Life Lessons from the Classics
This time of year, many people are busy with the holidays.
Our traditions are wrapped in our family history, our religion, our culture. No matter your background or practice, you likely will find yourself watching at least one classic Christmas movie.
Most years I try to resist. Do I really need to watch It’s A Wonderful Life again? And then somehow, I find myself sitting down with my family as it starts, swept into the well-known plot from many years ago. I wish it stopped there, but just the other evening I watched Frosty the Snowman.
What is it about these classics that pull us in?
Perhaps because it will make me feel less guilty, I started thinking about the lessons these movies teach. Each offers more than entertainment. There are many life lessons that are woven into each one—too many to list.
Here are a few lessons from some of the movies I’ve seen far too many times to admit:
Love cannot be purchased in a store (or even online).
Don’t give up on anyone because everyone can change.
“It came without ribbons, it came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags.” -Grinch
Pure joy will win over even the most resistant.
Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from being yourself.
“We elves stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.” -Buddy the Elf
The Santa Clause
Accidents, mistakes, and failures may be the start of something awesome.
Being is often more important than doing.
“I think that if we’re going to destroy our son’s illusions, I should be a part of it.” -Scott as Santa
Miracle on 34th Street
All positive achievements start with belief.
Always put people ahead of profit.
“Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.” -Doris Walker
Everyone has something special to offer the world.
What you think is a negative may be your greatest positive.
“What’s the matter? Haven’t you ever seen a talking snowman before?” -Sam the Snowman
“Peppermint! What I’ve been searching for all my life!” -Yukon Cornelius
It’s A Wonderful Life
You likely will never know the full extent of your impact.
A great community supports one another.
“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” -Clarence
Persistence is power (some sequels can actually be good, so don’t give up!)
Pursue your dreams.
Frosty the Snowman
True love is giving yourself even when it hurts.
Don’t be nasty.
“Whew! Stay in here much longer and I’ll really make a splash in the world!” –Frosty
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Look for meaning beyond commercialism.
A little love changes everything.
“I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all really. Maybe it just needs a little love.” -Linus
“We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.” -Lucy
A Christmas Carol
Bitterness and greed will destroy.
It’s never too late to make a major change.
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” -Scrooge
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”
The Polar Express
If an adventure beckons, go.
When you believe, everything changes for the better.
“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” -Conductor
Hallmark Christmas Movies
(lumped together because they are all the same).
Dump your current date because your true love is waiting in a small town.
“Our great editor asked if someone would be offended for saying they are all the same.” -Skip Prichard
“But everyone knows that they really are all the same, but we still watch them.” -Joy Prichard