I believe we all know the song White Christmas sung by Bing Crosby. Composed by Irving Berlin that inspired the hit 1954 movie bearing it’s name is still beloved today. Last week, I went and saw the play version of White Christmas. As I watched this musical live, I was able to learn a few things. Although these elements are in the original movie, seeing the show live added a bit of a touch.
White Christmas starts off with a lesson in the opening scene taking place in 1944 in Europe. The premise of this show is about two men who served in the army and go on to make it in show business. When we are introduced to their general, we see that he is a loving man who cares about his men. In the movie, there is a scene of an attack. Well, in the play the general tells the men to get back to work and he gives a lecture about the importance of Christmas. He lets them know that one day everything will be okay and war will be over. From there we flash forward to the year 1954 where we see the general a broken man with an inn that he struggles to keep up. We hear Phil and Bob, the two main characters, talk about the general and all he has done for them. They know that they must do something to repay him. The lesson in this is never forgetting those who had done good to you. The General has seemed to loose hope in everything. He knows that his inn is in trouble. This was a dream of his that he put all of his retirement and pension into. Phil and Bob remind everyone about what the meaning of giving is. Even if it means bringing a show all the way up from New York and bringing an entire company from the army up to Vermont.
A line through out the play was “When you’re worried and you can’t sleep, count your blessing instead of sheep.” Being thankful for what you have is something that we tend to forget from time to time, especially around this time of year. We are all focused on getting gifts for friends and family, buying food for a feast, and running to the store to get last minute Christmas decorations. But, think about what you already have. The General acts like everything is okay, even when it is not. We watch his innkeeper, Emma, and the Haynes sisters, Betty and Judy who “brought” Phil and Bob with them to Vermont try their best to help him out. Emma tries to hide all of the bills showing how in debt he is, even though he knows his inn is in trouble. Betty and Judy try to let him know that he doesn’t have to pay them the amount of money in their contract. But, the General is a man who is true to his word and remembers everything that he has.
The General seems to have been the main topic of the lessons from White Christmas. But, there is one lesson that he was able to teach everyone in the end, remembering who you are. At the end when he admits that he is going back into the army to the best job he ever knew, due to financial reasons, he does it with pride. In the musical, he lets his men know that he is happy to go back to active duty. The General loved his job in the army. He loved being able to be to look over his men. The General is a man who is able to show the meaning of life and Christmas through out the show. The General is the one who is able to remind everyone around him who they are and what they are meant to do.
White Christmas is a classic that many people watch around this time of year. With Bring Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen entertaining us with song and dance there is a lesson behind it all. They learn all of their lessons through the General. The man who was able to inspire everyone by the end of the show with lessons about life.