We have used the New Year wisely so far. The kitchen has piles of clean bed linen and towels following our Christmas of friends and family.
We’ve also used these last few days to catch-up with all the TV we missed while we were eating, walking and playing games .
One catch up was more than 75 years old. It’s a Wonderful Life, voted the best Christmas Movie often and until yesterday completely unknown to us. Christmas Movies is not a genre that has a huge amount of quality to compete with. Quantity certainly, but Hollywood producers scrape the bottom of many barrels to assemble their teams for festive film making. Then throw in some snow and romance and hope nobody notices the shortcomings. It’s a Wonderful Life is an accidental success having been a commercial failure when it was made. The copyright lapsed in 1974 and was able to be shown on TV with no fees needing to be paid. Broadcasters all over the Western world showed it multiple times each Christmas after that and it became ‘the’ classic, black and white movie to watch at Christmas. Using similar magic realism and fantasy to Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol it sets a tale of personal/human woe in the heart of the festive season. At 75 years old it becomes a history lesson too.
There is comfort in doing the same things every Christmas. Watching or reading a Christmas Carol makes me glad to not be poor in Victorian England. It’s a Wonderful Life makes me super-grateful not to be a woman in a pre-war U.S.A. I will probably watch the film every year from now on just to irritate myself. The irony is not lost on me that this pondering started with the sense of pleasure at having clean laundry!