Wednesday, December 25, 2013

One of my Favorite Christmas Special Moments - The Church Scene from "Home Alone"

Plenty of Christmas specials have memorable moments. There's the love story between Rudolph and Clarice, The Grinch's heart growing three sizes Christmas Day, Ebenezer Scrooge's sheer happiness when he discovers that he has not missed Christmas, George Bailey running through the streets wishing people a Merry Christmas, and of course, Linus's brilliant speech about what Christmas is all about.

But then there are the ones that aren't talked about too much or even noticed. One that comes to mind is the church scene from Home Alone (1990). This movie is about a little boy named Kevin, played by Macaulay Culkin, who is accidentally left behind at home when his family goes away for Christmas vacation. Thereafter, while the family is away, it is up to him to protect his home from a pair a burglars.

However, the part I really love involves the subplot, which concerns Kevin's fear of his neighbor, Old Man Marley, played by the late Robert Blossom, because of rumors about him and Marley's scary old man demeanor. Towards the middle/end of the movie, Kevin goes to sit in a church and ends up meeting a rather friendly Marley there, thus easing his fear of him. Marley explains that the rumors about him aren't true, but that he does have an estranged relationship with his son and the only way he can see his granddaughter is by watching her perform in the church choir, which is singing in the scene. Kevin suggests that Marley should patch things up with his son, which he eventually does in the final scene with Kevin watching from his window and the two wave at each other.

In a movie where everything is pretty much slapstick crazy, this church scene is a nice juxtaposition to the rest of the film. It's nice to see a Christmas movie have a spiritual vibe, an acknowledgement for the reason of the season, no matter how brief. It's kind of rare to see religion and spirituality even mentioned in Christmas specials, oddly enough.

Mass isn't even taking place in the scene. Very few people are in the church at the time, the lights are dim, and it is very peaceful and quiet. It shows how welcoming the church is, that you can walk in at any time and just sit there to have one on one time with God. It reminds me of church during the Christmas season in real life and even brings back some of my childhood memories involving church and Christmas.

Another thing that is so great about this scene is that at church Kevin gains a better understanding of his so-called enemy and ultimately a friend (Marley plays a huge part later on in helping Kevin when he is in trouble), therefore suggesting that God is involved.

Isn't that part of what Christmas is all about? Looking beyond differences and fear and just loving one another? In the midst of all the slapstick and humor, this movie manages to teach valuable lessons about having Christmas spirit as well in a serious, well done way.

I unfortunately couldn't find a decent clip of the scene to include in this, but I definitely think you should check it out.

Merry Christmas, everyone! :)