I just returned from seeing The Muppets. It's been in theaters for a few weeks, and I'd heard it was great, but I just hadn't gotten around to going. Then my husband noticed that our local theater had it down to one show per day, so we made a point of being there. We really wanted to see this one in the theater instead of on DVD. And it was great. It poked fun at the Muppet's heyday of the 1980s, but was timely enough to entertain the children in the audience who only knew Muppets from Sesame Street. It reminded me of going to movies with my own kids--to movies that were just plain fun.
It started me thinking. What do the Muppets teach our kids--and us--about getting along in the world? Sure the Sesame Street Muppets have always taught numbers, letters, colors. and the importance of kindness and fun. But these Muppets--the Muppet Show Muppets--brought back the notion that the world is always better with friends--even if they're a little strange, that the people in your life are more important than wealth, that nearly anything is possible, and that everything looks brighter after a great song and dance sequence. They also remind us that laughter is the third best gift anyone can give (after children and ice cream, of course). Who can argue with that?
I'm so glad I started the new year with The Muppets. There is plenty of time for the serious work we have ahead in 2012. But for a moment, it's nice just to smile and laugh with old friends . . . and enjoy a great song and dance.