2 Secrets From My Favorite Holiday Movies

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Hi, I'm Flip Flippen, author of the New York Times best seller, The Flip Side. There are two films that I've gotten great lessons from, and I want to tell you the two lessons that I've learned.

The first one - we watch this every year as corny as it sounds, but It's A Wonderful Life. It really is! I love the title; everything about it is beautiful. And in there - I think the angel's name is Clarence - but he says to George, "No man is a failure who has friends." That is so true! In our family - well, I know that in lots of families the giving of presents is a big deal. We have got a huge family! We've got a zillion grandchildren, and we just don't focus on the giving of real things. The 'present' is 'being present.' It’s giving yourself to this other person. A lot of the younger kids, they make things for each other and they make things for other people in the family, and we do some present exchange but it's not the focus. We try and get away . . . the family comes to the ranch, we hang out together, but it lasts for days! We want to spend as much time together as we can. All the little cousins and nephews and all of us get together and that's what we do. The present is us. It's being with each other. And so I want to go back to that quote, "No man's a failure who has friends."

Now there's another side to this too, and that one is from the movie, A Christmas Carol. My favorite character in the whole deal is Scrooge! I know that might surprise you, but I just love it, because I've found that every family would tend to have a Scrooge in their family. Sometimes they even have several of them. It seems like they clone themselves, somehow. It's contagious! But I've learned how to deal with Scrooges, too. For us it's not that bad - we just continue to smile. We have fun! Every time they say something negative, we come back with three or four positive things. We laugh about it! If they say something negative, even if they mean it in kind of a malicious way, we've just agreed as a family we're going to laugh about that. You know the worst thing that can happen with that is they get offended and leave early! Whoa! That's not such a bad thing! We have this great attitude and atmosphere in our home.

OK, so just to recap what we talked about - my two favorite films: It's A Wonderful Life - "No man's a failure if he has friends." You guys have got friends - be a friend! And then the second one is Scrooge from A Christmas Carol. And the whole thing there, is that everybody's got one of those in their family. Love them, love them, love them! Hopefully there will be this miraculous transformation, but the good news is, at the very worst it still comes to an end and they go home. So you win either way!!!

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