It Is The Winner

There are so many Christmas movies and so little time. I mean there are country Christmases, urban Christmases, California Christmases, Alien Christmases. It goes on and on.

For me, this season the winner is Last Christmas on HBO.

This is the best, most fun movie I watched all the way through and only stopped once. Child of the 1980s that I am, it won me immediately with the George Michael music throughout the movie. And this cute little film from the UK reminded me why I love his music which set a certain type of mood for the film.

The well written script tells me the story in a manner that keeps my interest by making me wonder where it is going. Our main character is Kate, a young woman living in the UK with her parents and sister, all of which have immigrated from Yugoslavia during the critical time of Brexit. She is living the life of a normal twentysomething.

Emilia Clarke is so good as Kate, she is annoying. The first 40 minutes of this movie, I wanted to punch her myself. I was yelling “Girl, get a life!” Then the very charming Henry Golding shows up at Tom and starts me to wondering. First of all, why would someone like him be interested in a girl who wears an elf costume? I didn’t find this to be one of those ordinary Christmas stories.

The Emma Thompson plays Kate’s mother which gives you a glimpse into why Kate is so crazy. Thompson’s character is this older woman who has immigrated to the UK has lots of fears about it. She is a doting mother, but none make you hate her. Michelle Yeoh plays Kate’s boss who goes by the name of Santa and also gives you moments to giggle. Both women characters have that thing that happens after you turn 50 when you say whatever you think to the twentysomething in the room, like “that’s stupid.”

The screenplay was written by Thompson and Bryony Kimmings who were inspired by George Michael’s song Last Christmas. I enjoyed how they chose to tell the story. It was cheeky, funny, corny and endearing.

I like the story because of the set up. It doesn’t do anything that I don’t expect. It slides a few things in, like the Christmas shop that sells odd Christmas ornaments like the baby Jesus with a full set of teeth and a smiling donkey or a Christmas tree made from baby cabbages.

The thing I love is that it takes me one step deeper than most movies like it. It explains why. Life is full of people who do dumb stuff. Once you know why they do it, it changes everything. For that, this movie will go on my list of movies I will watch over and over. And Henry Golding is hot.

Freedom Starts In Your Heart

I started with one of my favorite scenes from the musical 1776.  Our founding fathers had to deal with just as much stuff back then, as our current administration does today. We are the United States of America.

I love the story of the American Revolution.  Men had an idea of what freedom meant and chose to pursue it.  They laid down ideals of what true freedom looked like and promised these truths to all men.  They declared that all men where created equal and had certain inalienable rights in the eyes of their Creator. They did not say “landowners”  “white men” “financially stable.” They said all men.

1

Today we take these truths for granted because it seems like they cost us nothing.  We are standing on the shoulders of man who paid the price. Men like John Adams who scarified time with his family to help build a nation. A trip to a few national monuments will teach you the price that was paid. Our country does a great job of preserving our history and many of the tours are free.

Jefferson Rock

Recently I have been watching the AMC series TURN which tells the American Revolution story from an espionage position. It gives me a sense of the danger it took to be on the side of the revolution. On our most recent trip we saw a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Once the man signed it, he had sealed his fate as a traitor.  There was no turning back, because they had put an “S” on their chest making themselves targets for the British Military. But there was an ideal they believed in and it was worth dying for. A vote for independence.

2

I have spent some time traveling this great land of ours. It is an amazing country from the mountains to the plains to the beaches. The only thing better than the landscape are the people who make up these United States. Whether they are sitting on a street corner in Harlem selling goods or dressed in period clothing in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia explaining history to tourist, they make up a great nation.

We are the experiment of what happens when you bring a little bit of everyone together and allow all of the cultures to combine. We do not know where one culture ends and another begins. We have created a culture that is unique to US.

If you took our DNA, you would find that we are all fifth cousins and our ancestors started in Europe, Africa and Asia. If you took our picture, you would find that we are as different as our personalities and that is the way we like it. If you tried to take our freedom, you would find yourself in for the fight of your life because it is something we take serious.

It is difficult to understand if you are not born here, but the desire for freedom starts young and stays. Whether you are black, white, yellow or red, it starts in our hearts. God created us with a desire for freedom.

Happy July 4th.

My last song comes from Les Miserables. (I know it is not about the American Revolution) But I think the song captures the sentiments of our founding fathers. They needed men who would stand with them and fight for independence