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.


Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@aldergrovestar.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A cargo container was knocked off a truck trying to pass under the Glover Road overpass in 2018. Crews will be working on the overpass Monday, April 12 in the evening and one eastbound lane will be temporarily closed. (Langley Advance Times files)
Highway slowdown expected Monday night in Langley for overpass work

The Glover Road overpass is getting some work done

COVID-19 virus (file photo).
Langley schools exposure list grows with latest COVID cases

As of Monday there were 14 schools on Fraser Health’s list

People have been leaving Post-It note messages for staff at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the Langley Events Centre. (Fraser Health Tweet)
LETTER: Langley resident lauds LEC vaccination clinic staff

Local couple impressed with everyone they encountered at the clinic set up in the local hockey arena

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Langley resident urges patience for all awaiting vaccination

Letter writer also encourages people to show their gratitude to hardworking front-line health staff

Well Seasoned gourmet food store owner Angie Quaale bought and distributed $500 worth of gift cards to a local restaurant last week, after Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the “circuit breaker” shut down of indoor seating at the end of last month. She’s hoping it will spark more people to help local restaurant and pub operators. She’s doing another giveaway starting Monday night. (Jeff Vinnick/Special to Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Gift card purchases aim to boost sales for struggling Langley restaurants

A Langley business owner tries to support fellow food entrepeneurs hit hard by pandemic restrictions

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read