It seems that usually sometime in October, I will dig out a holiday CD and pop it in for a quick fix. Then, I pull out the Christmas DVD's in our growing collection and use the excuse of "entertaining the pups" to start watching them well before Thanksgiving.
This year, I realized that there are some real gems to be found in the classics - if you are just listening. In particular, these messages have caught my ear and captured my heart.....
~~"The Polar Express"~~
I've loved this story since I discovered the book with my children many years ago! It's all about Believing. When the movie came out, it seemed to speak to adults more than to children. In reading reviews, it became apparent that the animation and artwork seemed a little "creepy" and "dark" to children. But, I loved it! And the music was beyond fabulous! I particularly love the the song "Believe", sung by Josh Groban during the final credits. In listening to the words, I am struck by one phrase -
"Destinations are where we begin again."
Wow, think about it for a moment. This is so true in life, isn't it? So much of the focus in life is on reaching a "destination", but what happens after that? Well, the next story begins. Even as we strive toward to the final destination, this is a reminder that it is only the beginning....
~~"Miracle on 34th Street"~~
This classic movie has been remade several times. I still love the original version with Natalie Wood, but have a special fondness for the mid-90's version and it's timeless feel. At one point in the movie, Kris Kringle is talking to a "non-believer" about her lack of belief in the spirit of Santa Claus -
"If you can't believe, have faith, in something unseen, you are doomed to a life filled with doubt."
This is true on so many levels, isn't it? Without faith and pure belief, doubt is always present. Faith and believing in things we can't see with our eyes is one of the cornerstones in our daily walk with God....
~~"It's a Wonderful Life"~~
The most classic of all Christmas films, without a doubt! So many messages on so many levels....
"No man is a failure who has friends."
If you take away nothing else from this tale, take this truth! The final scene in the movie, as the people from town gather around George Bailey and his family, is one of the most memorable. Filled with a renewed Joy for life and gratitude for the selfless acts of others, George has the realization that each one of us touches so many others simply by our existence. Each one of us has special value and purpose in this life, whether we realize it or not. But, what a blessing to see evidence of that purpose!
Although Hollywood often sends out negative or mixed signals, once in a while they get it right! These are just three examples of nuggets of wisdom found in holiday movies that encourage and inspire. And I am thankful for the message of each!!!
So, bring on the hot chocolate and candy canes! Settle on the sofa with your loved ones and pop in one of the Christmas classics. Sing along - out loud - to the sounds of your favorite Christmas tunes as you drive around town. Smile and savor the simple truth of the holiday message!
Listening to the words of the season....