It's a Wonderful Life; Holiday Movie Lessons

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It certainly is - a wonderful life! The message of this movie is one that I wish everyone would embrace and take to heart. Every person is here for a reason, and the things we do everyday touch others lives - in ways we may not realize.

My husband said it best "Sometimes we get caught up in the moment and forget to look at the big picture and see what a wonderful life we have and the seemingly insignificant things we do that make a difference for someone."  

Let's all remember to appreciate the people who make a difference in our lives!

The Santa Clause; Holiday Movie Lessons

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Super clever, right?  Taking Santa’s last name and turning it into the terms of a legal contract is a creative plot for a movie. I have always liked Tim Allen and watching him change from a curmudgeon into a guy that not only gets the Spirit of Christmas, but also into a good dad is pretty good stuff. This movie brings everything about Santa Clause to life for me – from the reindeer (adorable) to life at the North Pole to the true magic of Santa’s Christmas Eve escapades. I find myself really wanting to believe that this is all true – thus the following points.

1.      Kids are willing to let go of reality so easily and I love that.

2.      Sometimes we should let go of the plan, go with the moment and enjoy the ride.

3.      Why is it so hard to believe in something we don’t have a logical explanation for?

Maybe one of the reasons I love this time of year so much is that I can imagine the sound of reindeer hoofs on my rooftop and someone that keeps track of all our doings – naughty and nice! Here’s to all the BELIEVERS!

Jack Frost; Holiday Movie Lessons

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I love Michael Keaton (always have), but this is a bad movie. I own it because … I own all of Michael Keaton movies and that is the only reason. It seems there are a lot of Christmas movies where someone dies, or someone is living a life of poor choices and an angel (or snowman) comes from beyond the veil to offer help. I guess I never really thought about that until I starting watching these movies looking for what they might teach us.  So, even from a movie that isn’t very good, I was able to find a few things to ponder (a couple might be stolen directly from the script).

1.      If you want to stop an army, stop the general.

2.      Not handing over your report card as soon as you get home is never a good sign of what’s to come.

3.      Sometimes we think that the material things like houses, cars, nice clothes or big paychecks matter more than spending time together with people we care about.

4.      Some things only happen once and they’re gone; those are things we need to consider when making about choices about where we spend our time.

A Christmas Story; Holiday Movie Lessons

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Why do think this movie is so popular?

Is it because it’s super easy to watch, while being partially distracted?

Is it because we can all relate to at least one scene in the movie?

Is it because we all had that childhood Christmas when we desperately wanted something that we were sure we wouldn’t get and by some miracle, we got it on Christmas morning?

Whatever the reasons for its popularity, it’s become a Christmas tradition!  And, here are my 5 lessons.

1.      Imagination is a powerful, driving force.

2.      Having someone put soap in their mouth for swearing DOES work (I have personal experience).

3.      Little brothers are annoying.

4.      Moms make almost anything better

5.      Really, really wanting something can set us up for disappointment or a magical ending!

Scrooged; Holiday Movie Lessons

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Watching someone be so incredibly cynical and mean is tough. I know that the Charles Dickens’ Scrooge was unkind and selfish, but Bill Murray’s character takes mean to a new level.  It wasn’t difficult at all to find some words of wisdom in this movie.

1.      If your boss’s values clash with yours, save yourself and quit your job.  You’ll be fine somewhere else.

2.      We might benefit from listening to the voices of those who have been down a similar path; their advice may be very helpful and save us some tough times.

3.      Drinking does not erase pain – it only delays it.

4.      Everything we do and say is teaching our kids something about how to behave.

5.      When we get so wrapped up in our work that we no longer notice how people around us are feeling, it’s a sign that we have the wrong priorities.

Christmas in Connecticut; Holiday Movie Lessons

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This movie is so much fun, and pure nonsense.  I could only pull one lesson from it;

TELL THE TRUTH!  Sooner or later your lies are going to catch up with you and the longer you tell them, the more lies you have to tell to cover up and the more difficult it becomes to remember all the lies. 

My Dad always said, "If you always tell the truth, you won't have to worry about not remembering what lies you told."   It's funny in a movie, but not so much fun in real life!

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town; Holiday Movie Lessons

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These little Claymation characters don’t look very realistic, do they?  Who cares? The story is great, and if anyone is planning on having Santa Claus as part of their family tradition then they need to watch this because it answers every Santa question they could possibly have.

The lessons below all come from Santa’s story, but they seem like pretty great year round ideas to me!

1.      Maybe we never outgrow the child inside us that finds delight in a toy

2.      We get what we give

3.      It is difficult to resist genuine happiness and cheer

4.      It takes a group to accomplish something wonderful, as everyone brings their own extraordinary gifts.

Beyond Christmas; Holiday Movie Lessons

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This movie is ancient! Made in 1940 with actors that have now all passed on, it was originally filmed in black and white. I am quite sure I own it because I get sucked into purchasing things on iTunes and Amazon when they say "if you like this, then you might also enjoy this".  Invariably, I buy both this and this!

If you haven't seen it, it's a cute old fantasy film about three successful, lonely old men who befriend two people on Christmas Eve. The two people quickly become a couple and the three old men die in a plane crash. After that, their ghosts play guardian angels and try to help these two young people find lasting happiness.  Predictable - unbelievable - hopeful!

These lessons are direct quotes from the film.

1.      The way to be happy is to serve others ( I LOVE THIS ONE!!!!)

2.      There are no strangers on Christmas Eve

3.      We need music in the world just as much as we need bridges

4.      Sometimes we have to go to the darkness alone before we can see the light

Elf; Holiday Movie Lessons

 Smiling - smiling's my favorite  Work - make work your favorite

Smiling - smiling's my favorite

Work - make work your favorite

 

Christmas Vacation and White Christmas used to be my fav holiday movies, but Elf has quickly moved up the ranks just because Elf is so darned happy and it's hard not to be happy with him. I was having so much fun watching that I almost forgot to look for a few nuggets of wisdom. I scraped together these 5.  Let me know what you think!

1.      You must leave the comfort of home to see who you really are.

2.      When you’re happy all the time and smile, people may think you’re on drugs or something is wrong with you.

3.      “If you can sing alone, you can sing in front of people; there’s really no difference.”

4.      It is very important to feel you like belong.

5.      Having someone believe in you can make all the difference in what you believe about yourself.

 

The Christmas Card; Holiday Movie Lessons

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I’m pretty sure this was a Hallmark or Lifetime Christmas movie, as it has all the markings.  Idyllic small town, snow at the perfect time, romantic triangle, sweet as pie family, dream house … It’s all here in this movie, plus commercial breaks without commercials.  Watching it does make me think it would be nice to live in Nevada City in a huge log home with a wraparound porch and drive a Jeep! I found 3 brief lessons – all focused on things of the heart:

1.      When it comes to matters of the heart, no one else can tell you what to do; you must make your own decisions.

2.      When a choice is the right choice, there is no second guessing. You might not be able to explain why, but you just know it's right. Sometimes your heart knows what your brain doesn’t (by the way there is research to back this up).

3.      We never know what might come from a small, simple act of kindness.