Many years ago I reviewed movies, books, and live theatre for local radio, television, and a monthly arts paper. I rated movies on a dollar value. If it cost $5.00 for a ticket to the movies, I rated films by suggesting how it compared with the price of admission (oh, this one’s only worth $1.98, I’d skip it; or that’s a $4.50 movie, well worth seeing). There has only been, in my opinion, one $5.00 film. It’s the movie our family, and many of your families I suspect, watches every year: It’s a Wonderful Life. (For a fun little side trip, check out the thirty-second version with bunnies)

IAWL carries the essential message of hope and grace for everyone: No one is a failure who has friends.

I’ve been blessed to have run across Karolyn Grimes, the actress who played Zuzu in the film. Karolyn stays quite busy this time of year, as you can imagine. We’ve purchased autgraphed Christmas ornaments for each of our grandchildren for their first Christmas.

It is a wonderful life for our family. This is not the case for many families around the world. I received one of those ubiquitous, animated Christmas greetings from my cousin Dain recently. It starts out saying that if you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the people in the world.

Count your blessings. Cherish your friends. Recognize your kinship with all others. Do your part so that more people can know that it’s a wonderful life.

Merry Christmas