“Be still, and just believe”
This year, Christmas is truly what you make of it, what you believe in, and simply the spark of imagination. One of the classic Christmas films to recollect this is The Miracle on 34th Street. The spirit of this timeless treasure is the magic of New York City, with busy metropolitan streets covered with snowflakes and decorated trees as far as the eye can see.
The Miracle on 34th Street is the story of Kris Kringle, or Santa Claus (played by the late Edmund Gwenn), and his adventure into the world of modern-day life, and what appears to be the hum-drum of a meaningless existence. He meets Susan Walker (played by Natalie Wood), a young girl oblivious to the burdens of growing up, grasping the remains of the reverie of faith and inspiration before it’s all gone. This film is a gentle reminder to people of all walks of life to listen to their hearts and trust in hope. Anything is possible if you just believe.
“Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day. It’s a frame of mind.” – Kris Kringle
The film cautions us of the ingress of adulthood, the waning will to dream and envision the betterment of the future. The film suggests children are taught to grow out of their imaginative state and comprehend a pragmatic frame of mind, focusing on work, family, and routine. The essence of the mind’s ability to think freely has dwindled. For many, Christmas is just a holiday, but for the wanderlust, Christmas isn’t just about Santa, but to believe in the impossible. It’s a reminder of possibilities we thought were unattainable or even hopeless.
Perhaps it’s the glistening snow that reminds us of a new fortuity of love, kindness, and anticipation. With society today, most have forgotten gifts from Santa might really imply the many blessings we’ve taken for granted. Ideally, we’re not granted gifts just on Christmas, but throughout the year, if you can perceive it.
Look, Doris, someday you’re going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn’t work. And when you do, don’t overlook those lovely intangibles. You’ll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile. – Fred Gailey
Another film to watch this Christmas is It’s a Wonderful Life, as transparent and true as its name suggests. This picture pulls at the heartstrings, transmuting the challenges we face constantly. Though trials can torment and weigh down the soul, simple acts of kindness resonate forever. The film narrates the life of George Bailey (played by James Stewart) and his somewhat regular life, with mild joyous contingencies, overlooked and taken for granted. George Bailey never had it easy, given he was always the generous and benevolent man in his small town. After enduring several hardships with no luck on his side, George Bailey sees himself in an alter-existence: dead.
What would life really be like if you didn’t exist? To a pessimist, this might be the destination, but George Bailey’s consistent altruism saved his life, a true miracle just in time for Christmas.
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
The magic of vintage films is its embrace of familiar memories, laughter, and simplicity. With Christmas just around the corner, it’s always a good idea to return home to friends and family. Tune out the clatter of the world, and just enjoy the sparkle of Christmas, over a glass of milk and cookies, of course.
Words: Aparna Nethaji
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