonderful old Building and Loan!”
5. For the fully-grown Oak trees. There’s not just one, but ten. The visual of this says something about the value of sticking with people, of sticking somewhere over the long haul. How might we feel more gratitude if we’re living Oak Tree lives?
6. For the old times music. Who doesn’t want to get the song, “Buffalo Gals Won’t You Come Out Tonight,” stuck in their head? You’re welcome.
7. To reflect on life. The big question is asked twice, “What do you want, George?” And “What do you want, Mary?”
8. To see Zuzu. She’s cute. You can’t help but smile with her and that flower and, “Not a smidge of temperature.” I just love it.
9. To giggle at Clarence. Seconds after a tense situation, he’s always laughing with his angel friends at the bigger picture. What if we all just move on and laugh?
10. To be reminded. Our true value is not in what we make or what we earn, but it is in our relationships. “No man (or woman) is a failure who has friends.”
Cheers to that and Happy Thanksgiving Week! Thanks so much to anyone who’s reading along. Today’s Gratitude Dare is to express gratitude to a relative, so if/when you see family this week, take the time to say thanks.