And So, It Begins

by Jill Klusendorf, Director of Community Life

The rush and crush of the holiday season. Great expectations and preparations. Rituals and traditions. Family.

In our family, one of the ways we stay connected is to have family movie nights. Yes, there may be an infamous crab ball involved: it's one of our things. While we put up the tree and deck the halls, we watch no less than ten hours of well-curated Christmas programming together. We have a special section in our DVD collection (it's famously large: friends call us KluBuster) of Christmas movies. We are always happy to share!

Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, White Christmas: you get the picture. I don't know how it happens, maybe the household media director, aka David-the-Dad, makes the rotation, so that once we are finally done with the tree, the tinsel, and the constant tweaking that Hannah and I do, we need something just a bit twisted to keep us on track with the true message of Christmas with one final movie.

This would be Scrooged. A wildly inappropriate, modern-day spin on the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, Bill Murray's character, Frank Cross, may be the biggest Scrooge of all time. His frenetic and cruel treatment of those around him is difficult to watch. But the process and transformation is more than worth the wait, and I am always grateful that our personal media director and love of my life plans it just so.

For now, I will leave you all with some lines from the movie. Every time I see it, it still gets to me. This is what this season is about. I'm not crazy. I get it now. Christmas just doesn't happen once a year. You'll want it every day. And that's what keeps us whole, keeps us family. I'm ready now! Put a little love in your heart.

This is my message:

"I'm not crazy. It's Christmas Eve! It's the one night when we all act a little nicer. We...we smile a little easier. We...we...share a little more. For a couple of hours we are the people we always hoped we would be. It's really a miracle because it happens every Christmas Eve."

"And if you waste that miracle, you're gonna burn for it. I know. You have to do something. You have to take a chance and get involved. There are people that don't have enough to eat and who are cold. You can go and greet these people, take an old blanket out to them or make a sandwich and say, 'Here.'

'I get it now.' And if you give, then it can happen, the miracle can happen to you. Not just the poor and hungry: Everybody's gotta have this miracle! It can happen tonight for you all! If you believe in this pure thing, the miracle will happen and you'll want it again tomorrow! You won't say, 'Christmas is once a year and it's a fraud. It's not!"

"You'll want it every day! It can happen to you! I believe in it now. I believe it's gonna happen to me, now. I'm ready for it! And it's great. It's a good feeling. It's better than I've felt in a long time. I'm ready! Have a Merry Christmas. Everybody."

"God bless us, every one."