December 28, 2016

Stop Wishing For Things You Already Have: My Christmas Love (2016)

Video from My Christmas Love
Image Credits: Hallmark Channel
Have you ever wished for something only to realize that the very thing you were wishing for was right in front of you all along? So many of us want meaningful and lasting love, but fail to see the potential for love right in front of us. That's exactly what happened to Cynthia in the holiday-themed romantic comedy My Christmas Love. Cynthia, a hopeless romantic, just can't seem to find the kind of friendship and love that her parents had, even though she tried ... and tried ... and tried. The problem was that she was trying too hard to force love instead of taking pause and realizing what she had right in front of her the whole time. My Christmas Love is a great reminder to all of us of the valuable life lesson to appreciate what we have. As it turns out, stopping to smell the roses (or the fresh snow in this case) could just be what we need to realize what we've wanted was right in front of us all along.

Image Credits: Hallmark Channel
In the movie My Christmas Love, Cynthia Baker (Meredith Hagner), the aforementioned hopeless romantic, just can't seem to find a meaningful and lasting love. Desperate to have the kind of romantic love affair that her parents had, Cynthia knew that friendship and a spark were necessary ingredients for the kind of love story that she wanted to have. Too bad she kept chasing love in all the wrong places. That is until she got a better-late-than-never wake-up call while visiting her hometown for the Christmas holiday with her best friend/employee Liam Pollok (Bobby Campo). All it took was a daily reminder of what real and true love is, thanks to daily deliveries representing the 12 Days of Christmas, and a couple failed attempts at rekindling old flames that finally helped Cynthia to see that she was looking for love where it didn't exist. Trying to hit on your ex-boyfriend who's now a priest can do that to you, right? Turns out, love, that is meaningful and lasting love, was with her all along in the form of her best friend/employee Liam. And thank goodness real and true love is patient and forgiving because Cynthia's seeming last-ditch effort to find love over the Christmas holiday by turning her attention to Liam (since nothing else panned out) couldn't keep the two lovebirds from reuniting and pledging their love for one another, even though Liam was initially hurt by the appearance of being her last choice. In the end, it all worked out for Cynthia (and her beau Liam) because she finally started to really appreciate the relationship she had with her best friend.

Image Credits: Hallmark Channel
While My Christmas Love is a cute, light-hearted Hallmark Channel holiday classic-in-the-making, it's also a great reminder to us all about one of the true gifts of the holiday season: appreciation. Like Cynthia, we all could take a little time every day, not just during the holidays, to really appreciate the people in our lives and what a gift they are to us. So, let us all go forth and cherish the time we have with the people around us, appreciating every moment we have with them while we have it because they just might be our wishes come true. Happy Holidays!

December 13, 2016

Saying Goodbye Is Tough, But Sometimes You Have To: A Walk To Remember (2006)

There's an old, beautiful poem that says people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Even if you've never heard of it before, you can probably guess that the poem is about appreciating the people that come into our lives as well as the life lessons they help us learn. The trick is to figure out which category the people in our lives fit into. Not an easy task, I must admit, but one well worth the conscious effort as you'll start to see things in your life in a totally different way. You'll start to make conscious choices about the people you choose to bring into your life as well. Wow, right? Deep stuff. Basically, we're talking about not being one of the walking dead ... in real life.

A Walk to Remember Poster.jpg
Speaking of passing on, death is one of the biggest reminders we have of our own mortality and what matters most (and even the kick in the butt we may need to get our act/lives together). And as frightening as it may be to think about, at least our own demise, it can be downright emotionally devastating when we have to watch someone we love and care for pass on, whether our loved one passed on prematurely or not. That's what makes the movie A Walk to Remember such a great story. It portrays a compelling story about a misguided young man who turns his life around after falling in love and then ultimately losing the love of his life due to her untimely passing from a life-threatening illness. A Walk to Remember reminds us all of the important lesson: saying goodbye is tough, but sometimes you have to. And this lesson doesn't just apply to coping with death, but also breakups and any other forms of voluntary separation.

In the movie A Walk to Remember, teenage rebel Landon Carter (Shane West) is forced to choose between expulsion and helping out other students and participating in the school play after being exposed for his involvement in a prank that led to the injury of another student and property damage on school grounds. Although he knew quiet Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore) since kindergarten, they pretty much hung out with different crowds. It was during his punishment/atonement for his crimes, however, that Landon finally became officially acquainted with his old classmate. Jamie helping Landon out with his role in the play sparked a new connection, which was initially plagued with a lot of back-and-forth between the two, but then turned into friendship and so much more. The two unlikely friends, the rebel and the minister's daughter, fell in love and began to change each other for the better. Things became really serious when Jamie finally confessed to Landon that she was dying from leukemia and didn't have much longer to live. By then the two were spending as much time together as they possibly could, making the most of the time Jamie had left, which Landon made sure to try and fulfill as many of Jamie's wishes as possible including getting married. When Jamie died at the end of the summer, she did so having experienced a lasting and meaningful love, one that Landon would never forget either. In the end, Landon was a changed person. He even went to college and had plans to attend medical school. And even though saying goodbye to the love of his life felt premature, with Jamie being so young and all, Landon did so and was able to go on with strength because of the beautiful memory of the love he experienced that summer with Jamie.

As sweet as A Walk to Remember is to experience, it's also a great reminder to us all that sometimes people come into our lives for just a reason or a season and not a lifetime. Yes, like Landon in the movie, we sometimes have to say goodbye sooner than we expect or maybe we don't realize that someone is in our lives for just a reason or a season, which can be tough, but facing that reality is the only thing left to do. So, let us all embrace the fact that saying goodbye is tough, but that sometimes we just have to remember that it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's not bad because no matter why or how long someone is in our lives, we are better for having known them. It's all about evolving, right? Onward and upward.