Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book Review: 52 Little Lessons from It's a Wonderful Life

It's a Wonderful Life has become a Christmas tradition for my family.  I'll admit it is not one I grew up with though.  I probably watched it at some point as a kid, but the first time I remember seeing the movie was after college.

I became a Jimmy Stewart fan around that time, so I was trying to watch as many of his movies as I could.  It's a Wonderful Life quickly became a must-view for Christmas to truly be Christmas.  I loved the lessons.  You know, you don't have to go to big places and build big things to make a tremendous difference.  People are more important than things.  God answers prayer with what we need, not necessarily with what we ask for. 

So the idea of 52 Little Lessons from It's a Wonderful Life most certainly appealed to me.  Bob Welch has done a fantastic job of putting together 52 little reflections on the various messages in the movie. 

From the publisher:
Do you pay a visit to Bedford Falls every Christmas? Does December feel incomplete without a reminder that “no man is a failure who has friends”? If George and Mary Bailey are annual guests at your home during the holidays, you already know that It’s A Wonderful Life is far more than just a festive seasonal film. It’s a reflection of what we can be when we’re at our best and a reminder that our lives can change everyone around us—for better or worse. Revisit the defining lessons in Frank Capra’s 1946 classic, and discover new dimensions of the film you’ve seen time and again. What can you learn from Mary’s quiet contentedness? Does George’s selflessness make you rethink your own priorities? And how about Clarence’s dogged commitment to his assignment? Join author Bob Welch for a close-up of the characters and themes that shape this beautiful story. You’ll be reminded that life’s most important work is often the work we never planned to do and that God can use the most unlikely among us to get the job done.
My thoughts?  Given that there are 52 lessons, it seems to be intended for reading one of these 4-5 page chapters a week for a year.  I would never be able to do that!  For review purposes, I sat down and read a dozen or so in a sitting, and I'd have to say that some of the material really started to blur together after a couple of those sessions.

I believe that reading this at a more sedate pace would give me time to absorb and reflect, and it would certainly keep the material fresh.

The "lessons" were interesting.  Some were things I've noticed too, and I've discussed with my kids.  Some were a bit more "a-ha!" for me, mostly in that Welch put something I had vaguely noticed and like into words.  So my reaction to those chapters was more "THAT is why I love that scene!"

I really look forward to watching this movie with my kids this Christmas season.  And I'm tempted to make these 52 "Little Lessons" a bit of an Advent devotional.

Disclaimer: As a Booksneeze Blogger, I did receive this Bible for free from Thomas Nelson. All opinions are my own.  No other compensation was received. For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.

1 comment:

Kym said...

"It's a Wonderful Life" is one of the movies that we HAVE to watch every Christmas season - it's my favorite! I'm going to look for this book - it sounds perfect for me!