Christmas Movies

With December comes the holidays and with the holidays comes Christmas music and Christmas movies.

I’ve got my favorite Christmas movies just like everyone else, drawing from the classics as well as some stuff that is seen less often.

I like the TV classics as much as anyone else. A Charlie Brown Christmas, Ruldoph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman are all films I like rewatching, I just don’t like them as much as my favorites.

And my favorites are:

It's a Wonderful Life

Every Christmas Eve my family would sit down and watch It’s a Wonderful Life together. My mother continued the tradition after my parents divorced.

We usually watched the movie at home on VHS but my mom took me to the Christmas Eve showing of it at the Stanford Theatre once. Watching the uplifting movie in the theater was just as heartwarming as it always was before. I think the most important part of enjoying this film is watching it not just with other people, but with your family.

It’s funny that my mom was the one to continue the tradition because she could never watch the whole film. My mother would always leave the room during the scene where Mr. Potter steals the money from Uncle Billy. She just couldn’t stand that level of personalized evil.

The Santa Clause

I loved this movie as I was growing up. My dad and I have always been big pals and The Santa Clause is all about the father-son relationship between Scott and Charlie.

As a teenager I started hating the movie. Maybe I changed my mind because of the divorced parents in it or maybe because the holiday message is as subtle as a sledgehammer on an icy pond.

When we started dating my wife mentioned that it was one of her favorite Christmas movies. It took her awhile to convince me to give it a try again, but once I did I found I liked it once more. Great movie!

The Snowman

This is the one on my list that many people may not have heard of. It doesn’t show on TV in the USA much because it was written and produced by British people. The Snowman is an animated short based off of a children’s book of the same name.

In The Snowman a little boy makes a snowman. He falls asleep and wakes up in the middle of the night to see the snowman has come alive. He takes the snowman on a tour of his house, playing with toys, and dressing up in his parents’ clothes while they sleep. The snowman then takes the boy on a flight over the ocean to the North Pole. They meet Santa there and the boy receives a scarf as a gift. The snowman and the boy return to his home and he goes to sleep while the snowman returns to his standing position outside the house.

In the morning the boy wakes up and rushes downstairs to see if the snowman is still there. He finds a melted pile of slush where the snowman once stood. Teary eyed he reaches into his pocket for the scarf from Santa. I never remember if he finds Santa’s scarf or his own scarf that he’d had earlier.

The Snowman is told solely through animation. None of the characters speak except for a brief intro and a song played over the animation as they fly through the air.

This was my mother’s favorite Christmas film. I didn’t like the wordless storytelling method while she was alive, but since she passed away it’s appealed to me more. Plus, I get a cathartic feeling of loss when the boy loses the snowman. I can’t watch this movie with my mom anymore, but I can watch it and remember what it was like watching it with her when I was a kid.

Bit of a downer note to end on. Stay warm and drink hot chocolate!


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