Lessons learned from my favorite Christmas movie, ‘Edward Scissorhands’

One of my favorite Christmas movies is Edward Scissorhands. It isn’t exactly a traditional Christmas film, but the snowy backdrop and that fact that a good portion of it takes place over the holidays makes it close enough for me to personally consider it one. It stars Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, who were a real-life couple at the time, as a pair who fall in love in the unlikeliest of circumstances.

Looking back at what made this movie stand out so much to me, it’s that it made me feel more connected to myself, and OK with the person I am. There were moments growing up when I felt very different from everyone else (much like ol’ Ed), and I went through bouts of thinking life, and especially love – self, familial, and romantic – had to be a certain way. But if there’s one thing I took from the beautiful and unique story behind Edward Scissorhands it’s that, while love is an integral part of life, it doesn’t fit any kind of mold. And that a love that differs from person to person is not something we should feel like we have to deal with, but something we should embrace with open arms – because that means it’s real.

“Family” is a relative term

When Peg Boggs, the local Avon lady, meets Edward for the first time, he is living alone in the creepy mansion at the end of the street without any family. But instead of running away screaming when she sees his blades for hands, Peg is like, “You know, all you need is a good meal and some concealer.” And thus she becomes a surrogate mom to Edward, reminding viewers that the only real ingredients to a true family are love and support. That’s it. Blood is a good place to start, but it isn’t everything.

Creativity is super hot

Especially when something that seems like a hindrance (i.e., having scissors for hands) is the thing lending itself to said creativity. For Edward, his beat was sculpting hedges, and it can probably be argued that he knew how to use his hands better than guys who actually had hands. Swoon.

Living in the moment is underrated

Especially nowadays, everyone seems in such a hurry to grow up. Edward Scissorhands is the story of a grown man who is just starting to really see the world and learn about its ins and outs, which reminds us to appreciate the things we have, never stop learning, pause and take everything in once in a while, and tell those we love how we feel. Life is way too short to spend always looking for the next thing.

Snow is the most romantic weather

The scene where young Kim dances in the “snow” (i.e., the ice shavings being created by Edward’s intricate sculpting) is 100% responsible for every romantic feeling I have toward this weather phenomenon I’ve only seen a couple of times in my life, since I live in the south. And the song playing in the background during this scene, “Ice Dance,” is also one my husband and I put on and dance to every Christmas season. I crank the A/C down to 60 degrees and pretend to be Kim and it’s kind of the best.

Also, one of the greatest lines in the movie is at the end, when older Kim says, “You see, before he came down here, it never snowed. And afterwards, it did.” Rain, eat your heart out.

Being complete has nothing to do with the physical body

Throughout the movie, Edward mentions how he isn’t finished, and people in the neighborhood are constantly telling him they know a doctor who can help him figure out his “condition.” But by the end of the film, we all learn Edward didn’t need real hands to be complete. He found people who loved and supported him, and that was all he needed to be whole. This theme is probably the most important of the entire film, and something we should all keep in mind, especially over the holidays.

True love always finds a way

There’s a moment in the film where Kim asks Edward to hold her, but he says he can’t. She wraps his arms around her anyway, risking her physical safety to an extent because being close to Edward is the only thing that matters. Whether the cons of being close to someone have to do with potentially being cut by their fingers, your family disapproving, living on the other side of the country from them, or something else entirely, the lesson here is when you really love someone, nothing can get in your way.

The most poignant loves stay with you forever

The entire story is told from the point of view of an elderly Kim, who is recounting her memories of being a teenager and falling in love with Edward to her young granddaughter as the snow falls outside. She recalls the details of her youth so vividly, because of the impact Edward left on her life. See also: Jack and Rose from Titanic and Allie and Noah from The Notebook. Every great love story has details we remember to the T years later, because of how they helped shape us into the people we grew to be.

(Image via 20th Century Fox; GIFs via here, here, and here)

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