Christmas trees and homemade cookies, wreaths and presents under the tree, mistletoe and—you get the picture. This time of year is standard in many respects. For my mother and I, it’s the time of year that we drag out every Christmas movie we own to watch; we even have a special selection of movie cabinet for our vast seasonal collection.

It’s this Yule Tide practice that leads to my own personal tradition: my love affair with a one James Stewart. As every cultured American knows, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) is a feel good movie, even if you dread watching George Bailey’s life screw up exponentially. I think my attraction stems from his voice—that scratchy voice that has delivered so many famous lines. And nothing beats Jimmy Stewart running down the main street of Bedford Falls yelling, “Merry Christmas.”

Last night, after my family went to bed at the embarrassing hour of 9:30 (eastern time. . .), I watched Shop Around the Corner (1940) on AMC. Jimmy Stewart’s in that one, too. As I haven’t watched Wonderful Life yet this year, my love affair hadn’t started. I’m glad to report that it’s not George Bailey screaming, “Merry Christmas,” that makes me love Mr. Stewart, but Mr. Stewart in general.

Shop Around the Corner propelled my affection for him just the same, but that’s not a huge surprise. He is a handsome man, with a consistently notably voice. And when he says to Margaret Sullivan, “Darling, take me out of my envelope in Box 237 and kiss me,” well, a girl cannot be blamed for loving him as I do.

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