Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's a Wonderful (Sappy) Life

It happens every holiday season, usually in the midst of the most hectic day of decorating or baking or some other stressful-but-somehow-necessary yuletide preparation. Sometimes I'm dragging tangled Christmas lights through the house, looking for the extension cord. Other times I'm frantically searching for just two more pieces of tape to finish wrapping the last gift so I don't have to resort to the BandAids I've been eyeing in the medicine cabinet.

Someone is flipping through the channels on the TV, and there it is again . . . "It's a Wonderful Life."

I roll my eyes. I must have seen it a dozen times. It's sappy and corny and doesn't even try to be subtle about the MORAL LESSON. And it's in black and white, for heaven's sake.

I mean to pass by. I've got Christmas cards to address, and those cookies for the neighbors aren't going to bake themselves.

I WILL pass by. Right after this funny caught-in-the-bushes-with-no-clothes scene. And George singing "Buffalo Gals" with Mary. And of course, I can't miss that great honeymoon dinner in the dilapidated house in the pouring rain.

After that, I naturally have to see the BLACK MOMENT when Uncle Billy loses the cash that Bailey Building and Loan owes the bank and George realizes he's "worth more dead than alive."

It would be irresponsible to leave off there. I don't want to completely destroy my holiday mood, after all. So I sit through a few more scenes of George in his alternate universe . . . where Mary is a spinster, his brother Harry is dead, and the town has become a den of sin.

Being a romance writer, I'm just not satisfied without a happy ending, so I need to keep watching until George reaches his turning point and finds redemption.

By then, the movie's practically over, so I might as well finish it. The details all come back to me . . . Zuzu's petals, the loose knob at the bottom of the stairs, the loyal townspeople crowding into George's house. No, those aren't tears welling in my eyes as they sing "Auld Lang Syne." Okay, maybe they are. And I find my lips moving along with "every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings."

Sigh . . .

The oven has been preheating for three hours, the cards are still unaddressed, and the tree is still bare. But I think I've finally found my Christmas spirit.

So is anyone else a hopeless addict when it comes to "It's a Wonderful Life"?

Sarah McKerrigan...
Stories to keep you up all night!
LADY DANGER - Riding to the rescue April 2006
CAPTIVE HEART - Coming for you October 2006
KNIGHT'S PRIZE - Stealing your heart April 2007
DANGER'S KISS - Flirting with trouble May 2008


Shari Anton said...

I watch it at least once a year. Can't be Christmas without it!

Barbara Vey said...

It's the bells ringing that gets to me. "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings." I think of this movie every time I hear a bell ring. I'm hooked.

Amy said...