Don’t miss one of the most inspiring American movies ever made this Christmas season. Nominated for 5 Academy Awards, It’s a Wonderful Life stars James Stewart as the hard-working George Bailey, a man who has sacrificed many of his own dreams to help realize the dreams of others.

Instead of traveling the world and building a glamorous life, George stayed in the little town of Bedford Falls and runs his father’s business. But business gets tough. The Great Depression hits, and then there’s Mr. Potter, the town’s miserly tycoon, who can’t stand the success of George Bailey’s honest business. Mr. Potter seeks to line his own pockets at the expense of everyone else.

On the verge of financial ruin and even jail time, George Bailey decides he can’t take it anymore, and decides to end his life on Christmas Eve. That’s when Clarence Odbody, George’s guardian angel, comes to the rescue! To remind him of just how many lives he has touched, God gives George unique gift: seeing what the world would be like had he never been born. Perhaps the Bedford Falls and the rest of the world aren’t better off without George Bailey, but you’ll just have to find out!

“You see, George, you’ve really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to throw it all away?” ~Clarence Odbody, guardian angel

Arguably one of Frank Capra’s greatest works, the movie reminds us that “each man’s life touches so many others,” and you never know how God will allow you to bless others. Your life has meaning and purpose, and to throw it all away when the going get’s tough would be a tragedy. We learn through our trials, and are refined by fire. The character George Bailey challenges each of us to persevere through challenges and to never ever give up. No matter what comes our way, there is nothing that love, friendship, and hope cannot conquer.

For a truly American Christmas, be sure to add the hilarious and heartwarming It’s a Wonderful Life to your list of must-watch movies this December!

Watch the trailer from the 2012 re-release of the film here.