A lot of movies are especially beloved at Christmas time. Some I like, some I don’t. Sorry, but I honestly don’t think I can accept Die Hard as a “Christmas movie”.
Then of course, there are the movies that are definitely about Christmas like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or A Christmas Story. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out why those don’t excite me even though a ton of people I know can’t get through the season without them. I guess after all these years, I’m not sick enough of Christmas schmaltz to really be yearning for a movie that puts a more cynical edge on the whole thing.
I do enjoy Home Alone, but not so much for all the mayhem as for the side story of the old man next door. When his son comes over near the end, that gets to me every time.
But I must say that the movie that is tied for first place of any movie on my list, and just happens to be a Christmas movie, is It’s A Wonderful Life. (My other number one is Airplane.) Yeah, I know that everybody knows and maybe loves It’s A Wonderful Life. But I never get tired of it. That is the movie I need to watch every year. But only once! One time, I tried watching it again in the same season, and felt myself getting a little immune to it. No way! If I don’t use half a box of Kleenex watching that, I’m doing something wrong!
A couple of other great features I hate to miss at Christmas time: Of course, A Charlie Brown Christmas is a classic. The sequels to it aren’t that good. And a little known cartoon produced by Matt Groening of Simpsons fame is Olive, The Other Reindeer. It’s based on a short kids’ book, but it adds a lot of sly humor. The main character, a dog named Olive, is voice by Drew Barrymore. And a sour flightless reindeer related to Blitzen, Schnitzel, is voice by Michael Stipe. Take a look at that one if you want to watch something a little off the beaten track.
Enjoy the holidays, and don’t be too cynical! Happy watching!