Saturday, December 18, 2004

It's a Wonderful Life

Well, 'tis the season to be jolly. Fa la la and so on.

Tonight I pose a question that I'm sure most people ask themselves after watching the classic film "It's a Wonderful Life." What would the world be like if I had never been born? Now, I'm not in the same shoes that George Bailey found himself in towards the end of the movie. I haven't lost $8,000 and am not contemplating throwing myself off a bridge into frigid waters. I'm just curious. We don't think about the people that we may have touched along our own life's journey. We're too caught up in our own day-to-day happenings. "How will this effect me?" "What am I gonna get out of it?" These are selfish questions that we're all guilty of asking.

My theory is that our lives are like a pebble dropped into a pond. If you've ever seen the effect that the pebble has on the surface of the water, then you can probably understand my point. When that little rock breaks the surface it causes a ripple effect that keeps on spreading. That's how our actions can be seen. Your life will touch other lives, and those lives will go on to touch others, and so on. Another movie that can draw from this is "Pay It Forward" with Kevin Spacey and the kid from "The Sixth Sense." What's his name? Haley Joel Osment or something. The idea there is that one person would do something great for three other people. And instead of those people paying the one person back, they would pay it forward, doing something great for three more people. How much greater would the world be if we all lived by that standard?

I digress. I was talking about a movie that is generally saved for Christmas, but really has a valuable message that we can take with us all year. "It's a Wonderful Life" tells us about George Bailey and how he sacrificed all of his dreams of greatness to make a difference in the little town of Bedford Falls. He comes into some really hard times, as most of us do at some point. When he feels like he's at the end of his rope, an angel named Clarence shows him just how great his life really was, and what a difference he made in others' lives.

And then there's Mr. Potter. Has anyone else ever wondered what happened to that old fart after the end of the movie? I sure have. Did he ever get what was coming to him. I know George certainly got what was coming to him. But what about Potter? When it comes right down to it, he stole that $8,000. He knew the money belonged to the Building & Loan, and yet he held onto it. Probably put it in a safe with the rest of his mountains of gold. What a jerk!

Christmas is now a week away. I'm one of those last minute shoppers. I've gotten gifts for approximately two people. One I got a few weeks ago, only because I had a discount at Old Navy that was only good for the first week in December. The other I finished up tonight, only because I have to give the present tomorrow when I have Christmas with my mom's extended family. I'm really bad with the gift buying thing. Especially this year.

I've moved back home after being gone for 6 years. Last year I had a clear cut view of who to buy gifts for and I knew exactly what to get them. This year, it's not so easy. The dynamic in so many of my relationships has changed, I'm left questioning whether or not I should even buy stuff for some of those people that I still call my closest friends. And then there's the issue of having a stepfather now. That's right, my mom got married today. Yeah, today.

I didn't go to the wedding. Technically there was no wedding. I'm sketchy on the details, but I'm pretty sure they got married at the courthouse. I was invited, but I opted to have lunch with some friends instead. Someday maybe I'll go into detail about all this on here. But for now, let's just stick with the weirdness that will be celebrating Christmas tomorrow.

This year is also pretty rough for the family. Tomorrow we are celebrating Christmas at my grandmother's house. Tomorrow is the six month anniversary of my grandfather's death. And now mommie dearest wants to get all the attention focused on her because she got married. Again... something for another time. There would be bitterness there if you can pick that up.

If you watch any holiday movies this season, you should definitely see these three films: "It's a Wonderful Life," "A Christmas Story," and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." These are all classics that the whole family can pretty much enjoy. Happy holidays everyone!

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