One of my favorite movies ever is Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. When I was growing up, every holiday season my grandmother would scour the TV Guide for It's a Wonderful Life and White Christmas, and I'd sleep over at her house and we'd watch them together. This was back in the olden days before cable television, in the very early days of the VCR. My dad was an early-adopter of the VCR -- we had one of the very first $1,000 VCRs on our block -- but it took another decade or so for my grandma to trust those newfangled recording contraptions.

Back then, It's a Wonderful Life came on once a year, and if you missed it you were screwed. So my grandma and I would make sure we knew when it was on, and I'd cuddle up on her couch under the afghan, and she and I and my great-grandmother would watch George Bailey's life unfold again on the television screen.

In recent years, of course, we've been able to get more than our fill of It's a Wonderful Life as it's shown a lot more, and there have been a couple of versions released on DVD, but now we have the "Special Collector's Edition" two-disc collector's set.

I'm going to work from the assumption that I don't need to go into a great deal of detail here on the plot of the film: George Bailey (James Stewart), a nice guy who runs a savings and loan and has four kids with his lovely wife, Mary (Donna Reed). After some bad luck (aided and abetted by the local evil rich guy, Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), with his savings and loan on the brink of collapse and under investigation, George makes a wish that he'd never been born -- and with the help of a bumbling angel named Clarence (Henry Travers), he gets to see just what the world would have been like without him.