“Monday 5 Things” with D. Paul Graham…..Joyeux Noël…..


Photo: D. Paul Graham. Christmas goodness in front of a fire in the library of the Montage at Palmetto Bluff.

Monday 5 Things…..Joyeux Noël…..

We are close to a most unusual ending to a most unusual year. Covid has even impacted how we will celebrate Christmas this year. Feel free to exclaim ‘thank you Captain Obvious’ to me here. What hasn’t changed, pandemic or no pandemic, are ageless Christmas movies. Today M5T shares some of my favorite classic movies that I watch every year at this time of year.

1. Ring a bell.

Local business has a huge impact on a community. We’ve seen that this year as we have watched our local businesses and owners struggle through Covid. In the 1946 classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life”, George Bailey runs the Bailey Savings and Loan in Bedford Falls, NY. We see that without George in town, Bedford would have become Potterville controlled by the power-hungry Mr. Potter. Bailey and his bank were a valuable part of the community that allowed many to realize their dreams in life. With the help of Angel-Second Class, Clarence, Bailey realizes just how important the community of Bedford Falls was to him and his life as well. One of the best quotes is from Clarence: “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?”

2. Wait until you actually receive your bonus.

In “Christmas Vacation” we were introduced to the lovable Clark Griswold who more than anything just wanted to please his family at Christmas. His boss, Frank Shirley decided not to give out Christmas bonuses to his employees as he had each year and chaos ensues with the Griswold’s. Funnily, “Jelly of the Month Club” sales actually increased for real following the release of the movie. We learned that poor communication, over-hyped expectations, and family can drive you crazy, even more so at Christmas. One of the many genius comedic quotes comes from Sparky: “Yeah, it’s a bit nipply out”. Sorry about that but I just can’t help but laugh every time I see that scene. Now about those lights on the house….

3. Don’t lose faith.

“Miracle On 34th Street” is another classic from the 1940’s that never grows old. Kris Kringle reminds us that everyone needs a dream, a vision, faith in that vision, and the persistence to see an idea through to reality. Susan Walker, the little girl in court testifying that Kris Kringle was in fact Santa Claus, had two of the best lines in the movie: “I believe, I believe. It’s silly but I believe” and “Would it please the court if I gave you your Christmas card? I don’t think I’ll see you again. Unless I get arrested which is highly unlikely because it’s Christmas Eve and I’m going to bed uncharacteristically early.”

4. Debated.

Deliberated since the late 1980’s by many a Christmas movie scholar, it may not be the most heart-warming of Christmas movies, and John McClane’s language is certainly more profane than even the angriest George Bailey, but I confess that I consider “Die Hard” to be a bonafide Christmas movie. Oh, don’t judge me… I know you are now thinking about watching this tonight for the umpteenth time! Yuletide themes of flying to another city bearing gifts to be with family, over the top company Christmas parties on the top floor of tall buildings, Christmas quotes and innuendos by the good guy and bad-guys alike, and Christmas music playing in the background and sound-track all make this the real deal for Christmas movie binging. And on behalf of people all around the globe, I’d like to offer up an emphatic McClane “Yippie Ki Yay…” ,well you know the rest of the quote, to this pandemic we call Covid!

5. Figure out the important things.

Spanning from a silent film in 1901 through to the 2009 production, there have been numerous adaptations of Dickens 1843 classic “A Christmas Carol”, including versions that starred Mickey, Muppets, Finney, Guinness, Carey, and Murray. All variations to the original story, but the underlying message remains the same. With some ghostly help from Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge comes to see what he has been missing all his life as he invested only in his business and not in people. My favorite quote is from Scrooge once he sees what he has been missing: “I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I shall not shut out the lessons that they teach.”

Whether you’re close or far from each other, by choice or by dictate, here’s to a week of Christmas blessings for you, your family and your friends. Merry Christmas.

© 2020 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com