Hallmark holiday movies get filmed in and around Aldergrove. (Aldergrove Star files)

Hallmark holiday movies get filmed in and around Aldergrove. (Aldergrove Star files)

Ryan’s Regards: It’s a Wonderful Pandemic

Cue to onslaught of COVID-19-themed Christmas movies

It’s had to have happened to everyone by now. You’re watching an old movie or TV show and your mind instantly goes “there’s too many people close together in that room,” or “no one is wearing a mask…”

I think this happens to me at least once per viewing. And now that it’s the holiday season, my film watching habits have kicked up to high gear, so my mind is going into overdrive with COVID creativity.

I mean, what else are we going to do this holiday season – besides visit the beautiful tree in downtown Aldergrove of course?

It’s fun to hunker down, take in timeless holiday favourites, and re-imagine them with 2020 twists.

Kris Kringle certainly wouldn’t have a job in Miracle on 34th Street if that movie took place right now.

No one would help poor Ralphie with his tongue stuck to the metal post in A Christmas Story, though wearing a mask would prevent that problem from ever happening.

Would Harry and Marv dare to even rob houses with a pandemic going on in Home Alone? All Macaulay Culkin would have to do in terms of traps would be to simply threaten to breathe on the intruders.

Buddy the Elf would be heavily fined for trying to hug strangers on the street.

Singing would be too much of a risk for Bing Crosby to do in White Christmas. No large gatherings for all the Whos down in Whoville.

And the Griswalds in Christmas Vacation… well… I’d hope they’d still be their same clumsy selves. You just know cousin Eddie would be the one to bring COVID into that house.

It may sound like silly nonsense, but just you wait for the influx of coronavirus-themed stories hitting theatres next year.

Every Hallmark movie that you see filming on Fraser Highway will certainly contain some element of finding romance while being socially distanced or getting stuck at home for the holidays.

I was speaking to the book publisher in April and they told me that they had already received several submissions with stories revolving around the pandemic. That was in APRIL! People have a yearning to get these crazy times captured through creative means… that, or at least capitalize on it.

READ MORE: Ryan’s Regards: You’re not a lesser person

My thought that I just can’t shake is about the greatest seasonal story of them all; It’s a Wonderful Life.

The 1946 RKO ode to small towns and the common man starring James Stewart is a must at this time of year… or any time really. Few will attack me if I say it may be the greatest movie ever made.

But instead of rethinking what the residents of Bedford Falls would be doing in the times of COVID, there’s a certain comfort others might get from taking in this sentimental black and white classic.

Essentially, what we get to see is a man who learns what the world would be like if he never existed. His “simple” life turns out to me more meaningful that he ever thought.

Every single one of us would love to be guided by an upbeat angel right about now and shown what our lives and this world would be like if COVID never happened.

Would loved ones have a little bit more time on this earth? Would we have travelled far? Still been employed? Would are lives have changed at all?

It’s been a wildly unprecedented time, but as I catch up with old acquaintances around the holidays, I can tell you there is a lot of good still happening in this world.

I can’t even count on two hands how many close friends are expecting children in the new year.

I know people who were able to buy their first home and received the inspiration they needed to enroll in post-secondary or finally find the time to start a long-desired project they’ve never been able to get off the ground.

The film’s central character, George Bailey, goes through hardships in the course of his life – battling debt, depression, and stress, and greed; but he is shown that there is good.

While it’s unlikely a guardian angel will be visiting us anytime soon, It’s a Wonderful Life has at least given me the hope that, with enough passage of time, many will be able to find the unclear positives that occurred in 2020.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@aldergrovestar.com

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