10 December 2007

no. 10


a favorite family tradition from my childhood was watching It's A Wonderful Life with my siblings while warming up by a crackling fire, eating popcorn in our jammies and falling asleep under cozy quilts. in the classic movie, George underestimates his good influence in his small town and among his neighbors. through his experience, he realizes that indeed he has been an important and worthwhile individual in his hometown of Bedford Falls.

since this is my dad's favorite film, he started a grand ritual in our home, which he likes to refer to as The George Bailey Award. my parents would buy a few copies of It's A Wonderful Life, wrap them in christmas paper and we'd each sign cards. we'd cast our vote for influential people who had made a difference in our lives that year, who deserved to receive our homespun George Bailey Award. during december, on blustery snowy nights, we'd hop in our van and drop by the home of the lucky (and most surprised) recipients. we would carol at their door before awarding them a video of their own with an explanation of our grand tradition. i'm not sure if presenting the award was more meaningful to them or to us. i've never forgotten the people who won our awards over the years and their random acts of (consistent) kindness that often went unrewarded throughout the other months. the best part about this ritual for me was sitting around our table each year, thinking of the georges in my life; the champions of goodness. and asking my mom if she could perhaps, go buy one more movie to present for an award, because i could always make lengthy lists of individuals once i got thinking. and she'd always reply with a yes.

little did i know, this family tradition taught us what christmas is all about. at this time of year it is most important to tell the important people in our lives why they are so important.


18 comments:

P O S I E S said...

I am super, super jealous of all this snow you have!

Blue House Mom said...

What a wonderful tradition! It's one of my favorite Christmas movies (though I don't own a copy yet!!) and I love the idea of finding George Baileys in your lives. Thanks for sharing.

mary elizabeth said...

what a great tradition!!

i love that movie & so does vince (its actually his favorite christmas movie ever) and we watched it together on one of our very first dates. it holds a special place in my heart, for that reason, and many more.

maybe we should start up this tradition, it sounds so great! love it!

Casey said...

what a wonderful family tradition! i am loving all your snow pictures, down in texas we don't see much of that. :)

Molly said...

what an awesomely fantastic tradition. i just might have to start that in my little family. loving all the snow. it is now just finally getting chilly down here in texas.

melissa said...

i have goosebumps right now.
that is the most amazing tradition.
oh my goodness. i love it.
It's a Wonderful Life is definitely my favorite Christmas movie.
what a beautiful family you have!

gab said...

This is a great tradition! I love it too. Don't we have the best dad ever?

one little acorn said...

What an amazing thing to do, and as a lover of family traditions, this is up there with the best. And what a great movie. I imagine your award has bought a huge amount of pleasure. Such a simple gift, with thought and reason - it is priceless.

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

We actually carry on this tradition in our own little family, thanks to Opa. I think it's such an amazing thing and it's so fun to give the awards out to people. That movie is the best.

kat@taylormadedesigns.com said...

oh that has to be the sweetest tradition – ever.

"It's a wonderful life" is my favorite holiday movie ever. I cry every year and it reminds me of what really is important.

Thanks for sharing. Your family is extra sweet + creative. I think you make someone's year with that award :)

Robin said...

That is such a great idea and a sweet thing to do with kids. I love the idea. Can't wait to tell my family about it!

Marty said...

We've had some great George Bailey's in our lives, haven't we?

karla said...

It's a wonderful tradition!

love.boxes said...

can I copy you? :) please.

donna said...

What a lovely, lovely tradition!

I watch It's a Wonderful Life every Christmas and cry every time!

cheeky said...

That is a wonderful tradition. Giving is the best gift in and of itself. It is the a reminder to honour those we are grateful for. I think we should do it all year long.
xo

L&H&Q said...

I LOVE THIS TRADITION. We'll be starting it asap. Thanks for the super idea!

oneordinaryday said...

Oh my gosh! This is an absolutely wonderful idea!
It's a Wonderful Life is my favorite movie too, and I love watching it on Christmas Eve especially. What a great family tradition. So glad you shared.

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