If you are like me, during this time of year, you like to watch all your favorite holiday movies. Maybe you like the classics, such as, It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street; or, maybe you prefer more of the recent productions like How the Grinch Stole Christmas or The Polar Express. Some of you might even prefer a bit of a deviant side to your holiday movies as you cozy up with a loved one by a warm fire and a cup of hot chocolate to watch John McClane save hostages from the Nakatomi Tower in Die Hard; or, as you watch cute furry Mogwais turn into creepy green carnivores in Gremlins. I, however, can’t make it through the holiday season without watching the 2003, hit movie, ELF. This family-friendly Christmas movie is not only riddled with great one-liners, but it also has an encouraging story line that leaves viewers with smiles on their faces and warm fuzzy feelings in their hearts.
In this movie, there are many things we learn not to do from Buddy the Elf. For instance, Buddy wasn’t the best at exercising impulse control.
Buddy also reminds us that we shouldn’t just automatically believe anything you read.
Yes, there are many occasions where Buddy isn’t exactly the best role model or example for us to follow. However, there are a few things we can take away from Buddy the Elf’s story.
Follow your dreams. Buddy was an extremely imaginative and idealistic person; sometimes to his own detriment. However, no dream was too big for Buddy. Once he found out he was human and not an elf, he dreamed of reuniting with his father. And after the reunification, he dreamed of there being a place for him among that family. Buddy never stopped dreaming and he never stopped trying no matter what obstacles he faced, which leads me to my next observation from Buddy the Elf. Here’s a clip of Buddy setting out to make a dream come true.
Be stubborn. Many people see stubbornness as a bad thing, but I don’t. Stubborn is just another way of saying determined. Buddy the Elf definitely was not in short supply of stubbornness. Once he set his mind on what he wanted to accomplish, there was simply no stopping him until the job was done. As long as what you set out to accomplish (1) is not harmful to yourself or others, (2) it is within the realm of possibility, (3) and it remains important to you, then keep pressing on, despite what the naysayers say. Enjoy this clip that captures the spirit of Buddy’s determination.
Do your part, but allow others to help. Another important lesson we learn from Buddy the Elf is that he never expected others to “do it” for him. He had a lot of help at his fingertips, and although he utilized that help from time to time, he was always more than willing to do his part. Buddy was one of those that allowed others to help him bear his burden at the appropriate times; but, he never took advantage of his family and friend’s generosity. Here’s a humorous compilation how Buddy’s love interest, Jovi, comes to his aid.
Find the good in others. Buddy had a very hard time finding fault in people. When he found out he wasn’t an elf, although it was upsetting to Buddy, he found it fairly easy to forgive. When his biological father rejected him time and time again, Buddy continued to see good in dad and kept pursuing him. When Buddy was placed among “misfits” at his father’s work, he found a way to connect and relate to them; thereby, completely changing the atmosphere of the mailroom. Buddy was always willing to see the good in others; don’t let the appearance of naivety deter you from this fine quality Buddy the Elf possessed. Watch how Buddy even gives a raccoon the benefit of the doubt.
Stand up for what you believe in. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Although it is important to not become too rigid in a belief system, it is also important to know what you believe and why. Watch Buddy do this in a clip I call “throne of lies.”
Have fun. I think one of the hallmarks of Buddy the Elf is his astounding ability to have fun in life. I know that he appears to function more like a child than a grown man; however, I think this is a good reminder to all of us that we have an “inner child” that we need to let out to play from time to time. Have fun! Be silly! Become a goofball on occasion. What is so scary about occasionally letting loose now and then? Enjoy this clip of Buddy having fun on his date with Jovi.
I encourage you to consider these lessons from Buddy the Elf and try to change or tweak some aspects of how you function in life in effort to experience a deeper level of satisfaction. Despite how good or not-so-good 2015 was for you, I hope and pray 2016 will be much MUCH better! Take care.
Read other Christmas Blogs by Josh: Top 10 Christmas Characters in Therapy and 5 Christmas Songs the Kid in Me Loves, but the Therapist in Me Loathes Entirely!!