Christmas Time: Christmas Movies
Growing up we watched a lot of Christmas specials, but not so many Christmas movies. There is a very clear distinction between the two, you know. A Christmas movie is a full length film with a Christmas theme. A Christmas special is short, made for TV, and often part of something bigger. The Charlie Brown Christmas special, for example, is one of many specials featuring the Peanuts gang. Christmas specials have a very very special place in my heart, but we’re not talking about them today. We’re talking about movies.
We all know the big one classics, Home Alone, The Santa Clause, A Christmas Story. I remember watching them growing up, but we weren’t really into them. I didn’t really get into Christmas movies until much later. As I got older, though, I started to appreciate the long form of Christmas entertainment. Nowadays I have four main movies that are must watches for the holiday season and they may or may not be the ones you would expect.
The Christmas season should always start with Miracle on 34th Street. It hasn’t for the past couple years, but it really should. It used to be on every year on Thanksgiving after the dog show. Mom and I would sit and watch it while all the food was finishing up. We would, inevitably, have to leave off in the middle, but at some point we got our own copy so we could pick it back up again when we were done. They haven’t played it in some time, instead repeating the parade and the dog show over again. Lame. We always watch the old version of Miracle on 34th Street. It’s very important. The 90s version just isn’t quite as good and doesn’t make as much sense as the old one.
The next movie on my must watch list for Christmas is White Christmas, with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. I have a lot of friends who are also super into this classic song and dance style movie. I discovered it in my late teens, I want to say and have watched it every year since. We started the season off with it this year and I had to text my Dakota to let her know that it had begun. Dakota has the impressive ability to quote the entire movie, start to finish. She can, I’ve seen it. White Christmas is a fun story that is basically everything a movie from the 50’s should be. There’s spontaneous song and dance routines, fun romance, ridiculous schemes, and colorful characters. Sure, half the plot wouldn’t happen if they just communicated like adults, but I enjoy it nonetheless. There’s also a lot of the color yellow. I’m not sure what it means, but someday I’ll figure it out. It probably means nothing, but you never know!
Next up we have The Muppets Christmas Carol, with Michael Cane as Scrooge. This is by far my favorite version of A Christmas Carol. It has the Muppets in it, what more could anyone want? But seriously, we got a VHS copy from someone while I was in late junior high school and I have loved it ever since. I have a great fondness for the Muppets. My dad and I would watch the movies together. They’re his particular brand of goofy. We listen to their Christmas album every year too. The thing about VHSes, though, is they are old now and starting to deteriorate and they don’t make VHS players anymore, to my knowledge so the ability to watch them is dwindling fast. My parents actually still have a working VHS player so I had to watch the kind of faulty tape up there every year. This year I got my own copy! I am super pumped to put it on while I wrap presents and enjoy the fun musical numbers while keeping my cats from tearing up the wrapping paper.
Finally we have Elf. The most modern of my Christmas movie musts, Elf is a Scavo family tradition. They’re super into it. It the absurdity, I think. They are rather into the ridiculous side of humor. So every year we watch Elf at least once and sometimes twice. Last year Molly’s theater group chose Elf the musical for their winter production, because of course there’s a musical version. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I would appreciate Elf as much if it weren’t one of my in-laws favorites. It’s a fun movie, sure, but not quite my form of humor. Still, they have such a good time watching it, and quoting it, that you can’t help but have fun with them. Tonight I’m actually going to see the musical version again. This time I’m going back to my old high school with my mom and sister and little cousins. It should be more fun for them than A Christmas Carol, I think.
This year my husband wants to watch Die Hard, since it takes place during Christmas. That makes it a Christmas movie, right? Apparently there are people who believe so. We’ll see if we get to that. For now I have one Christmas movie down, three to go and three weeks to watch them in. I hope you enjoy all of your own favorite Christmas movies this year, my friends!