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Off Topic Thread: Favorite Christmas Movies

A Wonderful Job Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

It is Christmas Eve. And, unlike many years, I’m not running out to buy presents (though I think we could use some junk food in the house. I need chips at Christmas).

I do need to wrap today. It has been a long tradition that I wrap after everyone goes to bed on Christmas Eve. I’ve done it since the kids were little and I still do. I try to think of it as tradition and not laziness.

We got a ton of snow yesterday, so it looks very Christmasy.

We are having our Christmas a couple of days late this year, our son is coming up from Edmonton on the 27th.


What Christmas movies or TV specials that you can’t live without at this time of year?

I have to watch A Wonderful Life and Holiday Inn each year.

A Wonderful Life I’ve likely watched 50+ times. I can do all the lines. It’s always good to have a reminder about the importance of friends. “No man is a failure if he has friends”/I’ll admit to tearing up at the end every time I see it. The funny thing about the movie is that it wasn’t popular when it came out. It was too dark. People didn’t like it., but Jimmy Stewart would always name it when asked his favourite movie and, well, it was cheap to put on TV (someone forgot to renew the copyright), so it got played at Christmas over and over. Times changed. It didn’t seem so dark.

Add in that James Stewart would name it as his favourite movie any time asked and that through a mistake, the copywrite lapsed, and TV stations could play it basically for free.

It is kind of funny that the town of Bedford Falls is much more interesting in the time when he didn’t exist. But, as my son points out, the town is supposedly worse because there is more ethnic diversity. And, of course, his wife’s life is ruined because she has a career. Oh my god, a woman has a job, isn’t that awful.

Of course, my favourite and my most quoted line is: “You call this a happy family. Why’d we have to have so many children.” I relate to that line. (My wife would like me to tell you that I’m joking. She says I love my children.). But there are many many other lines I repeat a few dozen times a year. I make it a point of using the work malfeasance since mean old Mr. Potter uses it. I know I’ve typed “I suppose they do that sort of thing” referencing some MLB award that I don’t care about.

And the waitress at my favourite bar tires of me saying, “we serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast, and we don’t need any characters around to give the joint atmosphere” (mostly because that bar insists on putting fruity beers in most of their taps). A line, I might add, is delivered perfectly in the movie.

Holiday Inn isn’t a great movie. You have to be a fan of old Hollywood musicals to like it. Bing Crosby at his best minimalist acting and great singing. Fred Astaire danced and showed off his limited acting ability. A pretty silly plot: Bing is lazy (maybe that’s why I can identify), opens an inn that will only be open on holidays, and, as always in these movies, they fight over a girl. Though with how they treat her, I have no idea why the girl would want either of them. Women in those movies didn’t have much choice in men.

I also watch the Alastair Sim Christmas Carol movie.

I have to watch these in the original black and white. I think colourizing is like remixing old music. I want the original vision of the artists.

And I love the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Not a movie, but I still like to see it. I loved Chuck Jones cartoons. I get a kick out of them doing extended version movies and wonder how they can pad out that little bit of story for an hour and a half. I used to need to see the Charlie Brown Christmas, but either it hasn’t aged well, or my tastes have changed.

And we are watching The Holiday, at the moment. Not

Anyway, those are my favourites, tell us about the ones you like best.

Enjoy your Christmas Eve.

Poll

My Favorite Christmas Movie is

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Home Alone
    (8 votes)
  • 7%
    Elf
    (7 votes)
  • 15%
    It’s a Wonderful Life
    (14 votes)
  • 14%
    Die Hard (not a Christmas movie to me)
    (13 votes)
  • 23%
    National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    White Christmas
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Holiday Inn
    (1 vote)
  • 10%
    Christmas Carol
    (9 votes)
  • 3%
    Love Actually
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    Bad Santa
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carry, not the tv cartoon)
    (0 votes)
  • 13%
    Something else
    (12 votes)
90 votes total Vote Now