While Best Christmas Pageant Ever is easily my favorite Christmas book, my favorite Christmas movie has become a movie that isn’t technically about Christmas. It’s about a magical toy store: Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.
When you say magical, do you mean special?
What about… really, really cool?
It’s the story of girl who learns to believe in herself again. At the beginning of the movie, she is stuck. She knows what she is supposed to be, what the expectations for her life are, but somehow she can’t quite figure out how to be that. Mr. Magorium forces her to realize there is another way to be. So, yes, I’m overpersonalizing the movie.
I don’t know why grown-ups don’t believe what they did when they were kids. I mean, aren’t they supposed to be smarter?
The mom in me feels like the movie deals with death in a really great way. We’ve had to talk to Monkey Boy about death recently (grandparents, an old dog). We’ve tried to do this in a non-hysterical way. Mr. Magorium demonstrates the joy of life and presents death as sad, but not tragic, simply the next step.
When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He’s written “He dies.” That’s all, nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is “He dies.” It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with “He dies.” And yet every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria. And I know it’s only natural to be sad, but not because of the words “He dies.” but because of the life we saw prior to the words.
I’ve lived all five of my acts, Mahoney, and I am not asking you to be happy that I must go. I’m only asking that you turn the page, continue reading… and let the next story begin. And if anyone asks what became of me, you relate my life in all its wonder, and end it with a simple and modest “He died.”
Watching this movie makes me smile, sometimes even giggle. It makes me want to dance on bubble wrap and jump on the bed. It makes me wish I owned a magical toy store. It makes me remember how fun it is to be silly.
But far and away, the very best part of this movie was Monkey Boy’s reaction to it. After he watched it, he looked at me square in the face and whispered seriously, “Do you believe in magic?” I whispered back, “Yes.” He leaned in very close, “Me, too.”
It might always be my favorite Christmas movie for that reason alone.