Kicking off my Hollywood Christmas classics series, celebrating the love my husband I have for one another after 42 years (on Dec. 16, 2019)! as well as the love we share for old movies. Here’s how some of our favorite Christmas classics embody WifeSavers principles…
Do you remember when your very own “George Bailey” said to you, “What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down….”
Well, your George probably didn’t use those exact words, but sometime during your courtship (those days when he was keen on winning you over) he talked pretty sweet, and may even have made a passionate promise or two. My Honey took me up a mountain, and then, when he was sure I was mesmerized by the view, he said “Let me give you a beautiful life.” I liked the sound of that, so I took him up on the offer. Then I waited and watched for him to make good. It was his job. He had promised.
Looking back, I see things differently. I see that my narrow interpretation of “life” (as in the here-and-now) almost landed us in divorce court. How immature, impatient, and unfair of me. When Honey used the phrase a “beautiful life“, and when George Bailey talked about “lassoing the moon”, neither guy was making a promise.
They were asking a question.
What “lassoing the moon” really means is:
“Do you believe I can do the impossible? Do you think I can actually handle all the responsibilities of life, including pleasing you and taking care of a family? Will you give me time to figure out how to get to the moon; how to become the man of my dreams?”
For all the beautiful life lessons packed into Its a Wonderful Life, I have never heard or read anyone talk about this obvious moral: HUSBANDS CRAVE THEIR WIFE’S APPROVAL. Mary Bailey is such a natural at this, that it may go right past you; but do you remember the scene immediately following the one in Mr. Potter’s office… where the old coon tempts George away from the Savings and Loan with promises of wealth? George rejects the offer but returns home, head hanging low, more disheartened than ever. Mary is waiting for him in bed, and in a scene that is perhaps the greatest example of married love ever represented on the big screen, she engages him playfully, tenderly:
G: Mary Hatch! Wh-Why in the world did you ever marry a guy like me?
M: To keep from being an old maid.
G: You could have married Sam Wainwright and anybody else in town.
M: I didn’t want to marry anybody else in town. I want my baby to look like you.
G: You didn’t even have a honeymoon. I promised you… your what?
M: My baby.
G: You…You-You-You-You-You-You-You…Mary, you’re on the nest?
M: George Bailey lassoes stork!
Of course, this conversation isn’t the only example of Mary sending George the approval message: “You are good at fulfilling your responsibilities, and I trust you will always do your best for us.” She does it again and again, picking up the pieces whenever his confidence crumbles. She seems to understand innately that her husband fears failure and uselessness more than anything else in the world and that he depends on her for reassurance and restoration.
It makes a girl wonder: angels aside, what REALLY would have happened to George without Mary?????
Leave a comment on this post to be entered in The Fourth Annual Wife for Life Classic Hollywood Christmas Giveaway! All thoughtful commenters on this blog between now and 11:59m PST December 31st, 2019, will be entered in a RANDOM.ORG drawing for one of FOUR Hollywood Christmas classics on DVD (including It’s a Wonderful Life) as well as an autographed copy of Wife for Life: The Power to Succeed in Marriage. Each comment (one per post please) will count as an entry. Come back and comment on all the Hollywood Christmas Classics blog posts (published Wednesdays in December) to better your chances!