Indeed….it’s a Wonderful Life

Published 10:35 am Thursday, December 22, 2016

“Why am I such a misfit? I am not just a nitwit. Just because my nose glows… why don’t I fit in?”

I hear you, Rudolph. That famous movie quote comes from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the animated version that was released in 1964, one of my very favorite Christmas movies growing up.

I suppose I’ve always related to it because I’ve never really fit in, either, and also probably more often than not in my life my nose has been glowing red too due to crazy allergies. But even if it wasn’t for that, when it comes to movies – even Christmas ones – as much as I love movies, there are many that are considered “classics” and I’ve never seen them.

Until a few years ago, I had never seen “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946). I was introduced to that when I saw it in New York City during the month of December, watching it in an independent theater over on the west side who showed it as a special for a few days. It happened to also be during a major snowstorm that year, so coming out of the theater that night to nearly a foot of fresh snow on the ground was a pretty awesome holiday experience. Every gal could use a bit of George’s “give you the moon” romantic statement to Mary and it certainly doesn’t hurt anyone to be reminded that this is, in fact, a wonderful life.

Last week, I saw “Christmas Vacation” (1989) for the first time after my boyfriend recorded it in part because he was horrified that I’d never seen it. Since I was born in 1984 and grew up on “Christmas Story” that came out a year prior to that, I was a bit surprised I hadn’t, either, especially since I really liked it.

“If that thing had nine lives, she just spent ’em all,” as Cousin Eddie pointed out regarding the cat who was fried due to messing with the family’s (enormous) Christmas tree.

Much less tongue-in-cheek is of course a famous quote from the eight-year-old boy who plays “Kevin” in “Home Alone” from the 1990’s. Towards the end of the movie, he says to one of Santa’s elves: “This is extremely important. Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back.” Around Christmas, when it boils down to it, isn’t that what we all want?

And of course there is the aforementioned “Christmas Story”. I might have been sheltered but I heard plenty of “You’ll shoot your eye out” and like almost every kid my age back then, I really did want a pink bunny suit and knew to never stick my tongue out to touch it to a frozen metal pole.

Then there is “Elf,” which came out in 2003. While definitely not my favorite movie or even my favorite Christmas movie, no one can deny the many quotable sayings that came from it. “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup.” (I completely agree.)

Don’t forget (also from Elf): “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”


Jennipher Dickens is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or 252-332-7206.