Thursday, December 8, 2011

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear ... and watching 'Elf'
One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is to watch Christmas movies.
A basket full of them sits by my television all season long. Snoopy, the Griswolds, Santa, various reindeer, George Bailey, some wise men and a Grinch all are included.
But one Christmas movie has trumped all others lately — mainly because it’s full of Christmas cheer, which I hear comes from singing loudly for all to hear.
That’s right, “Elf” is my Christmas favorite. I probably watch it at least 10 times throughout the Christmas season. It’s the movie I pop in while decking the halls with Christmas décor, when I’m wrapping presents, filling out Christmas cards and making Christmas cookies. The movie helps remind me those things are supposed to be joyful and not stressful.
If a 6-foot-tall elf walking around New York isn’t enough to draw you to the film, there’s also a bit of nostalgia in the beginning that reminds viewers of Christmas shows they grew up with. It looks like Rudolph’s world.
I think I like it most because of the childlike innocence Buddy the Elf brings to everyone he comes in contact with.
Remember when Christmas was like that? The excitement building to Christmas morning, the joy of snow and how doing anything Christmas-related made you giddy.
Now Christmas is all about fighting over the best deals in department stores, rushing to get everywhere on time and the stress over finding the right gifts for people you only see once a year. And then there’s the decorating and, even worse, cleaning up afterward.
Buddy sees Christmas through the eyes of a child. His excitement is contagious to all in the film. He’s a reminder that we’ve turned Christmas into chaos when it should be something very sweet.
I wish I could regain that childlike excitement. I tend to put up the décor out of habit and gripe as I walk around the house to plug in everything. A little taste of Buddy the Elf reminds me that singing Christmas songs is cheerful and there’s room for everyone on the nice list, even if they get on my last nerve.
He even has his own holiday now. Dec. 18 is deemed “International Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day.” I might not ask someone their favorite color when answering the phone myself — odds are I’ll forget anyway — but I’ll laugh if someone else does. Maybe that day I’ll partake in some of the elves’ four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup.
Although my mother absolutely hates this movie — mainly because she’s not a Will Ferrell fan — I love it.
Buddy likes everyone, thinks everything is exciting and just wants to give everyone a hug.
So grab the world’s best cup of coffee, sing your favorite Christmas tunes and enjoy this Christmas season. And don’t forget to smile — smiling’s Buddy’s favorite thing to do.
The film focuses on the traditions and not truth of Christmas, but it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. And, yes, Buddy, it makes me smile.

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