Begin with the tradition of sitting in comfort, warm and cozy, and allow the mind to transport you to a familiar place and time. The story is often well-known, beloved and witnessed thousands of times. And, yet, seated with a child who is old enough to appreciate the experience, we anticipate watching the movie yet again in search of Christmas magic!
Our list of favorites is lengthy; yet, we can immediately call out the one that speaks from the heart!
It’s a Wonderful Life
In 1946, Frank Capra brought the world the 130-minute classic family drama “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Not a great success at the box office; yet, it became one of the most beloved American films. George Bailey, played by James Stewart, resonates with the audience the feeling of despair and questioning our life’s worth. Finally, an angel arrives to show George a life without him. Watchers will be reminded of their value, in all efforts, matters!
Miracle on 34th Street
Is there really a Santa Clause? The Miracle on 34th Street arrives when a man comes to Macy’s department store and takes the place of a deplorable, drunken Santa. Questions of sanity arrive as Kris Kringle claims he is real. One spectacular scene is the footage from the 1947 Thanksgiving Day parade. An authentic glimpse of Manhattan in the 40s. Another fun fact, the 1947 film became the first full-length black and white film to transition to color in 1985!
A Charlie Brown Christmas
In December 1965, Charles M. Schulz released the first full-length holiday movie of the Peanuts gang. The piano music encourages viewers from anywhere in the house to run towards the television, awaiting old fictitious friends – Snoopy and Woodstock, Charlie Brown, Linus and Lucy, Schroeder and Peppermint Patty. The cartoon is timeless, especially connected to Charlie Brown’s question, “Does anyone know what Christmas is really about?” Writer Schulz debated whether or not to include Linus’ memorable speech within the storyline. Fortunately, a 45-second speech provides heart-warming clarity. “Lights, please!”
A Christmas Story
The phrase, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid,” became synonymous with the must-see 1983 holiday classic, “A Christmas Story.” Through a glimpse into Ralphie’s 1940s classroom, playground, family and neighborhood, the movie appeals to all ages providing a sense of nostalgia. What does Ralphie want for Christmas? Yes, he can tell you – a Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The Griswold’s are an iconic symbol of hoping for a fun-filled, old-fashioned Christmas and contending with problems as situations go wrong. Clark Griswold, played by Chevy Chase has appealed to adults and teens since the movie first arrived in theaters in 1989. Due, in part, to great actors, the comedy scenes had many improved one-liners, worthy of fans to continue reciting quotes after 32 years.
The Santa Clause
In 1994, movie-goers would come to revere “The Santa Clause” movie as an instant classic. After 25 years, we are still right there witnessing Scott Calvin, played by Tim Allen, discover he will become the giver of presents due to the legal document, “The Santa Clause.” With every component checked off from family dynamics to the rush of wind from a reindeer-pulled sleigh, you’ll be eager to watch The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3!
The Polar Express
All aboard! Young children will love watching the 2004 computer-animated Christmas musical and adventure film. It tells of a young boy who boards a train headed to the North Pole to meet Santa and receive a special gift! Unlike most movies, the Polar Express features human characters in live-action termed motion capture animation! Buckle-up, watchers will need to see to “believe!”
A Christmas Carol
Every classic needs a story about an antagonist who learns the truth about love, life and the belief in miracles. Unfortunately, the name “Scrooge” defies the spirit of Christmas. Whether you watch the classic tale from 1938, 1984 or the latest version, 2009, the beloved story through Christmas past, present and future leads to a heartwarming understanding that a miserly person can change!
Consider pressing play to the Christmas classic soundtrack and reliving the scenes just one more time!