Christmas Movies

December 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

Since it is almost Christmas, it’s time to talk about holiday entertainment. When I was young, Christmas decorations basically amounted to a tree and some candle floral arrangements. Sure, there were a few other little things, like figurines, but nothing like what we see today. Stores didn’t put up decorations until after Thanksgiving and probably not until December, unlike today, when you’ll see holiday decorations out around Halloween! I can recall there was ONE house where I lived that had decorations up early…it was one of those holiday markers for my bus mates and I to check out as we rode to school the Monday after Thanksgiving. Sure enough, every year, we were never surprised to see all the outside lights up and glowing, though none of us had any holiday stuff up yet. I remember how we found it odd that they did. I guess they were waaaaayyy ahead of their time.

Oh, yes, back to movies. As a kid, I loved watching all the traditional cartoon holiday movies, like Frosty, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and so on. Just like the annual viewing of The Wizard of Oz, it was tradition to watch them over and over and over. The first Christmas movie I ever saw, half-scared me and yet further fueled my belief in Santa Claus. It was a film from 1959 called Santa Claus. This poorly done, but somewhat mesmerizing film was about Merlin helping Santa defeat the evil machinations of the devil (Santa with the letters moved around = Satan). Yes, the devil in a Santa movie. That’s what scared me – the devil wearing his red outfit and brandishing a pitch fork in the fires of hell. Hey, I was little. What touched me? The part of the story where the poor little girl wanted a doll in a store window, but her mother told her she couldn’t have it, because they didn’t have money to buy it. Of course, the little girl believed in Santa, and in the end, Santa gave her the doll. I knew it would end that way, after all, Santa did get you what you wanted, didn’t he?

As I got older, I still enjoyed the cartoon holiday movies, but I moved on to classic and new films. Some of my favorites are The Bishop’s Wife with Cary Grant (if he’s in a film, it’s most likely good), Holiday Inn with Der Bingle, White Christmas, also with Der Bingle, Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Wood, Christmas in Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck (watched it today for the first time and I enjoyed it), Holiday Affair with Robert Mitchum, It’s a Wonderful Life (This movie has been run soooo many times, people are sick of it, but until last year, I had never seen the entire film, so I sat down to watch and in the beginning, I thought I was watching the wrong movie. It wasn’t how I expected it to start out). Then there are the newer films like A Christmas Story (my son loves that film), Scrooged, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Jack Frost with Michael Keaton, Christmas with the Kranks, Home Alone, Elf, The Holiday, Love Actually, Mixed Nuts (one of the best holiday soundtracks ever), The Polar Express, The Santa Clause, and Trading Places.

You would think that with the number of holiday movies out there, some channel, like Turner Classic Movies (because they don’t have commercials), would do something like say, show a Christmas movie every night from Dec. 1-24. I don’t think it’s too much to ask. I was home alone last night and what movie was shown? The Caine Mutiny. Not exactly uplifting holiday fare. I think they can do better than that. So, if you’re ready for Christmas or not, head to Blockbuster, Netflix, or better yet, your local library to get a holiday film you’ve never seen before. Perhaps it will become one of your favorites; a film that evokes the holiday spirit and warms your heart. Don’t forget the eggnog!

Do you have a favorite holiday film? Post it in a comment.


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