Day 112: Watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ for the 22nd time

December 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

A little more than a month after I was born, my dad plopped my fat little baby bottom down on the couch next to him to watch Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time. Though I have a feeling that I slept through that particular screening, my dad and I have not missed a year since. The movie is my dad’s favorite film,  even beating out non-Christmas movies, and his love for the steadfast George Bailey of Bedford Falls has been deeply instilled in me as well. I hope to someday enjoy the same tradition with my own children.

Traditions are a funny thing – how we assign sentimental meaning to repeated activities, using them as a sort of portal into the past.

For instance, Stephanie and I have specific restaurants that we go to on some holidays – restaurants that are really quite arbitrary. We go to Taco Bell every Halloween. Why? Because we did it last year and the year before that. We don’t even particularly like Taco Bell. Every Valentine’s Day we go to P.F. Chang’s, even though there are more romantic places we could go, simply because that is where we went on our first Valentine’s Day. And on Christmas Eve morning, we go out to breakfast at the Cadillac Cafe on Northeast Broadway. It’s a habit that we have come to associate with the positive memories of Christmas Eves past.

I’m not at all saying these traditions are random and meaningless. Most of them I wouldn’t break for the world. I simply find it wonderful that we are able to add these layers of meaning to everyday actions.

Cheers to whatever tradition you lend sentimental value to this holiday season.


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