Christmas is a time of twinkling lights, uplifting music, trying to find one more good hiding place for presents and of course snuggling up on the couch with loved ones, the cat, or just a good hot bowl of popcorn and watching those wonderful movies that only play once a year. Everyone has their favorites, even grumpy busy professionals or humbug grandpas. My favorites all have happy endings and some even make me cry – even the animated ones.
At the top of the list is of course . . . Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I have to watch it from the very introduction where the snowman comes out and introduces the storyline and talks about the storm that’s coming in. I still cry when the toys on the Island of Misfit Toys tell their sad stories or when Rudolph gets picked on. I think Rudolph is the bravest little reindeer there ever was.
Right up there with Rudolph is Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town. My favorite character is the Burgermeister Meisterburger. He is the mean head of the village who bans toys and arrests Kris Kringle. The elves and the Winter Warlock rescue Kris after the Burgermeister has him jailed for delivering toys during the ban and Kris meets the love of his life who will later become Mrs. Claus.
The old black and white A Christmas Carol is unbeatable in the line of A Christmas Carol remakes. This is not to say I’m not really excited about the new Jim Carrey movie that has been released this month. Sometimes the movie is renamed Scrooge, or Scrooged, but the theme is the same. Bill Murray did an excellent job in his movie and I thought Patrick Stewart and Henry Winkler had wonderful remakes also.
I’m torn between the old Grinch Who Stole Christmas movie and the newer version with Jim Carrey. The newer version mirrors the story line and still delivers the same message of goodwill and the true meaning of Christmas.
The Little Drummer Boy is a classic from the 60’s that portrays the story of the wise men traveling to Bethlehem to find the child born under the star that the heavenly angels had directed them to. It’s one of the few movies portraying Jesus’ birth.
Let’s not forget A Charlie Brown Christmas. This is the only Christmas movie that I believe I have seen where the Christmas story is read from the Bible. Aside from the funny scenes of snowball fights and dance scenes, you cannot help but be touched by the little tree that Charlie brings back for his friends to decorate. Charlie knew what life was all about. Hey, haven’t we all had a tree like that when we were just starting out or in college? They were just as wonderful, maybe even more because we covered them with any little glittery or cutesy trinket and were grateful for the popcorn we found to string for it.
The Santa Claus is a wonderful movie starring Tim Allen that gives us an inside look at the workings of Santa’s workshops at the North Pole and how Santas are chosen. I wasn’t too fond of the family breakup being a part of the storyline, but still, I loved the real life portrayal of the elves.
Speaking of elves, Elf is insanely funny and must be watched every year – sometimes even in the summer. It portrays such an innocent spirit in a human child brought to the North Pole by mistake as a baby and raised to believe he was an elf. The way Will Ferrell touches everyone he meets is wonderfully heartwarming and once again helps bring back the magic of Christmas for me.
Ernest Saves Christmas is delightfully funny and also portrays a very innocent loveable oddball character that believes in Santa when no one else does.
Here it is, number ten. I just gotta mention Arnold and Sinbad’s Jingle All the Way. I’ve been there and done that. I remember jumping barriers at six in the morning after standing for an hour in 10 degree weather and a foot of snow just to get the newly released Ninja Turtles action figures. I probably wouldn’t do it again . . . but someday I’ll have grandkids and who knows!