So who’s ready for Christmas? Do you have your tree up? Have you strung lights around your house? Have you positioned the mistletoe and holly? Is the wreath on your door? Are the jingle bells securely around your horses’ neck, all ready for the sleigh ride that you and all your friends will take?
No? Well, maybe you’re the sort that quickly passes by the Hallmark station and all the other stations that play holiday movies and cartoons endlessly and go for the other channels that are airing the complete opposite of Christmas stuff. Maybe you opt for The Manchurian Candidate, How The West Was Won, or Nightmare on Elm Street over The Bells of St. Mary or the innumerable versions of A Christmas Carol (c’mon, don’t you want to see the Disney and Mr. Magoo versions?).
I totally understand. Some people absolutely adore Christmas and look forward to it every year, while others have a deep aversion to it. I fall somewhere in between. Somewhere between the ultra-religious devotion to it and the rampant commercialism and tacky, ostentatious show, there’s a space where one can appreciate the nicer points of the holiday and shut out everything else.
There’s something about Christmas movies and specials that just make you feel like a kid, minus the bull crap. You can just lose yourself in the fantasy of Christmas for a while and appreciate the message before (and after) heading out to the commercial madness of holiday shopping.
By the way, it’s the 50th anniversary of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the animated Rankin & Bass show. I grew up watching that and all the other holiday cartoons and continued watching them well into my adulthood. And why not? What’s wrong that? For me, the holiday season just wasn’t complete without them. Just as Halloween means all the great cheesy B horror movies, Christmas means all the old-time classic Christmas movies. I must watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown at Halloween and I must watch Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown at Christmas.
I did a list of my favorite Halloween movies, so now here’s a list of my favorite Christmas movies/TV programs, in no particular order.
A Christmas Carol (any and all versions, but especially the Albert Finney musical, Scrooge)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The Year Without a Santa Claus
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
Happy, the Baby New Year
Frosty the Snowman
Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
It’s a Wonderful Life
Miracle on 34th Street
A Christmas Story
Nightmare Before Christmas (yes, this was on my Halloween list, too—it’s a crossover movie)
Eight Crazy Nights (okay, that’s a Hanukah cartoon)
I’m sure I’m forgetting some. The list seems endless.
How about you? What are your holiday faves?