A Christmas “What If”

A wise person posed an interesting “Christmas” question just the other day. “What if,” he pondered, “Scrooge had not woken up reformed? What if he remained a miser for all his days?” Perish the thought, am I right?? Who needs to dwell on that kind of downer thought? What a truly awful “what if” to ponder. However, once that question was put into my head, ponder it I did. And, as these things usually go, that pondering led me to other, decidedly un-jolly ponderings as well.

For, what if George Bailey could not be convinced that his life mattered? What if Ralphie’s dad had not purchased that coveted Red Rider BB Gun? What would have happened if Linus could not shed some light on the true meaning of Christmas for Charlie Brown? Or if Cindy Lou who had not woken up and had a fireside chat with the Grinch? What if, horror of horrors, Maureen O’ Hara and Natalie Wood could not be persuaded to have faith in the fact that Edmund Guen was Santa Claus? (And I think he just might be…every time I watch that movie!) These iconic Christmas moments, for some of us so imperative to the joy of the season…what would we do if each of them had not played out on the silver screen as perfectly as they did?

There’s a common element of magic to these stories; a theme that runs through whether expressly stated or just implied. That theme of course is having faith and truly believing. And it comes up in other, more modern classics as well. For isn’t it Christmas Spirit (a.k.a. Faith) that makes Santa’s sleigh fly in ELF? And who is to say that there is not a sprinkling of Christmas magic ( a.k.a. Believe) keeping little Kevin McAllister safe from those robbers in Home Alone and keeping Clark Griswold’s Christmas cheer going in Christmas Vacation? Over and over, all December long we are reminded to have faith, to believe, to embrace the magic of Christmas.

Perhaps no film can remind us of just how important it is to do that as well as The Polar Express does. With its somewhat melancholy message at the end, it alone of the Christmas “classics” comments on what truly happens to that Christmas magic when we grow up and grow old. As our film’s narrator and possessor of Santa’s bell tells us…

As years passed, it (the bell) fell silent for all of them…they could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me…as it does for all who truly believe…

It’s hard to hear that bell, isn’t it? It’s HARD to believe, HARD to have faith. We as adults know that..and it the world we live in, it gets harder all the same. And yet, here we are, just one week before Christmas Eve…

So, let us try, you and I, for this one week to strain to hear that bell, to find our faith, to believe in the season. My wish this Christmas for each of us is this:

May you never be too grown up to watch the skies on Christmas Eve. I know, for that one night, I’ll gaze upward…if only for a moment…and truly will believe!


Ms. Degnan will be taking a hiatus from her BLOG until after the New Year.  
Best wishes for a very merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year!


  1. Very true Sarah. Without imagination, we are dead. We must never lose out imagination, as i teach this through the beautiful book, Le Petit Prince.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.


  2. Well done Sarah! Wishing you and your little thespian the magic of Christmas and a New Year filled with adventure ❤️

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