My favorite movie ever is It's a Wonderful Life, an oldie but goodie with Jimmy Stewart portraying banker George Bailey, who is about to go to jail and lose his family's business, a savings and loan, because of missing money. If you haven't seen it, it's absolutely a bucket list movie. George Bailey, engulfed by his problems, forgets how fortunate he really is and wishes he had never existed. In swoops Clarence, a guardian angel-in-training, who teaches him a very valuable lesson. He shows George that he is rich because he has the love of a good woman, four beautiful children and the admiration of everyone in his town. Everyone in Bedford Falls rallies and gives him money to bail him out of trouble. His neighbors sing Auld Lang Syne and the angel gets his wings. A beautiful, charitable story.
It's a great holiday movie because for 24 days in December, most of us run around senselessly shopping and decorating and baking, forgetting what really matters. The Christmas story and Chanukah illustrate love, kindness, perseverance and faith. We really are all rich, no matter what this challenging economy has done to us. We have so much. The love of our family, our friends, our pets.
I'd like to ask that you consider receiving one less gift and that you ask friends to donate on your behalf to a charity. There are so many to choose from. A local animal shelter, homeless shelter, the WWF, the Nature Conservancy and so many others. Yellowstone National Park means a lot to me and my family and I reminded them to use a link to shop through Amazon (smile.amazon.com) and help the Park. In George Bailey's office there was a sign that said "all you can take is that which you've given away". It's really is a Wonderful Life. Be thankful and give.