I will go ahead and admit that I had NEVER seen this Christmas classic, nor did I know it was in many ways a war movie. Not the middle part with the singing and dancing…but the beginning and the end. Who hasn’t heard “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…just like the ones I used to know!” and even made fun of that awesome Bing Crosby bass (bass? SORRY CHOIR NERDS!).
But it changed things to see him singing it in front of a bunch of soldiers on the German front in World War II. You can see soldiers hide a tear or two, and I really think I’ll never hear the song the same way again. It’s supposed to be sad. And the whole theme of the movie is that it won’t snow! Was global warming starting back in the 1950s? You can almost hear them say, when it won’t snow in Vermont, ruining the ski season (and the business of their old Army General), “blame it on climate change.”
These gorgeous people (Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney) in their early 30s seem ancient, even though their dancing and singing is decidedly young and beautiful. We forget that that generation had seen things and lived through tragedies that we can’t imagine, and our grandparents (at least mine) never mentioned.
No wonder this movie was so popular when it came out, and has remained one of the enduring Christmas movies. No mention of Jesus or God happens in this Christmas movie either, but the healing that comes through the songs and the redemption that comes to the general through his faithful men and women is Christ-like.
And of course, the falling snow at the end that covers everything, making happiness and love possible, even in the aftermath of war.
Dear baby Jesus, we lift up to you this generation of men and women who had so much hardship and pain. We pray that they, and we, might know the costs of war, and truly appreciate our freedom and our happiness, whenever it comes. Thank you for the blanket of snow that makes everything beautiful. Amen.