Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tip#10: Re-Energize Through Christmas Movies - 3 Movie Tips

Holidays are meant to be special times when you can treat yourself to colourful sights and sounds to soothe your soul. For many, Christmas time can invoke a magical season bursting with happy and timeless memories.

The Christmas season can get me feeling this timeless vibe that always lifts my spirits. There is something heart warming in the holiday music I hear and the colourful Christmas lights that decorate the streets of Toronto. And, of course, I must mention some of my favourite holiday movies that come on every year at this time. They always take me to a happy and safe place in my past.

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

As mentioned in tip#6, It's A Wonderful Lifeis a favourite film of mine with scenes that always move me deeply. Like the one where George Bailey finally breaks down sobbing and prays for help. I also love the finale when all his friends gather to help him graciously in his desperate time of need.

These scenes mirror times I have been in and go through once in awhile. They remind me that even though there are rough times there will always be uplifting ones too. And most importantly I am reminded that each of us are never ever alone in our darkest hour.

A Christmas Story (1983)

A Christmas Storyis another favourite and I love watching it with my brother and sister because it reminds me of us growing up. Some TV stations have back-to-back marathon showings of this movie which is a testament to its enduring popularity.

The music, characters and textures of A Christmas Story are so edible you can taste the Christmas warmth of childhood fun. The lead character, Ralphie is so perfect and funny reminding us all of the innocence and excitement of Christmas time. And yes, I admit that I was one of those silly kids who had my tongue stuck to an icy pole as depicted in the film!

I also remember enjoying the delicious taste of Ovaltine. I have fond memories of a childhood ritual of crushing the big chocolate grains into the sides of my milk glass. I can almost hear that chocolatey crackle today. Finally, I love that parts of the movie were filmed in Toronto. You can actually see an old TTC streetcar go by in the scene where the family is buying a Christmas tree.

Elf (2003)

Elfhas become an instant classic for me (see tip#8). Will Ferrell as Buddy the elf is so hysterically sincere and excited about life that he triggers healthy reminders inside me. And that is keeping my inner elf alive is the key to keeping a Christmas spirit alive all year round.

A favourite scene is Buddy's charming duet, Baby It's Cold Outsidewith his love interest. The movie also captures such heartwarming memories of classic stop-motion animated Christmas shows like Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer. You can see it clearly in the opening credits and in the scenery and elf costumes of the north pole sequences.

One other fun fact about the movie is the foreman elf at Santa's toy factory is played by a grown up Peter Billingsley. He played little Ralphie in A Christmas Story. That brilliant bit of casting represents the timeless feel-good-feeling I'm talking about. And that is in our adult lives we are always connected to these re-energizing feelings from movies we've loved since we were kids. We just have to allow ourselves the time during the holidays to drink in the nostalgia.

So treat yourself to your favourite holiday movies and the festive sights and sounds of your town. Let it trigger happy memories of the simpler times in life. During your busy days stop for a moment and breathe in the season. Re-energize your soul. Take it all in like a sponge and let it fill you up like a magical, tasty holiday elixir!

Emmanuel Lopez
© Emmanuel Lopez 2006

1 comment:

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