Today is May 22nd, 2015 and there are only 217 days until Christmas.

This week has been an epic celebration in the countdown to Christmas. It kicked off with Frank Capra’s birthday and featured as well the birthday of James Stewart.

On this day we celebrate the now-Christmas classic short film, Mr. Krueger’s Christmas, or, as some call it, Jimmy Stewart’s other Christmas movie.

On this date in 1940 Academy Award winning director Kieth Merrill was born. He directed the 26-minute holiday classic known as Mr. Krueger’s Christmas starring an elderly James Stewart as Willy Krueger, a lonely, humble custodian who lives in a world of dreams and wishes.

Stewart’s heartfelt confession of love at the manger of Christ remains an iconic element of the Christmas season.

Merrill tells the story of filming this scene in which Stewart told him that he wanted to get the scene in one take, saying “I hope we get it right, I think I’ve only got one of these in me”. All was silent on the set as the scene unfolded and after it was finished a reverential Merrill asked the cinematographer if he captured it on film. Through tears he said, “I hope so”. Here is that scene:

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