I have to thank the movie, Home for the Holidays, for creating my own personal home movie in my head whenever I hear this song.
At the end of the movie, we see a collection of home-movie clips of family moments — all good — at Christmastime. Even the characters that are less than likable in the movie have something to be grateful for, are smiling, or are sharing love.
The point? We may have our tough times with each other, we may not always approve of what our friends are doing, but each has the opportunity to experience love, especially during the holidays. And many do, in their own way, with the people they select to enjoy it with. They are able to do this because they take the time to appreciate each other, to let the craziness of the world fall away just long enough so they can see clearly what’s been in front of them the entire time.
We’re all making our movies of the moments we want to hold dearly to us. And just like the song, our message to one another is so simple: Stop. Look at what you have. Treasure it. Enjoy.
This song is one of my all-time favorites simply because its message is so clear: Nat King Cole paints a very simple picture for us of simple times: It’s cold outside, the fire’s warm inside, we’re together, the kids are getting ready for Santa. No matter how young or how old you might be, there’s a part of Christmas you can enjoy. If you take the time to stop and cherish what you already have.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m trying to hold on to something that is slipping away, losing its place to a different kind of Christmas that is less about people and more about things. But there’s a reason why I cling to this romantic notion of Christmas. I believe that it’s not just in the movies or in the songs, this love for one another, this chance to slow the world down and appreciate one another. I believe that people still hold deeply in their hearts the understanding that, beyond all the gadgets and social networks and devices that keep our one-on-one time at a distance, there’s nothing that can ever replace the simple joy and magic of spending time with each other, in appreciation for that love and that friendship, above everything else.
Please tell me you still believe as well.
One thought on “Christmas Countdown 2009: No. 19. The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole”
Your last paragraph could not be anything more than a homerun for the truth. Its not about Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Peace and Goodwill toward men anymore. Its about what deals can I get and how much “stuff” can I buy etc. Its about people stressing through the malls with grumpy faces and moans of agony… its the feeling of dread. What happened to families gathering together for dinner and sitting around a fire reminising about the past Christmases? Decorating the tree as a family and not just throwing it up and getting the lights on outside so you dont look like a scrooge to the neighbors? What happened to people making gifts for one another? Putting thought behind the present they are going to give and not just “buy something just to give something”? Where is the true Christmas spirit that carries us throughout the year and not just on Christmas Day? The love and kindness we should be showing one another everyday not merely a few hours a year. The older I get, the more I appreciate the little things, the simpler things of Christmas past… and the more I wished they would return.