Once upon a time there was this red-nosed reindeer…no, no. There once was this snowman who had a corncob pipe and two eyes made out of…uh, nope. It was a dark and stormy night. Okay, not so much.
I enjoy the traditional holiday stories sometimes, but I really love the original ones. My favorite holiday movie is The Family Man with Nicolas Cage who portrays a rich Wall Street investor with more money than he can spend on himself and his lavish New York condo. Oh, how I love dreaming about having no cares in the world except making money and spending money. Expensive clothes filling a closet the size of my son’s bedroom. A view that must be what every New Yorker would love outside his window but can’t afford. Beautiful things filling up the empty space because he has no person to fill it. But Jack, Cage’s character, doesn’t care about that. He has everything he needs, he says.
The other appeal of this film is the part I already have: the family. I don’t have to imagine that. Kids jumping in your bed before dawn asking for pancakes. No money for new clothes so that the kids can have new winter boots and a bike under the tree. Dinners at home at the kitchen table instead of in a romantic, candlelit bistro snuggled in a booth made for two. Again, Jack doesn’t care about that.
Jack gets a glimpse of the other side of life, the one I know well. And, I get a glimpse of his life in the film. The story makes me appreciate my life more while giving me a little hope that maybe sometime, someday, I might get an opportunity to live a moment of his life–except for the fact that I could never give up mine. Then, I would have everything–imagine that!
This film shows me my favorite holiday story. Its message lingers with me, warms my heart, just like my sons do when they wake me up, poking me in the head with a stuffed animal telling me it’s morning time because the sun is glowing through the window shade. Those candles on the windowsill are deceiving from the inside, I suspect. Though I smile with eyes closed, lifting the boys in the crook of my arm to lay beside me on my pillow, knowing that they are more precious than extra sleep.
I vow to teach them how to tell time by next Christmas. But, I wouldn’t be who I am today if they didn’t fill the empty spaces. What’s your favorite holiday story?