If you could be any character from a Christmas movie…who would you wanna be? That’s the question I asked my wife the other day. I think that may give you a glimpse into what my lovely wife has to put up with on a daily basis. I can’t help it if that’s the way my mind works, and I make no apologies for having a curious nature PBS assuredly would be proud of. My wife has not yet gotten back to me with an answer. Either she’s still contemplating the philosophical question, or she has forgotten all about the proposed nonsense. It has been a few weeks since I asked, so I suspect it’s the latter. When I proposed the question I had no preconceived answer in mind because I had not mulled it over myself. Boy, sometimes I really give myself something important to think about.
My initial thought was Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. He certainly is fond of Christmas, and all of the traditions associated with the glorious holiday, just as I am. Some people may be a bit skeptical when Clark brings home a Christmas tree that’s way too big for his house, but let me assure you it’s not so far-fetched because I’ve done exactly the same thing a time or two. He builds up the special time of year so much in his head that he’s bound to be at least a little disappointed after its all been said and done. I have been guilty of that as well. Clark also has an idiotic cousin-in-law to contend with, so I decided I should explore some other possibilities.
Ralphie Parker from A Christmas Story quickly came to mind as one of my favorite Christmas movie characters, but the more I thought about his life the less I wished to be like him. The youngster is constantly being chased by bullies, before and after school, and he is forced to suck on a bar of soap as punishment for swearing (Lifebuoy is the worst). Ralphie’s also made to wear pink bunny pajamas and anything else Aunt Clara sends his way, and let’s not forget he nearly shoots his eye out with his official Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle. Next!
How about Ebenezer Scrooge, from A Christmas Carol, I wondered. Now there’s a magnificent ending to a classic Christmas tale, and the thought of living in simpler times is very appealing to me. A world without cell phones and reality television would be an absolute dream come true. Of course, Mr. Scrooge spends the better part of his life alone and wallowing in bitterness, so maybe he is not someone I would want to be. However, he is tremendously wealthy, and who wouldn’t want that, but Ebenezer doesn’t do anything with his acquired fortune, so what’s the point. Besides, the question I specifically had asked was, “If you could be any character from a Christmas movie…who would you wanna be?” I made no mention of being afforded the opportunity to change any of the chosen character’s traits, or the way in which they had lived their lives, so the search continued.
I thought about Davey Stone from the not as well-known seasonal movie, Eight Crazy Nights, but only for a second. Adam Sandler’s character is Jewish and celebrates Hanukkah instead of Christmas. I’m not even sure what Hanukkah is. In addition, Davey Stone is a cartoon character who I would assume lives in an entirely different world than what I am used to. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, or if I’d ever cross paths with other cartoon characters (like Scooby-Doo and the gang), but regardless I decided to omit all animated characters from consideration at that point. Unfortunately, that decision left The Grinch out of the running, and that’s really too bad because I’ve been told I look good in green. However, spread out over the entire length of my body might be a bit too much. I then considered Santa Claus, from either Miracle On 34th Street or The Santa Clause, but being the jolly old elf simply seems like an awful lot of work and very time consuming as well.
My mind wandered off to Peter Bailey from It’s A Wonderful Life. It’s kind of funny how a movie character can appear to be so perfect at first, but after further examination we discover they are just as flawed as the rest of us, and their life is not so wonderful after all. We all probably tend to focus on Peter Bailey’s epiphany and his change of heart, in regards to taking his own life, instead of realizing he will still be working at the Building and Loan (a job he loathes), and residing in the town he has grown tired of, at the end of the day. Bedford Falls is simply too small for a man who would lasso the moon if he could. The disgruntled man yearns to travel abroad, but there is always something keeping him from leaving and pursuing his dreams. Peter Bailey still lives in a drafty old house and has too many children (if you ask me) by movie’s end. Finding a seemingly easy answer to my question had become quite the dilemma and much harder to answer than I had anticipated.
Kevin McCallister! Of course. I can’t believe it took me this long to recall the adorable little boy who gets “lost” during his Christmas vacations in the Home Alone movies. Kevin is thoughtful, intelligent, very independent (for a child), and he possesses the ingenuity similar to that of MacGyver. He sometimes gets into mischief (we all do), but overall he’s a pretty decent kid. The youngster loves all of the traditions associated with Christmas, especially decorated Christmas trees, and he thinks cold weather should be a requirement at Christmastime. The rest of his family would rather be in a tropical setting somewhere during the holidays. Whenever Kevin gets “lost” he doesn’t shirk from household responsibilities like grocery shopping or doing the laundry. He has an uncanny ability to overcome any obstacle that may get in his way. That’s precisely why the “Wet Bandits” (aka “Sticky Bandits”) are no match for the cute blond-haired, blue-eyed Kevin McCallister.
When the child is left to fend for himself he chooses to live a luxurious lifestyle. He indulges on his very own cheese pizza and a 3-scoop sundae because as he shamelessly puts it, “I’m not driving,” and Kevin has no qualms about charging everything to his father’s credit card. Priceless! He has a tendency of getting “lost” at Christmastime, but inevitably he is always found no worse for the wear. Even though sometimes the youngster is disappointed, with his large extended family, in the end he realizes he would not want to be without them. One of my mottos is, “without God and family…a person really has nothing,” so I whole-heartedly can relate to Kevin’s sentiment. If I could be any character from a Christmas movie…I would be Kevin McCallister from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Who would you wanna be?