It is that time of the year again: the holidays. This inevitably means holiday specials on television, ridiculous consumerism, and Christmas movies. Every year in my family we have several films we have to watch. Each year we have to watch It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), and practically every version of A Christmas Carol (specifically the 1984 and 2009 versions). A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) has recently become a tradition as well, and this year I finally got members of my family to watch A Christmas Story (1983). There are certain classic television specials we have to watch too: A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). These are all films (there are others too), that I thoroughly enjoy watching. There is something about them which are timeless. I believe part of it is because I am a nostalgic person, and these films hearken back to my childhood (most of them anyway). The magic of Christmas as a child can be relived, even if just for a brief time, through watching these movies.
These films are also well made endeavors and elicit feelings of joy when the credits begin to role. It’s a welcomed relief from the heavy drama & art films I tend to watch during the rest of the year. If you ever want to regain a sense of your childhood just pop in a Christmas movie you grew up watching (or, if you don’t celebrate, any film from your childhood that you liked).
Of course, it is incredibly easy to get a Christmas movie wrong. Very wrong. The modern Christmas movies just don’t feel quite right for me. There are exceptions like the 2009 version of A Christmas Carol which I think is absolutely brilliant, but all too often, however, we are treated to silly comedies which rely on cheap jokes, and I just don’t care for that.
Nevertheless, the holiday season is well underway. Let’s cherish the memories of yesteryear; this is the only time of the year where it is socially acceptable to watch holiday films, so let’s take advantage of that.