Everything I need to know, I learned from "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Well, sort of. I mean, the 1964 animated (or is it claymation? I always get them confused ... ) classic television special does omit the very reason for the season.
As the matriarch of the popular sitcom "Everybody Loves, Raymond" would say, "I don't like that, Raymond."
Never fear, Marie. There are literally millions of us who will make sure the world doesn't forget that Christmas is really all about Jesus coming into the world to save us. We'll not cease to continue offering that hope-filled message of love, joy and good will.
Regardless, the adaptation of the 1939 tale by Robert May about the lovable if not eccentric woodland creature does offer many useful lessons. Here are what I believe are the main takeaways.
1. Appearance isn't everything. Listen, just because you're not a runway model or otherwise perfectly-sculpted human specimen does not mean you are not valuable. Rudolph's nose might "blink like a blinkin' beacon" but when the chips were down - and visibility was nil - none of those other strapping eight bucks could cut through the blizzard to save the day, now could they? You go, Rudy.
2. Sometimes, even Santa is wrong. You know, it's bad enough when your peers belittle you and try to make you feel inferior a.k.a. not let you play their ridiculous reindeer games. But when the head honcho tells you that you should be ashamed of how you look ... well, that's just a big heaping pile of deer dung. Take heart - he'll come around in the end. Heck, he might even give you that big promotion you so richly deserve when you least expect it.
3. Running away from your problems may likely bring you - um, bigger, scarier ones. You saw the perils little Hermie and Rudolph faced when they forged their special friendship and left Christmastown in search of acceptance. They nearly got creamed by a hairy carnivore who tried to eat them. The truth is the grass isn't always greener on the Island of Misfit Toys. In fact, there's no grass there at all - so, stand strong and face your critics with a big smile. You might even end up best friends with a dentist who can perfect that toothy grin.
4. Just when you think you've been forgotten, the good Lord answers your prayers. Sure, it was the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve when Santa and crew finally made it to rescue all those slightly-defective toys, but the point is, he got there. A little patience can sure pay off - and might just lead you to finding that special someone who appreciates you, flaws and all.
5. Bullies are stupid. Don't let them get to you. Sure, Fireball turned on Rudolph once he found out his secret, but guess what? That only revealed his own insecurities and low self-esteem. Besides, Rudolph's takeoff totally obliterated Fireball's, so there.
Donna Tyler of Mineral Ridge may have submitted the very best Rudolph message of all when she gave me her favorite quote from the film. "Bumbles bounce!" See? Even a Yeti can be reformed.
And with that and a quick shout-out to my beloved Kyle on the cusp of his 12th birthday, I bid you all a very happy Sunday.
P.S. One last note about my Kyle He's cuuuuuute!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her even if your nose glows at pkimerer@ zoominternet.net.