December 23, 2014

Always Take the High Road: The Fitzgerald Family Christmas (2012)

The Fitzgerald Family Christmas.jpg
The holidays are supposed to be a time of celebration and sharing, but for a lot of us, it just ends up being a big stress inducing blur that we try to forget after New Years. For some reason, getting families together tends to do that.

Why is it that nearly every time families get together there is always some sort of drama; especially among the larger families? I don't know; but maybe it's inevitable with so many different personalities, or maybe it's out of habit for some, but it seems like the holidays just aren't complete without it. The thing is, it doesn't have to be that way. We could opt out of the unnecessary drama, by simply choosing not to reduce ourselves to ugliness. The movie The Fitzgerald Family Christmas (2012) is one of the best reminders that we all have the power to keep the peace by taking the high road and in turn, have a happier and more enjoyable holiday as a result. 

In the movie The Fitzgerald Family Christmas (2012), general nice guy and eldest sibling Gerry Fitzgerald (Edward Burns) is overwhelmed, and quite frankly tired, of being the organizer and peacekeeper of the entire family. To make matters more complicated, this particular Christmas, Gerry finds himself struggling with his own hurt feelings after his dying father has requested to spend the holiday with the family that he selfishly abandoned twenty years prior. Although initially the prospect of the father returning to spend the holiday with everyone was met with mixed emotions, ultimately, we saw the family come together and offer forgiveness to the man that wronged them, in the true spirit of the holiday.

In the beginning of the movie, when we first meet Gerry, he was attempting to gather all of his siblings together to not only celebrate his mother's 70th birthday, but to also discuss how his siblings felt about their father joining them on Christmas Day. Unfortunately for him, his attempts failed miserably and not long after, everyone learned the reason why their father was so desperate to rejoin his estranged family for the holiday. With a house divided on the issue, mostly due to issues of past resentment and hurt, it came down to the matriarch to decide whether or not the dad would be allowed back into the family home for their traditional holiday dinner.

In the end, the entire family came together to not only forgive the father for his past mistakes (as hurtful as they were), but also welcomed him back into the family; particularly in light of his health issues. It wasn't easy, especially for the mother (whom was arguably most affected by the father's past choices and actions), but they all chose to take the high road. This serves to remind us all that forgiveness knows no boundaries and no matter what the circumstances, we can all choose to take the high road.

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