Daydreaming of a right Christmas season
After a busy first semester at Wake Forest School of Divinity, I find myself looking forward to my favorite holiday tradition. Okay, honestly, I was looking forward to Christmas Eve long before the end of the semester, but now that the long-awaited Williams Family tradition of viewing Michael Curtiz’s White Christmas on Christmas Eve is fast approaching, I cannot help but reflect on this beloved movie in light of my first semester experience as I wait in anticipation.
While being mindful of the risk of giving away a bit of the movie’s plotline, I’ll briefly explain the gist of White Christmas. Two of the main characters, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, played by Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye respectively, happen upon their former army general’s ski resort during the holiday season. During a mild winter, not unlike our current winter, the resort was struggling without snow blanketing the ski slopes.
Throughout their busy show business career, Bob and Phil surely paid little thought to the whereabouts and well-being of their former general, until the two men visit his ski resort. They hurriedly organize a musical production and invite other troops formerly lead by General Waverly. The visiting troops create a revenue that was vital to the survival of the general’s resort.
As I move into this spirited season, I wonder about who I might be forgetting in the midst of my holiday excitement. Just as Bob Wallace and Phil Davis forgot their beloved General Waverly, there must be relationships in my own life that I have allowed to lay forgotten by the wayside. And even beyond my personal relationships, I feel certain that there are people in the world whose needs I overlook.
If I learned two things at Wake Forest School of Divinity during my first semester, from experiences inside and outside of the classroom, I learned the importance of relationships and the necessity of reconciliation, both of which are present within the sentiments of White Christmas. Just as Wallace and Davis reconnect with a meaningful figure of their formative past, my past friends and mentors await a kind text message or email to check in and catch up. Just as Wallace and Davis worked within their means and talents to help a struggling army veteran retain his livelihood, where might my means and talents enhance the lives of others?
Perhaps the most important element I’ve uncovered through my reflection is the sense of responsibility. The characters of White Christmas acted not in pursuit of warm feelings of accomplishment or satisfying tokens of gratitude. Bob Wallace and Phil Davis helped out of a sense of moral responsibility.
Judging from the lessons embedded within my family Christmas tradition, I have a big responsibility to fulfill – at all times. But, what could possibly be a better time to start than now, not only because the present is the best time to start, but because, in my opinion, this is the most love-filled season.
Stephanie’s passions include thinking creatively about social justice, visiting her family in southern Missouri, and reading or reflecting over a steamy mug of coffee.