|Ashton Lane, West End, Glasgow.|
Christmas is certainly a time for movies. The collection of festive hits that fill our dvd cabinet include a fair proportion of children's classics: "Miracle on 34th Street", "The Santa Clause" trilogy; "The Polar Express", "Nativity" and "Jingle All The Way" are all there, gathering dust amongst the others.
I find it really interesting that in recent years the black and white classic "It's A Wonderful Life" starring Jimmy Stewart has become a must-see for festive movie-goers here in Scotland. A trip to The Grosvenor cinema in Ashton Lane, Glasgow, to see the movie has been part of our traditional family build-up to Christmas for the past few years. Of course, another angel plays a big part in the storyline, as beleaguered George Bailey wrestles with a monotonous existence, unable to recognise the impact he is making on the life of others until the intervention of Clarence changes all that.
But my favourite Christmas movie isn't "It''s A Wonderful Life". If forced to choose, I'd go for Tim Burton's "Edward Scissorhands" which arguably isn't a Christmas movie at all.
The narrative is book-ended by scenes of snow and certainly ends at Christmas time. I always choose to study it with one of my High School classes around Christmas to such an extent that watching Edward in action brings a real surge of excitement about the onset of Christmas. Of course, it's the fairytale story of an outsider who cannot ultimately become part of the society that he has been brought into, in spite of the attempts of some to assimilate him into their strategically perfect lifestyle.
Edward's desperate efforts to avoid isolation by relentlessly cutting hedges and hair, and George Bailey's restless desperation at not achieving what he should have, reveal two aspects of the same search.
Both movies reinforce the need for significance and belonging which we all must feel and which Christmas brings firmly into focus.
Perhaps we need to recognise our significance to those in our family and our neighbourhood and our place of work this Christmas.
The world would be worse off without you, as George found out.
Perhaps we should look out for those who might be on the outskirts of belonging at this time of year.
Could you reach out to any Edwards in your life?
Oh, and please, watch a movie or two. By the way, what's your favourite Christmas film?