You've seen "It's a Wonderful Life" every Christmas since you were 7 years old, but have you ever really thought about its message? James Stewart is so distraught, he'd rather be dead than deal with all his problems and money woes. What's more, he believes his family would be better off without him.
These plot points are pretty grim for your tinsel- and cookie-filled holiday, but they're what makes this movie worth watching each year. "It's a Wonderful Life" reminds us how important each one of us is to our loved ones. So, if you're ever stuck with a bad case of the Christmas blues, pop in a version of this classic (or catch it on TV), and remember that you're not trying to survive the holidays with your family -- you survived the whole year because of them!
HowStuffWorks learns about the Icelandic tradition of jólabókaflóð or the Christmas Book Flood. Iceland is the most book-loving country in the world.