I got thinking about the subject when a Facebook friend posted a link to an article he had recently added to his blog: “Three reasons why everyone should watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ this Christmas“. So inspired I was by his comment that this was not just the best ever Christmas movie but the best movie ever that I decided to add this to my must watch list. In fact a day later, it was my turn for the Church Winter Night Shelter and I managed to persuade the guests that this was the movie to watch that evening, which we did. I was only able to watch snippets but it is on my Christmas viewing list.
I suppose when it comes to Christmas I am somewhere between Ebenezer Scrooge with his bah, humbug take on the whole proceedings and the sentimental come materialistic mentality that commercial interests would have as adopt. I have still not shaken off all my strict non-conformist roots that was ambivalent at best toward celebrating Christmas and any special day come to that but I am working on it. Christmas is a time of opportunity, spreading good will and cheer, renewing old friendships and making new ones, being with family, attending special events, singing carols and welcoming the Saviour of the world, which remains the focus of that celebration whatever any liberal elite might say to the contrary.
When it comes to watching Christmas movies, I am normally not a big fan because of their tendency to irritate due to the sentimental slosh element, although not quite so much as some of the music that attacks my ears wherever I go at this time of the year and causes me to want to run away, but I dare say I will watch some. I can well imagine watching one of the renditions of Christmas Carol (talking of Scrooge) and the Snowman for the umpteenth time, and of course “It’s a Wonderful Life“. Without wanting to introduce spoilers, one of the themes of the film is that the hero who had spent his life doing good, at great personal sacrifice, had come to the end of his tether but was visited by an angel who attempted to steer him in the right direction, but you need to watch the film to see what happens next. It got me thinking about a TV series which contained many of those themes, which if pressed happens to be my favorite TV show ever.
That show, which comprises five series of episodes (111 in total), is “Highway to Heaven” and amazingly all the episodes are still freely downloadable on You Tube. I find watching one of the episodes to be a great pick me up when I am feeling low or sorry for myself, and an inspiration to carry on. The central figure is Jonathan Smith, a probationary angel, who is assigned tasks by “the Boss” (God), which often amounts to something akin to what we see in “It’s a Wonderful Life“, and carries these out assisted by his human sidekick, Mark. He generally manages to sort out an in need of an uplift and a helping hand hero with the help of the odd miracle or two, although there is often a hard edge to what happens that reminds us life is not always all sweetness and light. My favorite episode of the series has to be “Wally” but I will resist saying more, other than suggest that you download and watch it for yourself.
I am no angel and I don’t possess miraculous powers, but I have seen too much going on around me of people needing the sort of help that our angels were able to give and where it is possible to make a difference, so that is what I intend to do this Christmas and for the rest of the year as well. And as Mr Scrooge might have said or have heartily responded to, after he had been shown the error of his ways – “Merry Christmas, God bless us, one and all” 🙂