Home Alone is the story of the McAllister family from Chicago who planned to spend Christmas in Paris, France with family living abroad. The night before they were supposed to leave, the 8-year-old son, Kevin, has an epic meltdown after getting teased by his siblings and cousins all day only to have them eat his cheese pizza at night. His mother in frustration, punishes him by making him sleep alone in the attic. That night, the power goes out and the family oversleeps so they are not prepared when the shuttle arrives to take them to the airport. Somehow they make it to the airport and board their flight before it takes off. And somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Kevin’s mom realizes she left him at home, alone.
Kevin wakes up to find the house empty. Since the last thing he said before being banished to sleep in the attic was “I don’t ever want to see you again,” he thinks he has successfully wished his torturous family away. He celebrates by jumping on the bed, eating all the snacks and watching violent movies. He also gets some money from his brother’s room to buy food and household supplies. He made microwave meals for himself. He did laundry. He even bathed regularly — which is a lot for an 8 year-old boy.
Meanwhile, there are burglars, who call themselves The Wet Bandits, breaking into homes of people on vacation over the holiday, stealing their items and leaving the water running so they come back to a flooded, empty house. One of them poses as a cop early in the movie and finds out from Kevin’s parents that the family is going to Paris and the house will be empty.
When the Wet Bandits come to rob the McAllister house, they are confused to find activity at the house. The first time they try to break in, Kevin turns on all the lights and scare them away. The second time, Kevin rigs mannequins and toys he found in the basement so it looks like there’s a party at the house. However, the burglars realize that Kevin is a kid who is home alone and, on the third time, they decide they will get the goods no matter what. Kevin booby-traps the house and, after outsmarting and injuring the burglars, tricks the Wet Bandits to follow him to another home nearby, where he has already called the police. The cops aren’t fast enough and Kevin gets cornered by the two burglars, who threaten to hurt him. Fortunately, Old Man Marley from next door shows up and knocks out the burglars with his shovel! The cops arrive and the Wet Bandits are arrested.
The next day is Christmas morning. Kevin’s mom and family arrive back to find the house is clean, decorated and ready for a Christmas reunion celebration. Kevin thinks Santa has granted his wish by bringing his family back to him. And next door at Old Man Marley’s house, we see the old man reunite with his son after being estranged for years.
When Home Alone first came to theaters almost 30 years ago, I went to the movies with my best friend to see it at least 4 times. Kevin’s antics while alone in the house and defending against the burglars combined with Old Man Marley turning out to be the kind-hearted soul that saves the day endeared this movie to me immediately and forever.
There were 5 things that struck me while watching Home Alone in preparation for this post:
- The McAllisters were BALLIN!!! Do you have any idea how much it costs to fly a family of 7 to Paris at Christmastime??? Even in 1990, it was a thick stack of cash. And that they were able to turn around and pay the fee for return tickets upon arrival in Paris, make multiple international phone calls, etc. like it was NBD. Not to mention the house they lived in was huge and decked out with all the latest gadgets. Mom and Dad McAllister worked hard for their money and were committed to living their best life.
- Kevin was introverted. After days of all those extra people in his living spaces, Kevin had a complete meltdown. However, when he realized they were all gone, he was elated for the peace and quiet. After he got the joy of solitude out of his system, he settled down into a quiet normal routine and was completely content by his lonesome. He was just a misunderstood introvert who was overwhelmed and overstimulated by all the activity of his family. Being left home alone was the best thing for him!
- Momming ain’t never been easy. Lynn McAllister was a working mom with five kids. She gets a first class trip to Paris — but has to prep for it by wrangling extra kids and her free-loading brother-in-law. And when Kevin gets left behind, she is the one who camps out at the airport to stand-by flight-hop her way back home as quickly as possible. She even rode in a moving truck with a polka band she didn’t even know just to make it home to her child so he wouldn’t feel purposely abandoned. She didn’t sleep or eat or bathe. And she felt horrible guilt the whole time.
- The Wet Bandits got greedy. Once they realized the kid was in the house, they should’ve moved on to another block. There was far too much risk with robbing the house with a minor child inside. They should’ve known better and let it go.
- Old Man Marley is the best neighbor everrrrrrr. He knew that people in the neighborhood talked poorly of him. He had his own hurt over losing his wife and being estranged from his son. But he didn’t let it get him down. He shoveled and salted like none of it bothered him. He was kind to Kevin when he didn’t have to be. And he ultimately saved the entire block from the thieving burglars.
Just like with Frosty, I wanted there to be management lessons in this movie to share — but I just couldn’t find them. So I am sharing some sentiment and silliness instead for my last post of 2018.
I hope everyone has a wonderful season and launches into 2019 feeling refreshed and ready to unleash greatness into their world.
I leave you with Kevin and Old Man Marley’s conversation scene about overcoming fear and finding forgiveness. I hope it inspires you to do something small to set yourself up for something miraculous before this year ends.
Thanks for reading! See you in 2019!