Sunday, December 12, 2010

My favorite Christmas films

Getting ready for Christmas…..I just thought I’d make a list of my favorite Christmas films. They are the films I try to watch each year because they remind me of some nice times together with my family when I was a child, and because they really do get me into the Christmas spirit. Some of them are poignant reminders of a simpler time, some are funny takes on tried-and-true Christmas themes, but all of them are gentle reminders in their own way of what Christmas really is about—love from above and here on earth, and gratitude for the many blessings in our lives.

1.       It’s A Wonderful Life (from 1946, a wonderful story about the true meaning of life and how our lives impact on others, with the wonderful pairing of James Stewart and Donna Reed)
2.       Miracle on 34th Street (the original from 1947—a warm and wonderful classic movie about Santa Claus and if he exists, with a great performance by Natalie Wood, a child at the time)
3.       White Christmas (from 1954, one of my mother’s favorite Christmas movies, and one of mine too)
4.       Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (from 1964 with the beautiful song ‘Silver and Gold’ sung by Burl Ives. Rudolph saves Christmas) and
5.       A Charlie Brown Christmas (from 1965 with the great jazz music by the late Vince Guaraldi—so many wonderful songs. Charlie Brown’s attempt to de-commercialize Christmas)
6.       How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original from 1966; the Grinch tries to prevent Christmas from coming, and he fails. His little dog steals the film)
7.       Scrooge (from 1970, a musical with Albert Finney, based on the book ‘A Christmas Carol’, with the song ‘Happiness’ that will make you cry) and
8.       The Snowman (from 1982, a very nice British classic about a little boy and a snowman that comes to life) with the lovely song 'Walking in the Air'
9.       National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (from 1989 with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo; some priceless funny scenes)
10.   Home Alone (from 1990, another modern little classic that gets to you. Could never understand how the family could leave their little boy behind—but that’s the fun!)
11.   The Nightmare Before Christmas (a modern little classic from 1993 with some poignant songs; Jack Skellington in Halloween Town decides to ‘do’ Christmas because he is bored with Halloween, with some highly unusual results to say the least)

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