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Monday, December 24, 2007

A Very Merry Christmas Eve

One of my favorite actors is Alastair Sim, whom I first discovered through the many viewings of the 1951 classic "A Christmas Carol." I watch this movie several times every year around Christmas in glorious black and white. I can almost recite the dialogue along with the actors. I do not only because it irritates anyone watching the film with me.

Watching this film every Christmas has been a family tradition for as long as I can remember.

I am always reminded of the valuable lesson that people can change no matter what age they are no matter what their circumstances. Of course the change will be more gradual than the transformation of Scrooge overnight, but it can happen. When I think of the season and reason for it, I am reminded of the daily attempts for redemption and salvation in the small ways that make up the essence of our lives. It is the constant battle to save ourselves from ourselves.

It is that particular dynamic that draws me to the creepier elements of the cinema. My other holiday favorite is relatively new; Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas takes us on another type of discovery tour from the perspective of a creature totally unfamiliar with Christmas. This creature of the dark is fascinated by the light he encounters when doing his research on the holiday. What is it? What does it mean? How can it change any creature?

Ah, yet more profound things to ruminate on!

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