Advent 2013: The Snowman

Do you know this book by Raymond Briggs? Or the movie?

It's been cherished in our family since I was little, and I've passed that onto Wyatt and Loretta. It's such a magical story that even Wyatt gets enamoured when we watch it every year.

Even more than the story, I love my memories of watching it with neighborhood families. Before VCR's, our neighbors Chris and Jim would rent a projector and reels from the public library. They'd invite us over for a viewing party, and it was so novel to be watching a movie in someone's home. So sweet to be cozied up, snacking and talking.

I'm tempted to deride all our private screens here--tablets, phones, laptops. And I'm tempted to moralize about no one talking to one another anymore. But it's also true that technology brings connection to a lot of people.

In conversations about how we want to raise our children, Yancey and I decided a long time ago that we won't make technology the villain, but that we would always privilege relationship over technology and teach our children to do the same. It's not "either/or"but "both/and" (like so many things in life). We may not be renting projectors from the library anymore, but we can still stop what we're doing when someone knocks at the door. We can leave our groceries melting in the car to chat with the neighbor in the driveway. The little boy in The Snowman didn't experience the wonder until he got outside, literally and figuratively. The risk of connection sometimes lets us down (the Snowman melts in the end), but it's worth it. More than worth it.

(And even if it's on your phone under the covers, find a way to watch this sweet movie.)