Having one main goal – why Santa gets it right

I’d never seen the movie ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ until last weekend. I know, shame on me.

But a beautiful old cinema in Palo Alto called the Stanford Theater shows vinatge movies year-round. In December it totally devotes its schedule to nostalgic Christmas films, so last Saturday Alex and I settled into cosy seats in its auditorium with a carton of popcorn to enjoy ‘Miracle’, made in 1947.


Now you may be better informed than me but just in case you aren’t, the movie tells the story of a kind old British gentleman called Kris Kringle who lands the job of ‘playing’ the part of Santa Claus in Macy’s flagship department store on 34th Street in New York city. I say ‘playing’ because the truth is, he very likely is the real Santa, which even ends up being proved in a court case.

The movie is a delight and certainly worth seeing, specially at this time of year. However, having the luxury of the time to sit and watch a movie might seem far-fetched as we approach Christmas: it’s hard to avoid the feeling that you’re supposed to be rushing around in a buying frenzy, preparing for the holidays.

In the movie, Mr. Kringle provided a perfect example of the madness of this, though. Although he had to explain that he wouldn’t be able to attend a party on Christmas Eve (he’d other important work to do, after all) he was entirely at liberty during the run-up to the big day to take on his temporary Christmas job at Macy’s, generally spreading good cheer and bonhomie.

It was a timely reminder of the huge sense in picking just one, or at the most two or three, important goals which hold meaning for you.

So what will matter most to you on Christmas Day? I suspect it might not be having too much food in your fridge, but is instead more likely to involve truly connecting with the people closest to you.

If things get tough this week, if you feel stressed, if you start to panic that you’re running out of time, please stop.


You’ve almost certainly got a shorter To-Do list than the movie’s Santa, but even he restricted himself to just one night’s work, and spent the remainder of his time doing what really matters: connecting with other people and making them happy.

Why not focus on that instead?

And if you do want to sit down with someone special this Christmas to watch a movie, there’s one I can thoroughly recommend. Although it probably shouldn’t really be there for copyright reasons, the whole thing is even on YouTube.

6 thoughts on “Having one main goal – why Santa gets it right

  1. How lovely, Jon, to be reminded of this film, and of the deeper meaning… You are , once again , so very right. I had a Stop moment yesterday, and so poignant is your piece that I was driven to apologising for rude comments made by me under stress. I get so caught up in doing, doing, doing, that I fail to see the bigger picture. I shall copy and pin this article somewhere to remind me constantly. As an overdoer, I need frequent reminders!!
    Cheers, Jon, and renewed thanks for doing a brilliant job.
    S x

  2. One of my two favourite Christmas films, the other ‘It’s a wonderful life’ which also has a message of considering what’s really important in life.

    Whilst the messages are clear translating them to individual lives is not always easy and do not always have happy Hollywood endings. But I keep trying.

  3. Thank you, these words made just the right connection with me
    Focus on what really matters, because not many things really do matter just one or two.
    Happy Christmas to you and yours .

  4. As the others have said, thanks Jon for reminding us to stop, and to watch beautiful things like the films. I’m having a stop moment, before the day really begins…and although there are so many ‘things’ to do, my main objective is to visit the friends in need letting them know I’m here for them. So many are going through very sad times having lost relatives or are very ill.
    Thanks again Jon.

    1. Ok – I watched that great film on my ipad which made me extremely late taking our dog for a walk, but it doesn’t matter! The film was lovely, I was relaxed, husband eventually took pooch for a walk, daughter vacuumed house and I made chocolate truffles as gifts…they’re in the freezer now…just incase we decide to eat them this afternoon!
      All in all, a lovely Sunday morning! Lol! Think of another great film for next Sunday please!!!
      Merry Christmas everyone, may it be a relaxed and healthy one for all.
      Karen x

  5. Jon-In our family, because my brother loved television, we had a set regime of holiday movies: “Miracle”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, any or all of the various renditions of “A Christmas Carol”-That just about takes up the Christmas holiday (when we were kids). Until your post, I never realized that these all had to be seen by my brother and the rest of the family- to feel it really was this season. That’s good because nothing else seems to invoke Christmas for all of us!

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