Truly one of the finest films ever made. It's message still resonates after nearly 60 years. It's central themes of love, appreciation, loyalty, and sacrifice are valuable reminders any time of year. I saw this film for the first time when I was about 8 years old and even then could understand why it had become a tradition in many households at Christmastime. Like many other Christmas-themed films, this one reminds us to pause and take in our surroundings. It is unfortunate that such films are only celebrated once a year, but that particular trait also adds a certain degree of rarity to its charm. The characters are well-developed and whether loved or hated, each plays a vital role in the film, as in George Bailey's life.