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No More Sappy Christmas Movies for a Whole Year!

Despite predictable Hollywood plots there might be a message there.

I avoid 'chick flicks' at all costs. If I'm going to pay $8 or more for a movie ticket, I want the drama of a James Bond thriller like Skyfall, or a historical drama like Lincoln, two of the best movies I've seen in a while.

Despite my aversion to sappy movies, something about Christmas drew me in to watching movies with my wife and daughters on the Hallmark Channel. For the entire month of December they run Christmas movies non-stop. Some are off the wall silly about Santa and magic. All are candidates for the sappy, chick flick category,

But maybe it's something about Christmas that draws me in. I've got two favorites that I confess I've now watched several times over the past few years. One is It's a Wonderful Life, not to be confused with the Jimmy Stewart classic, and the other is Holiday engagement, not to be confused with Oscar-nominated films of any sort.

In the first one, an aging uncle, Henry Winkler, brings home a stranger stranded at an airport by snow. He lives with his niece and her young son, and she just happens to be good looking, but engaged.

In the second one another girl- also good looking- gets dumped by her boyfriend when he decides to go to Pittsburgh for a better job and she won't go. Unable to disappoint her mother, she hires a struggling actor to go along for the weekend and pretend to be her boyfriend.

The scripts are pretty predictable. In the first one the girl gets engaged the night before Christmas, then realizes her fiancé is a jerk just in time to run to the airport and find the guy she's known for three days, and they live happily ever after. In the second one, even though her real boyfriend comes to find her at her parents' home after his job falls through, she realizes he's a jerk and rushes of to find the 'fake' boyfriend before he leaves town, even taking her real boyfriend's fancy car to run her new love down. They also live happily ever after.

They're cute stories- why I'm drawn to them I'm not sure. Real life doesn't work like that- at least not most of the time. A good friend of mine and his two roommates at college found three dates one night by picking a girl's name out of the phone book at random. Two of the three couples, including my friend, got married. He's been happily married for 25 years. But that's an exception.

So why am I fascinated with these movies? Maybe it's because good triumphs over not so good. In both cases, the original boyfriends truly have their own selfish interests at heart- career men who want a wife for show, not love.

What these two movies do is make you stop and look at yourself. Are there times when you ignore the truth about someone or something because you don't want to face it? Are there times when you do what you've done forever because it's comfortable, even if you know it's not the most effective, or even the most upstanding, thing to do.

I must admit I would have to answer 'yes.' What happens in these movies is that two characters, the girls, see their lives in a whole new light, and make positive changes because of it. There's nothing sappy about that.

Maybe you could benefit from looking at your world with a fresh set of eyes. Taking a fresh look at what you do on and off the farm that you've done forever might be more valuable than making a New Year's resolution you've likely already broken.

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