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White Christmas

For me, the holidays are not complete without one of my favourite Christmas films...Irving Berlin’s White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. I think this film has it all…. singing (who doesn’t like Bing Crosby?!), dancing, witty one liners and huge, heart melting acts of selflessness.

What can we take away from this film besides all wishing for snow at Christmas?

Clarify mis-understandings before they cloud your judgement

Bette (Rosemary Clooney) listens to some misinformation regarding Wallace’s (Bing Crosby) true intentions. It’s a classic plot method (used from Shakespeare to the infamous “We were on a break” in Friends) for the reason that we’re all so capable of rushing to judgement or acting on half the information. In the movie, the relationship is nearly ended over something that could easily have been sorted out with a simple conversation.

Finding time to chat is hard enough at the best of times, and with the hustle and bustle of Christmas, as well as seeing family and friends after a difficult year, it will be easy to run away with a mis-understanding in your relationships. It’s important to recognise that the earlier this is sorted out, the less emotional and physical toll it will take on you (and the other party).

Perhaps this Christmas take the time to write your thoughts and feelings down to help you discuss them with your friends of family. At the end of another year we are all a bit older, hopefully a little wiser, and we need to recognise that our relationships will evolve too. Especially after this year, we have had to confront a lot of difficult news and challenging circumstances. Perhaps take a moment over a mince pie and check you are on the same page with your family and friends.

Help others and remember those that have helped you

This is a current theme right from the opening of the movie from Davis (Danny Kaye) saving Wallace from a falling building to the boys wanting to help out their ex-army captain when he was struggling at the inn. They did all they could do support him and his family in the tough time ahead. They remind us that we often have more opportunity to help others than we realise.

Many studies have shown us that helping others can boost our own self-esteem and confidence as well as having a positive impact on those around us and giving us a sense of purpose, so by helping others, you will end up helping yourself too!

Help can come in all shapes and sizes. You could drop off a meal for a neighbour, send a card or letter to someone you have been thinking about, or volunteer your time for a charity. Over Christmas there are lots of toy drives, charity wrapping tables, and charity appeals out there – or take some timely inspiration from the movie and help out a struggling tourism business!

This time of year is often difficult for many of us, one way or another. The pressure and the demands that are put on us, dealing with difficult situations or tough memories can make Christmas seem far from jolly. A positive thing to do is to look back and list the times that you have been helped by others, and to take the time to appreciate those around you and let them know you are thinking of them.

Wherever you are this Christmas, I hope it is a good one for you full of love, peace, kindness, Bing Crosby and perhaps for some people, even snow.

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