Dec 10, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life

During the Christmas season you’d often find me curled up in the front of the television with my mug of hot chocolate getting lost in the make believe world of my favorite Christmas classics. For me nothing signals the beginning of the season as much as seeing the advertisement for those old classics on television. One of my absolute favorites is It’s a Wonderful Life.

For some reason over the years George Bailey has been the character that I most empathize with. Maybe it’s because he was such a dreamer…

... I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things. I'm gonna build airfields, I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I'm gonna build bridges a mile long.  George Bailey...

Somehow circumstances kept getting in the way of George accomplishing his dreams. However, he always managed to do what he felt was the right thing even though it meant putting his dreams on hold. One thing I love about George is he never lost his enthusiasm. In spite of his dreams being deferred over and over again each time he thinks he’s going to get to do what he wants to do he is just as excited as before.

George never sat down and mourned the loss of his dreams he simply went on building a life for himself even though it wasn’t the life he’d originally dreamed of. Well except for that one Christmas Eve night when George’s life seem to come crashing down. After throwing a killer tantrum, hurting his family's feelings and getting drunk the despondent George, sitting on a bar stool, prayed this prayer…

Dear Father, I'm not a praying man, but if you're up there and you can hear me, show me the way. I'm at the end of my rope. Show me the way, oh God."

While George was busy deferring his dreams to help everyone else he was also touching lives in ways he couldn’t even imagine. On the night when he felt he’d reach the end of his rope the voices of the lives he touch began to cry out to God on his behalf…

Help my son, George, tonight.

He never thinks about himself, God,
that's why he's in trouble.

George is a good guy.
Give him a break, God...

I love him, dear Lord.
Watch over him tonight...

Please, God,
something's the matter with Daddy...

Enters Clarence, the wingless angel whose job it is to show George that his life really does matter, that he made a difference, he touched lives

Clarence - 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?

Slowly George begins to realize what a wonderful life he has. He realizes that although he’s not living the life he dreamed of he loves the life he’s living. He’s made a difference, he’s touched lives. He is not a failure. At the time he needed them most the people who George give up his dreams for came to his rescue…

Clarence… Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends

I think what I love most about George is his attitude. Except for that one night George never got bitter. He never lost his enthusiasm, he never lost himself…

Strange… I sat in the beauty salon today and started writing this post. I had no idea the It’s a Wonderful Life would be on television tonight but it is. I’m about an hour in so, I’m going to leave this for later and give the next hour my full attention. However when I reach to the end it’s not only George Bailey I’ll be celebrating. I’ll be thinking to myself as inevitably the tears fall… because of you Lord, it certainly is a wonderful life.

Trusting Him,

I have a confession... after I watched this movie for the the first time I rang lots of bells because you know that every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings :)

Written Dec. 3, 2011


  1. I love that Christmas story It's A wonderful life, I haven't seen it yet on tv this year but I know it will be on and I will be curled up on my sofa watching it as well my dear...

  2. I can't wait to see that old movie again. You added some very good thoughts to it. I never thought about it like that before, that George went on to build a new life for himself. I always remember that movie as thinking "Poor George!" But he was very blessed indeed. Maybe I need to put the ending in my memory bank, and not the first part of the movie.

    Merry Christmas Bernadine!

  3. Bernadine,

    This is priceless!

    Like you I am one who absolutely loves the old classics particularly this time of year. It's a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street and even the Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland. While that's not a Christmas theme it typically shows this time of year and then nothing touches me like The Ten Commandments with Charleton Heston. Grew up on that!

    You touched my heart with this post. I smiled and cried through it! Thank you for sharing with us.

    Without Christ we would not have this wonderful life we have been given even with it's ups and downs. I'm grateful.

    Merry Christmas and blessed New Year to you and your family dear one.


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