I have discovered

by Lorin Michel Thursday, January 5, 2017 9:29 PM

This week I have discovered old made-for-TV movies. This happened entirely by accident. Let me explain.

Regular readers might remember that every Christmas I engage in a ritual. It starts right around December 1, coincidentally right around the time I start playing Christmas music. I watch Christmas movies online. I don’t actually “watch,” of course. More like listen as they play in the background while I work. I’ve seen them all too many times to count. The 1951 version of Scrooge with Alistair Sim; the 1984 version with George C. Scott. It’s a Wonderful Life. I also manage to listen to An American Christmas Carol with Henry Winkler (my brother’s favorite) and It Happened One Christmas, the twist on It’s a Wonderful Life, with Marlo Thomas. There are others. The Christmas Story Lady with Jessica Tandy and Stephanie Zimbalist; Silent Night with Linda Hamilton; One Special Night with Julie Andrews and James Gardner. I’m a sucker for Christmas movies in the same way I’m a sucker for Christmas music. I don’t like old sappy music like anything by the Carpenters, Andy Williams, or Ray Conniff. And I don’t like sappy movies. Well, actually I do. I just like them when they’re well done. 

For several weeks before Christmas I’d fluctuate between playing music and movies in my office. And then, Christmas was over. Roy and Bobbi went home. I de-Christmased the house, putting everything away in its proper place until next year. We settled back into our routine as early as Monday when everyone else was still celebrating the holiday. 

Maybe it was that fact, that everyone was off and still having one more day of the 2016 Christmas season, but on Monday, as I sat at my desk, I opened a browser to youtube. I hadn’t finished It Happened One Christmas and I thought, what the hell? I was still feeling a little Christmas-y. I hit play, shrunk the browser down to a small square in the top right corner of my computer screen and then continued to work. When it was over, another movie started to play. I don’t even remember what it was, but it wasn’t bad. Soon enough, anything holiday related moved into just interesting. And they were almost all made for television.

I’ve let them play for the last few days while I work and I’ve seen/heard some pretty good films. Many of them were nostalgia based, set in the plain states during the time after World War I or World War II. A simpler time. They weren’t sappy at all, just sweet. One of my favorites was actually one that I don’t think was made for TV. Called Sweet Land, it was positively charming. Most were obviously made for television but well done, including one from the 1980s called Little Girl Lost.

I have discovered that sometimes you can discover good things when you’re not even looking. Not important things, just fun things. Things to keep you occupied when you’re working and need a little company in your office. Things that help you live it out loud.

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live out loud

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