I always mean to watch It’s A Wonderful Life at Christmas, but this was the first year I got a chance. I cried like a sap at the end, but had to laugh at a moment in the dramatic climax. George is seeing what life would be like if he had never been born – his friends and family have ended up dead, destitute, or in insane asylums, and his hometown has gone to wrack and ruin. But the one thing that tips him over the edge, which his guardian angel barely dares to tell him, is the fate of his wife, Mary.
Of course, George comes through and Mary is delivered back to her life of domestic, bookless bliss. PHEW.
Someone else’s family. Pheasant cooked in red wine. A fawn running through the snow in Lord Mountbatten’s estate. Sedately drinking through a whole bottle of nice tequila out of tiny teacups. A jukebox loaded up with ‘Killing In The Name Of’ and ‘Last Resort’ for Christmas Eve. Waiting for a son to come home across the Atlantic three days late. Mulled wine at a pub built in 1420, frequented by Wilde’s Bosie, still with the same low doorways and open fire. Family photos where everyone else is real and I am just a head in a box.
Some things don’t change: the Doctor Who Christmas special made me cry.
I hope you had a lovely Christmas. xx
Image: Andy Goldsworthy