Light. If Light could talk, what would it say? What would it speak about your life? We just watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas. It was certainly a different Covid Christmas for us but some great gifts we truly receive are not in packages but gathered for us from what I know as Light.
There may be some theological banter about the movie, but I just love that it begins with a conversation among lights. Lights in the heavens discussing a normal life and not about an impressive streak of light that never flickers. Just every bit of goodness a life shares to others, is truly important.
Most of the Christmas memories I have, are spending the day with others and all their favored choices. Favorite cookie recipes, favorite foods, favorite meals, favorite beverages, favorite games, favorite movies. Sometimes Christmas is overrun with everyone’s favorites or their soon to be next “favorite thing” that they will open. And it is even in those givers who love to know that their gift was deemed the favorite of someone else. They get their favorite moment to last them into the next year.
This year, it was a different kind of favorite. I had to make time to bake with my son, who shared, “Mom, why have we never made cookies at Christmas?” Well, we never had the time or needed to because everyone else in our family bakes so much to create a favorite cookie list, that it just becomes too many cookies at Christmas. Why is there a need to make one more? Especially when we take home all the left overs because everyone there is tired of cookies by the time we leave. Although this year we had to bake or our cookie plate would be empty.
Being a guest in others homes, even your family, you have to eat the foods they choose for you. This year we had others come to our home and we got to pick. Then when the food wasn’t quite ready we got to pick a holiday favorite, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" for them to watch while we finished preparing.
After our only guests left, we were able to choose a fun family movie, play games, read our new books, sit with our cat who never sees us at Christmas and ponder the gifts of our home. We even ate left overs with no fuss because we just enjoyed our time together. I'm also glad to choose the wine! No need for extravagant and no need for cheap when you only share one bottle on a quiet, cozy Christmas night. It was just right.
Then, our evening movie, we got to pick as well. Many times I have not, and it turns out quite wrong with an empty kind of feeling when you turn the screen off. I think this is one reason I have always wanted to write stories. I want to be the one to share the need for family and goodness and bonds that are just good for people. I wanted more movies and stories of goodness when I was young because I needed them. Those are the stories I want to write for kids and families now.
Since Covid especially, we have been trying to make each movie count with some kind of redeeming quality for humanity. There really are too many movies like too many cookies in life and sometimes we have to choose carefully. I am so glad we watched it again at this stage in our kids’ lives. They may remember some bits when they were young, and we had not seen it every year, because usually at Christmas, I do not get to choose. But this year, I wanted my kids to know that we do have a good life and that it does matter the choices we make. They actually thanked us for watching such a good movie.
It’s A Wonderful Life captivates the good worth sharing and keeping. Every good we do in life matters. Every right choice we make even when we might get punished, or if it may even be dangerous… is good. It matters. Light matters. Even when we walk through trying times and when hope feels lost from the way of the world or how life is turning. It matters to choose the lighted way. To make a good choice. To do your best. To fight for the Light. Light is meaningful. Light brings light to others. When there is darkness all around like the night sky… Light talks and it does not cease to exist, it is in every good act we do, and it matters. Joy to the World! The gift of Light!