The day after Thanksgiving, as usual, we began decorating the home for Christmas. We didn’t get the outside lights up, but we all had fun getting the Christmas boxes down from the attic and unpacking them. Our home is now filled with seasonal music. The Christmas books occupy a couple shelves in the family room bookcase. The nativity is on the buffet – except for the magi, who are journeying toward Bethlehem from far away (over by the George MacDonald books). The Christmas tree looks beautiful! Santas and Nutcrackers are on the fireplace, the stockings are hung, and signs of Christmas appear throughout every room in the house.
To celebrate all that we accomplished, in the evening we snuggled up to watch Miracle on 34th Street. This classic movie offers an ideal bridge from Thanksgiving to Advent, as it opens with Macy’s Thanksgiving parade and ends on Christmas day. The screenplay of the old black and white version is expertly crafted, and the actors and actresses are unsurpassed (Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Gene Lockhart, Natalie Wood).
Let me offer just a quick note to clarify the last comment of the film, spoken by the lawyer when he notices Kris Kringle’s cane in the corner and realizes that the verdict and all that ensued was not simply due to his own courtroom skills: “Maybe I didn’t do something so wonderful after all.” The word “wonderful” has changed enough in meaning that this ending has lost something over the years. “Wonderful” was once a synonym for “miraculous,” so a screenwriter today might update that line to run something like this: “Maybe I’m not such a miracle-worker after all!” In other words, he came to better appreciate that Kris contributed more than a little magic of his own. 🙂