Christmas is just around the corner. Mr. A couldn’t bear the anticipation and cracked into a few of his gifts. Even as they disappear from beneath the tree, I already dread the holiday’s passing. The glitter and magic of Christmas fading into the dullness of winter and the shambles of clearance decor. The music disappears. The tree is disassembled. Ornaments tucked away to wait another long year. When the magic returns.
But that is still a few short days away. So we settled in for yet another Christmas movie. A classic I hadn’t yet seen. Home Alone.
I never quite understood why it was a classic. A movie about a kid being left alone at Christmas time and battling perils including a band of uncoordinated robbers. Hardly a riveting topic.
But I kept an open mind and was proven entirely wrong. Although this movie is a simple one of a child overcoming the odds and taking on some hardened criminals with comic ease, it is also more. It is entertaining with subtle, easy humor and the fascination of watching an 8-year-old become an adult as circumstances demand while maintaining the wonder of his youth and his belief in Santa Clause.
I know one thing, 8-year-old me, suddenly waking to realize her entire family has disappeared to another country…..well, she probably would have cried. Then hid in the house, scavenging junk food for meals and wearing the same clothes until they were ripe. I do know that when I was around that age, I came home to find thieves in my house, I ran across the street and left my dad to handle them.
That is far from what Kevin did when left alone. Somehow this inept boy, when faced with perhaps perpetual abandonment, did laundry, went grocery shopping, went to church, made dinner, and took several showers, while saving the evening to handle assailants. I barely do all that in a week. And I am almost three times his age. I feel a bit threatened and by more than just swinging paint cans and steps covered in tar.
Mr. A laughed the hardest at the poor kid when the bottom fell out of his groceries and left him standing on the sidewalk with the paper handles of his sacks. Perhaps that was the moment that even Kevin faltered in his previous prowess at domestic chores. And those of us less competent felt a bit of pay back.
But even Mr. A was touched by the most poignant part of the film – the neighbor and his heartbreaking story. Therein is the beauty of the film. The subtle side story of a man painted as a mass murderer by the nearby children, who is in truth only a frail, lonely man. His story is one of regret and forgiveness.
In his story, comes Kevin’s most sage advice and a valuable lesson for us all. To not let fear hold us back. To not sit alone and stew over mistakes but rather to face them. Even the horrible consequences cannot be as bad as not knowing.
Mr. A’s sole contribution to the evening’s entertainment was “IT’s GOING DOWN….” as the climatic hour of 9 o’clock strikes. It was true so I will give him that.
We still have a few Christmas movies to watch before the inevitable holiday arrives so I will probably return very soon. In the meantime, enjoy Christmas while you can! Before it slips away and keep up with your household chores or 8-year-old Kevin will show you up.