The Spirit of Thanksgiving


One of my favorite movies turns 35 this year. And it’s one of the few films out there that celebrates Thanksgiving. John Hughes’s 1987 “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is the comedic yet poignant tale of a mismatched set of men who just want to get home for the holidays after being out on the road for work.

The ending of the movie (I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it) always brings a tear to my eye, reminding me about some important life lessons, including the importance of not judging a book by its cover, always be kind and being thankful for what you have.

It also reminds me of the closeness of the community of Georgetown.

In relation to not judging a book by its cover, think about this next time you pass up a restaurant in town that you haven’t visited yet or perhaps a boutique you haven’t popped into. You may think “eh, I don’t like that kind of cuisine” or “that store is not for me.” Steve Martin’s character in the movie, the often-uptight Neal Page, learns to relax and try new things when he encounters the late, great John Candy’s annoying yet likable Del Griffith. Next time you think about skipping over that restaurant or boutique in town, think twice. You never know—you may discover a new favorite food or the one item you’ve been dying to find in your holiday gift giving.

While the holidays can be stressful, it’s so crucial to be kind to each other this time of year. While one of the funniest parts of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” involves a certain curse word, chances are if Neal Page handled the situation differently, he may have gotten some sympathy from the unprofessional car rental agent. The same goes for shopping in Georgetown this season—be thankful for the intimate feel of our neighborhood. Say thank you. Smile to a stranger on the sidewalk. A lot of others in the country are not as lucky to be living in such a charming, lovely place.

Finally, speaking of being thankful, the end of the movie has Neal connecting the dots about his newfound friend Del. We see the beautiful home Neal lives in and his equally wonderful family waiting for him to get home for Thanksgiving dinner.

This holiday season don’t forget to say thanks to all the boutique owners, restaurateurs, real estate agents, neighborhood leaders and others who keep Georgetown looking prettier than a Hallmark Christmas movie.

Happy Holidays, Georgetown! 

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