Holidays are great times for movies since many people are off work and the kids are often off school. Christmas is one of those time with lots of family and time together. Sometimes some of our favorite times are watching a good movie together. Here are some of my favorite Christmas movies. There are a lot of cartoons on my list but I really enjoy watching cartoons.
A central theme of Christmas and the birth of Christ is doing good will to your fellow man and being kind. Many people think that Christmas is just a time to give and get presents. That is very wrong and it is also wrong that the country is becoming so pagan that people won’t even say Merry Christmas but Holidays. That makes me sick personally. The freedoms that critics of Christmas being one of the most important holidays point out that there is religious freedom. They forget that the framers of the constitution intended it to be for Christian religions. I have friends of various religions including Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism. It seems recently though liberals are trying to take God completely out of the country. ONE NATION UNDER GOD. Here are my favorite movies for Christmas and why.
The first movie has so many variations it is daunting. John Dickens classic A Christmas Carol is probably the best movie about the meaning of Christmas. Most people know the story, but in case you don’t I will give basic details. Here you have a man named Ebenezer Scrooge is a stingy miser who never does anything for anyone but himself. He pays his clark Bob Cratchit horribly. Cratchit has a large family with one son named Tinny Tim who is very ill. Basically Scrooge is told by a former partner Jacob Marley who passed away seven years before. He was a miser like Scrooge and came to warn Scrooge of the fate awaiting him. He tells Scrooge that he will be haunted by three spirits. They are the ghost of Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas future. He sees the error of his ways by things that can occur and decides to change and gives Cratchit a raise and partner ship. The 1938 black and white movie featuring Reginald Owen is my one of my favorite live action versions of the film. There is another version from 1984 that stars George C. Scott that is almost as good but not quite. The characters of
Christmas yet to come are very frightening in both of them. My favorite animated version of this is Mickey’s Christmas Carol. This is less graphic and more humorous than the real life versions. Those are three of my favorites. They really show how you should not be stingy and do things for other people. The idea of Christmas yet to come also gives and indication that hell is waiting for wicked people even though it is not directly said.
Unlikely Angel is another favorite of mine that stars country singer Dolly Parton. In the movie she is country music star who dies and because of her deeds when she was alive has to do good deeds to get her wings from Saint Peters. She gets a second chance to earn her wings if she can help mend the Bartilson family who has been having emotional distress since the family’s mother and wife passed away. She ends up fixing up the family father Ben with a co worker and makes the son and daughter understand that he will always love their mother and that will never change. Dolly gets her wings and goes against Saint Peter to fix things and make them right for the family. I have always been a big Dolly Parton fan (no pun intended) so this and the story make this amongst my favorites.
My first Cartoon on the list is Frosty The Snowman from 1969. The movie pretty much follows the Christmas song Frosty the Snowman. Here some kids put a hopeless magician name Professor Hinkle’s hat on a snowman they make and he comes to life. He realizes that it is getting hot and he needs to get to the North Pole and one child named Karen helps him get there. Along the way they are chased by Hinkle who finally closes Frosty in a greenhouse that he went to in order to keep Karen warm. Santa Claus comes and brings Frosty back to life again and takes him to the North Pole. He tells Karen “Don’t you cry. I’ll be back again someday”. I like that the movie is about doing things for each other like how Frosty risks his own safety for Karen and she risks her comfort for Frosty.
Have you ever had that one thing you want for Christmas that it just seems there is no way you will stand a snowball chance in that hot place some people go in the afterlife has? A Christmas story is about a young boy named Ralphie and his family. Ralphie is a nine year old that wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. His mother and everyone else he discusses it with from his teacher Mrs. Shields and even Santa Claus say they will shoot his eye out. There are various sub plots like fighting with the school bullies and a decoder ring from Little Orphan Annie and them being introduced to “Chinese turkey” for Christmas”. This movie does not have any religious themes or doing good deed themes. It is more of a comedy about being young.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is another great story for the holidays with a great message. This started out as a book by Dr. Seuss in 1957 then was made into a cartoon in 1966. Boris Karloff best know as Dracula narrated the cartoon. Jim Carey stared in the live action movie version in 2000. The story is about a town of Whos and a Grinch (also a who) that lives in a mountain above Whoville. They make all kinds of noise on Christmas between feasting and presents and then finally singing. He tries to think of how to stop Christmas from coming. He figures that he can dress up like Santa Claus go down to Whoville and take all their presents, decorations, and food. He thinks that doing this will make them upset yet they start singing anyway. Then the Grinch changes and realizes that Christmas does not “come from a store. Perhaps Christmas means a whole lot more”. I like the cartoon best. The live action movie is ok, but not anywhere near as good as the cartoon.
There are times that people don’t fit in and others look down on them only to find out how special we all can be. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is a movie about just that. Here a young reindeer named Rudolph is born and has a glowing red shiny nose. Basically if you heard the song that sums up the story, but in case you did not here is some idea. The other reindeer won’t let Rudolph play with them or anything and he decides to run away. There is an elf named Hermie who does not want to make toys but become a dentist. They decide to run away and end up on an island of misfit toys. They are toys no one wants because something is wrong with them like cowboy that rides and Ostrich or a Jack in the box named Charlie. Rudolph and co agree to find homes for the toys with children. The fog and snow are so horrible that Rudolph saves Christmas by guiding Santa’s sleigh.
With the few cartoons out today that actually mention the true meaning of Christmas I am always pleased with this next one. A Charlie Brown Christmas is about how Charlie Brown as usual does not understand something and is looking for the meaning of something. In this case he is looking for the meaning of Christmas. A friend advises him to get involved with a performance of the Christmas Nativity as the director. He wants it to be based on the original story, but all the other kids want to do modern dancing and stuff.
In the meantime his dog Snoopy decides to decorate his dog house for Christmas to win a prize. Charlie Brown is almost floored by his puppy even being caught up in the money and commercialism of Christmas. While Charlie Brown is at the rehearsal for the Nativity Lucy tells him to get a big aluminum Christmas tree for the play. Linus and Charlie Brown go to the lot and Brown gets a crappy looking real tree and everyone gives him a hard time. Linus then tells them the gospel of the true meaning of Christmas as the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Charlie Brown takes the tree and decided to decorate it. He took a ball from the dog house but it just makes the tree fall over. Linus and the gang come up and make the tree look really good borrowing things from Snoop’s house. They then sing a chorus of Hark the Herald Angel sing.
The last movie on my list is probably my favorite live action Christmas season movie other than A Christmas Carol. It’s a Wonderful Life is about the thought that everyone has at one point or another. The question is would people be better off if “I was never born”. The story is about a man named George Bailey. He was pondering killing himself on Christmas Eve and his guardian angel named Clarence comes to him. He had heard him say people would be better off if he had never been born. He gives him the chance. They go through various places and who him how a friend of his would have been a murderer and lost his business since George had not been there to correct a mistake he was going to make. He also shows him the house he lived at that was run down and no one lived at. The final straw was when his guardian angel tells him that his wife is “an old maid” since they never met. At the end he finally decides life is worth living and is glad to be in life even though he had his problems
Those are my favorites. I watch the majority if not all of these every Christmas. A couple other movies I would recommend are Twas the Night before Christmas, and The Smurfs Christmas Special. I encourage anyone who reads my article to remember the real meaning of Christmas as the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Also remember it is a time for peace on earth, good will towards your fellow man. Remember those les fortunate and the soldiers out there protecting freedom for us all.
Sources and for further reading
The Holy Bible
The DVD A Charlie Brown Christmas
The DVD How the Grinch Stole Christmas ( animated and live)
The ABC tv special Micky’s Christmas Carol
It’s a Wonderful Life. Various channels around Christma