"It's a Wonderful Life" is not a Christmas movie and I can prove it.
· Nov 27, 2020 · NottheBee.com

Every year around this time, my wife and I watch two holiday classics, "White Christmas" and "It's A Wonderful Life." But despite what society (and my wife) will tell you, the latter is not a Christmas movie and I can prove it scientifically.

I'll say off the bat that I'm not knocking "It's A Wonderful Life." It's a... well.. it's a wonderful movie! But it's not a Christmas movie. Dear reader, if you could just accept this simple fact then we would all be free to enjoy "It's A Wonderful Life" year-round!

This is a terrible analogy, but it's kind of like those hymns about the incarnation that we only sing around Christmas time. "Joy to the World" might be one of the best hymns ever written, but we only sing it one month out of twelve. Tragic! The same is true for the life of George Bailey. He should be enjoyed all year without guilt.

So here are three reasons "It's A Wonderful Life" is NOT a Christmas movie:

1. The Majority of the Film Isn't Even Set During Christmas

What kind of Christmas movie doesn't take place during Christmas? Sure, it starts and ends on Christmas Eve, but the meat of the film is all the background of George's life leading up to his financial crisis and peeping into an alternative timeline to see what life would be like without him. None of that stuff happens around Christmas.

Honestly, this is more of a movie about banking than it is about Christmas.

One of many banking scenes.

Sure, a good portion of the film's runtime (roughly 47%) takes place during Christmas, but it's still not really about Christmas. The music isn't even Christmas music unless your family has a holiday tradition of gathering around the gramophone to sing "Buffalo Gals (Won't You Come Out Tonight?)"

Let me ask you, is summertime the only time you watch "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"? I should hope not. Then, why do we only watch "It's A Wonderful Life" at Christmastime?

🤷‍♂️ Facts and logic, ladies and gentlemen.

2. The Main Theme of the Film Has Nothing to Do with Christmas

What is "It's A Wonderful Life" about? Not Christmas. It's about a generous dude who gets into financial hardship because he helps people too much. He gets taken advantage of and nearly faces financial ruin because some criminal turd steals $8,000 from him. George may even go to prison for it. So faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, George considers the unthinkable.

But while he's contemplating ending it all an angel shows up in a Delorean and takes him on a tour of an alternative timeline, showing him what the world would be like without him (some details might be a little fuzzy for me since I haven't been allowed to watch the movie since last year).

In the end, George sees that the world would be far worse off without him, so he decides to stick with the living thing and face his problems head-on. And, lo and behold! The folks he's helped along the way show up in the third act to bail him out of his financial predicament.

Amazing! A Christmas miracle! Right?


Just because something in a movie happens on Christmas Eve does not make it a Christmas movie.

Sure, I guess you could argue that it was the holiday spirit of giving or some such nonsense that made the people help George. But we are given no indication that Christmas itself had any role in motivating the people to come through for him. It's just that he was a swell guy and they felt compelled to help him out of his pickle. That's just what friends do. No Christmas necessary.

3. The Title Isn't Even Christmassy

Lastly, the title of the movie doesn't even indicate that it's a Christmas movie. "It's A Wonderful Life" sounds more like the title for a suicide-prevention PSA (which I guess it sort of is, come to think of it).

Want a good Christmas movie title? How about "White Christmas," "Elf," or "Jingle All the Way"? But "It's A Wonderful Life"? Come on, man!

Is "It's A Wonderful Life" a classic? Absolutely! Is it a Christmas movie? Absolutely not.

More banking.

So this Christmas, go ahead and enjoy "It's A Wonderful Life," but don't you dare think of it as a Christmas movie while you do. And maybe sometime in May or July, you can sit down and watch it again just to prove to yourself that you really know it's not a Christmas movie.

Oh and as long as we are talking about Christmas movies...


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