My Favorite Show, Dec. 29

On Sunday night, the night after Christmas, "The Sound of Music" was on network television. And even though I own this family favorite, there's something special about watching it on TV...commercials and all. So the kids and Jon and I settled in on a winter's night to hear "My Favorite Things" and watch that famous nun in my favorite show.

"Why do you like it so much?" the kids asked.

Well, I think because this Oscar winning movie combines everything I like in one movie.

1. History: The show is set during the onset of World War II. The Nazis are invading Austria and the unwanted new German rulers want Captain Von Trapp back in military service. The family has to flee to a neutral Switzerland.

2. Music: This 1965 Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical is full of popular songs like "Edelweiss", "Do-Re-Mi" and "Climb Every Mountain."

3. Europe: Much of the movie was filmed on location in Salzburg, Austria and Bavaria in Southern Germany. I love Europe, and this movie highlights the beauty of the Alps and old-world architecture.

4. Religion: Maria leaves an Austrian convent to go on "The Lord's errand" and be a governess to the seven mischievous children of a Naval officer widower. The Reverend Mother is a role model we often wish we could have in life. Remember that famous line..."When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window."

5. Love Story: Women love a good love story. And this movie has all the elements...a charming military captain and a sweet and talented young governess who sings her way into his heart. And what about that incredible chemistry between Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer? I must admit having a bit of a crush on Georg Von Trapp. Who is with me on that?

6. Family: This story has an endearing family, with seven challenging children who test Maria in the beginning. She gains their trust by not tattling on them, but instead getting on their level and by bringing fun and music into their lives.

Of every point on my list, I think the fact that this film is so family friendly is why I treasure it so much. In today's society, it's difficult at times to find a movie that is free of questionable words, questionable behavior and questionable plots. Even days after watching the movie, the kids are still humming the tunes and singing "Do, a deer..."

I told my kids the movie was set during World War II around the time when Grammy, their great-grandma, was a teenager and Papa, their grandpa, was born. That really seemed to intrigue them.

"Is that when Jesus was a baby?" little Olivia asked sweetly.

"No honey", Jesus was a baby thousands of years ago and your Papa was a baby about 70 years ago.

So much information for little minds to grasp. But a bit of history set in such an endearing movie is a good introduction.

For so many reasons, "The Sound of Music" will always be one of my favorite things. Here's hoping 2011 will be one of your favorite years, too!

I'll talk to you next year!


P.S. Did you happen to see "The Sound of Music "cast on "Oprah"? This is the first time in 45 years that the entire cast appeared together and the hills were alive once more! It was so amazing to see little Gretl all grown up and the charming Christopher Plummer now a dignified 80 years old. The talented Julie Andrews is without her amazing singing voice. A lifetime of singing took its toll, and a 1997 throat operation went awry, leaving Julie's legendary voice permanently damaged. Julie Andrews is now using "her voice" in other as the voice of the queen in the Shrek movies and as a best-selling author and publisher of 30 children's books.

About the Author...
Taryn Vanderford
Taryn Vanderford is an Emmy-winning journalist who currently works on "First at Four", "Pure Nebraska" and "Moms Everyday" for 10/11 and Gray Television.

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