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They’re the ones who stuck their necks out and went the extra mile to allow our favorite Christmas movie stars to prevail. The unsung heroes of our favorite Christmas classics guided the stars through the mayhem and the mess. And they seemed to come through at the right moment to ensure the story brought that satisfying, happy ending many look for. Some wielded simple weapons to deter the bad guy, while others knew exactly what they needed to do to deliver the main character the gift they desired. Don’t forget these unsung heroes as you watch your favorite holiday movies this season.


Ah, who am I kidding. Sgt. Al Powell just might be the biggest Christmas movie hero of all time next to Rudolph and Howard Langston, AKA “Turbo Man.” (There’s no debate that “Die Hard is a Christmas movie). After all, the sergeant managed to crawl out of his cruiser turned Swiss cheese by Hans Gruber’s gang with a few scrapes. And not only did he have to deal with his prick of a police chief, Dwayne T. Robinson, but he also had a cocky Special Agent Johnson trying to snatch all the glory. Keeping John McClane apprised of the LAPD’s questionable strategies, Powell’s heroic actions at the end allow McClane and his better half, Holly Gennaro, to ride off into the night in Argyle’s limousine. 


He might have shown up unannounced and uninvited in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” And he might have clogged the sh***er. A tirade from Clark Griswold over the lack of a Christmas bonus from his cheapskate boss, however, prompts the broke cowboy to hop in his beat up RV and bring back a present. Dressed in pajamas and a red box, Cousin Eddie’s gift to Clark also brought some other visitors back to the Griswold residence in the way of the concerned boss’ wife and the SWAT team. In the end, Clark gets what he asked for, and it’s all thanks to an airhead cousin with a “heart that’s bigger than his brain” taking a crazy request literally. 


God knows what would have happened to the young Kevin McCallister if the “Wet Bandits” in the 1990s film “Home Alone” and “Sticky Bandits” in “Home Alone 2” were able to grab him without help from some adults. After all, the young mastermind puts the robbers through hell while they invade the McCallister home in the first movie and try to exact revenge in the second movie. It’s always good to have a scary old man as a neighbor with a metal shovel handy and a lady who can command an army of pigeons into battle when lost in New York City. Young McCallister will be forever thankful.


What kind of dog tolerates a reindeer costume with an antler on the head? And it’s all while carrying a loaded sleigh full of toys with the Grinch at the helm. Max remains a loyal dog to the Grinch and his transformation from cold-hearted green machine to warm, fuzzy green Santa after hearing the Whos sing. In the end, Max is rewarded with a slice of roast beast from Cindy Lou Who. Who knows, maybe he’s the next “Cheermeister?” 

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Jim McCarthy is a northerner who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since his graduation from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3 years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. Behind every community is resiliency and resolve in difficult times. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim serves as President of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. “It’s a group that lives by the motto ‘Service Above Self,’” he says. “We’ve done service projects at the Tavernier nursing home, sitting down and socializing with residents. “We’ve also supplied cameras to young students exploring the Keys ecosystem.” Jim loves sports, family and time exploring underneath the water depths.