December 2, 2014 Photo (336/365): "It's A Wonderful Life"
Zuzu Bailey: "Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings."
George Bailey: "That's right, that's right. [Looks heavenward] Attaboy, Clarence."
I love Frank Capra's 1946 holiday film, It's a Wonderful Life! It's not only my favorite Christmas movie, it's my favorite movie of all. Jimmy Stewart is a quirky and charming, yet troubled and frustrated George Bailey, a selfless man who has spent his entire life thinking of others. George has given up his life dreams of travel, architecture, and financial security to help the people of Bedford Falls. Yet despite his good intentions, due to circumstances beyond his control, he finds himself disheartened. Thinking of his family and others he loves would be better off without him, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved become manifest in the apparition of Clarence Oddbody AS2 (Angel, 2nd Class). To earn his wings, Clarence must show George what life would have been like if he had never been born: Bedford Falls is transformed into Pottersville - a seedy bastion of haves (Mr. Potter himself) and have-nots. All those George whom loves are either dead, ruined, or miserable. Clarence succeeds in showing George that "each man's life touches so many other lives." Who among us hasn't felt that despite our best intentions, we haven't made a difference, yet each of us has the power to improve not only our own lives but those of so many others. Upon realizing that he really has had a wonderful life, George returns home to family and friends who have banded together to save him. I cry every time George's younger brother, Harry, a war hero, raises a glass to his "big brother George, the richest man in town!"