Favorite Christmas movie? Well, besides Die Hard which is a legit Christmas movie I just saw again. If you listen to the soundtrack there’s no doubt. There are so many Christmas references, come on, his wife is named Holly. But you’ll have to decide on your own.

Another of my must-see movies this season is all about Christmas. White Christmas starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen is filled with great songs including one that was written for the 1954 classic. Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep) by Irving Berlin is often performed around the holiday even though it makes no reference to Christmas. The song was nominated for an Oscar for best original song, and while it didn’t win, it has a great message and a wonderful backstory.

The lyric was inspired by Berlin’s visit with a psychiatrist after complaining about having sleepless nights, feelings of self-pity, and belly aches. In a letter to 20th Century Fox executive Joseph Schenck, Berlin shares about the conversation that inspired him to write the song that became part of one of the best-loved Christmas movies of all time.

“I’m enclosing a lyric of a song I finished here and which I am going to publish immediately…You have always said that I commercial my emotions and many times you were wrong, but this particular song is based on what really happened. … The story is in its verse, which I don’t think I’ll publish. As I say in the lyrics, sometime ago, after the worst kind of a sleepless night, my doctor came to see me and after a lot of self-pity, belly-aching and complaining about my insomnia, he looked at me and said “speaking of doing something about your insomnia, did you ever try counting your blessings?”

Bing Crosby’s character tinkles the ivory as he sings about being worried and unable to sleep. But then, he decides to count blessings instead of sheep and falls asleep with those blessings on his mind. In other words, try to see things from a different perspective. Look on the bright side of life. Focus on the good, not the bad. Think of what you can do instead of what you cannot do.

Yesterday we found a slow leak in our tire and another one has a bubble in it. We only have one car and for what it will cost to replace four tires I could pay my mortgage and then some. We both lost our part time incomes and Gary has a knee replacement next week and another one in late January. Do I need to go on about all the different ways I could stress at night?

I have a new book out and it’s selling a few copies each day. There’s a teaching gig on the horizon in the new year and, best of all, Gary will be able to enjoy life again with those new knees. I have family and friends to call on if I need help, and a dog who loves me to distraction.

I think tonight we’ll watch White Christmas and then I’ll go to sleep counting my blessings.