Tuesday, July 19, 2011

1990s Christmas: A Season for Miracles

Our Christmas in July party continues with guest bloggers writing about memorable Christmas episodes, specials and movies made in the 1990s.  Today's guest is Kiki Howell, a paranormal erotic romance writer.  Check her out: http://www.KikiHowell.comShe also runs the book review website, Authors By AuthorsThis TV movie is available for purchase on DVD and is a perennial favorite on the Hallmark Channel.  In her piece here, I think she describes exactly the appeal and success of most Christmas TV movies.  See what you think.


 A Season For Miracles

I tend toward the darker stories, whether TV or movies or books, for most of the year. But, come Christmas time, for 25 days, I am one of the biggest saps you will ever meet. I buy more books than I can read and movies than I can watch, especially with the 25 Days of Christmas programming on ABC Family and the Hallmark Channel along with all the specials on regular TV. Forget the shopping and baking, this Christmas entertainment stuff becomes a full time job – as the host of this blog can attest to!


I do have my favorite holiday shows though, the ones that it just is not Christmas, I mean seriously the day cannot come, until I have watched them. One of those is called, A Season for Miracles, a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie which originally aired Dec 12th, 1999. I think the title says it all here, hopefully explains my obsession with the entertainment industry at this most joyous time of year. I want to be reminded to believe in a world where miracles happen. I have witnessed a few of life’s miracles myself. I truly believe a lot of it is in your perspective. Miracles happen on different scales daily. Sometimes we have to choose to see them, to take the time to be a witness to the unexplainable and the amazing that are so easily missed in our hurried world. This brings me to another reason I get so caught up in holiday programming, and that is that most of the season’s shows teach great life lessons, give us a world where the cup just isn’t half full, but overflowing once those lessons are learned.

With all this in mind, I re-watched A Season For Miracles, yes with the air conditioning on, listening for what it had to teach me. There was a lot about wishing and keeping up hope and angels living among us. Some great lines are given not only by just Aunt Emilie, the main character, but also by Police Captain Nathan Blair, the sisters as the elderly neighbors are called, and by the angel played by Patty Duke. In the beginning, the little girl whose mom is in the police ward of the hospital worries about where they will be sleeping for the night while sitting in car that barely runs in the rain - did you catch all of that, the setting of the tragic scene *giggles*. When this poor little girl mimics her aunts earlier line of ‘things will look better in the morning,’ the aunt replies, ‘they just about have to.’ And, when things get better, even though that better is tied up in a frail ribbon of lies, you hear the aunt praying for that good to last. They are in an almost impossible situation grasping at the little miracles around them.

Actress Carla Gugino as Emilie
Another thing I love about this movie is how it teaches that family can come in all shapes and sizes, that being free to live our lives as we see best is a happily ever after. Again, perspective. At one point it is pointed out by the good cop that all the aunt and her niece and nephew needed was a good support system. He continues to tell how that came form neighbors and community rather than a messed up legal system who despite their best intentions sometimes get so caught up in the red tape that they no longer can see what is best in the real world for one of their cases. Goodwill, it is another part of the season to cherish, a time when people more easily lay aside their own needs to help those less fortunate.

This is also a movie that points out that we need to appreciate the little things like being able to read a book, hang a wreath with an ugly red bow upon our door, have lights and heat in our house, and have someone to love us who makes us feel safe. One of my favorite lines about simplicity, of course being an author, is when the angel says to the policeman, ‘Doesn’t take much to make you happy, just a little ink on a page.’

Other cast members (l to r): Laura Dern, Lynn Redgrave, Kathy Baker, Patty Duke and Faith Prince.
Also, beyond the great romance storyline, one full of problems and obstacles, are the messages that are echoed through out about the power of forgiveness to change the world and how anything is possible.  With all my heart, I want to believe these things. It is so easy to get bogged down in our busy lives and to only have the horrid news as a gage on life – watching the news when stressed and tired is a bad, bad idea! LOL  So, December or Christmas in July or all year round, we all need these reminders, the ones that feel-good, inspirational holiday movies have to offer. I recently had a lot of fun writing a Christmas story of my own, one void of my usual paranormal darkness, one that was a romantic comedy about seeing past what others offer us of themselves, and one I hope will release end of this year… but right now, after watching this movie, I think I have another book idea one brewing! It’s non-fiction. I think I need to have a talk with Joanna! Hmm, wonder what could happen if…well, Anything is Possible :)

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