Every year my family sits down in front of the fireplace, squeezing onto the couches with Dad's famous hot chocolate in hand, to watch our favorite holiday movie: "The Family Stone." If you've never seen this holiday heart-warmer, starring beloved actresses like Sarah Jessica Parker, Rachel McAdams, and Diane Keaton, you're truly missing out on an hour and 45 minutes of pure family drama, chaos, and love.
"The Family Stone" takes place around a family of five children who all return home to spend Christmas together. As soon as the oldest son brings his new girlfriend home, the Stone's become increasingly defensive, sarcastic, and skeptical towards Meredith and her soon-to-be permanent spot in the family, as Everett is planning to pop the question this Christmas. The events that unfold throughout the film depict the natural mayhem that every family encounters, making this movie incredibly relatable. My family also has five children, so this movie rightly touches our hearts as it prompts us to look towards the future at our own Christmas reunions. We always end up predicting the upcoming years, teasing and laughing about who will be the first to get married, who will have the most kids, and who the burden will fall on to have Christmas at their home.
The symbolism in this movie gives it an emotional effect that sparks a reflection on love, life, and strength. The title of the movie not only represents the family, the Stones, but it also represents the heart of the family, their mother, Sybil, played by Diane Keaton. As she is battling breast cancer, she acts as the center of the family, their rock and anchor, staying positive and embracing the disarray that comes with a family of seven. Additionally, Everett asks his mother for the engagement ring she promised to give him when he met "the one." Unconvinced that Meredith fills those shoes, Sybil withholds the ring. This ring is another example of the "family stone," acting as a family heirloom and holding much significance. It is obvious that Everett wishes to marry before his mother passes away, but his mother knows better than to let him make this foolish mistake.
As an incentive for you to see this movie for yourself, I'll refrain from spoiling the ending. I'll leave it up to you to experience how casually, yet effectively, this movie touches on themes such as racism, sexuality, disability, acceptance, judgment, and forgiveness. My family holds this movie close to our hearts, and it has become such a longstanding tradition that I'm struggling to remember when or how it even began. Nevertheless, it is an important and necessary part of our holiday tradition, because as cliché as it may sound, it really does remind us of the true meaning of Christmas: spending valuable time with family, practicing forgiveness, spreading kindness, and embracing the seasonal spirit. I invite you to adopt my family's tradition and add an entertaining and simultaneously meaningful aspect to your holiday celebrations.