November 5, 2009

Start the holidays now…

Posted in Between Us column, Movies, Spirituality at 2:22 am by dinaheng

If store fronts and movies are any indication, the holiday season has started, and it can’t be too soon. With an economic grinch that has stolen the joy out of many pocketbooks this year, we need a reminder of what’s really important in life.

Last week, I went to a studio-hosted holiday buffet and screening of Disney’s new version of “A Christmas Carol,” which premieres in theaters November 6. The carolers were lovely, the food was delicious (except for the cupcakes, which were prettier than they tasted) and the movie was, well… in the spirit of the holidays.dinah-eng-21

The friend who went with me to the screening thought the film was dreadful. “I can just see it as the next thrill ride at Disneyland,” she whispered to me.  I could see her point of view.

At the same time, call me the ghost of goodness and cheer, but I thought it was a fun rendition of a classic tale for a new generation. When you’ve seen multiple remakes of the Charles Dickens story, the question becomes, “Why do another one? Can’t they make anything original anymore?”

But kids who’ve not seen “old” versions of tales may relate more to the “new” ones, so good remakes can make sense, as well as money.

In this case, Jim Carrey does a credible enough job playing the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, and the lesson that what we give always comes back to us is one that every generation needs to learn.

Viewers like me, who were born without depth perception in one eye or both, won’t care for the 3D effects. I watched the whole thing without the annoying glasses that allowed things to jump out of the screen at you.

We all could use a reminder that holidays come but once a year, but the spirit of the holidays need to be honored yearround.

I was in New York a couple of weeks ago, walking through a pouring rain storm that broke one of the spokes in my umbrella. As a friend and I dashed into a bar, just to get out of the wet, I was delighted for the excuse to just sit and talk over a drink, rather than go on to the next task.

We get caught up in work, the politics of work, the soap operas at work, yearround, and when do we stop to be grateful for the opportunity to do something meaningful with our skills? When do we take a deep breath, realizing that office politics are nothing more than other people seeking appreciation and to be valued for who they are? When do we stop gossiping about others, and start loving ourselves?

We’ve all seen enough Ebenezer Scrooges around to last a lifetime. The miracle is when we see them change in their attitude toward others. If we had anything to do with that change, the joy is even greater.

The holidays are a time to count our blessings, be open to miracles and look forward to the future. Why not start your own, personal holiday season today?



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