When I first was on my own, I immediately wanted to buy all the DVDs of Christmas movies I grew up watching. I forced myself to buy only two DVDs a year, and I’ve stuck to that for the most part. I really love Christmas movies – I have SUCH fond memories of watching them with my family, and it’s comforting having something that’s repeated every year – a tradition of sorts.
So, here are the Christmas movies I currently have in my collection.
It’s a Wonderful Life
One of my favorites. Some people find it depressing, but I think that the last 10 minutes of the movie redeem everything. You might think your whole life has been wasted, but in reality you are the richest man in town. I only wish Peter Bailey could see his son and what came of the Building & Loan.
Miracle on 34th Street
Another much-loved classic in my mind (the older version, of course). Natalie Wood is great in this movie. I love the idealistic symbolism of Santa – peace, goodwill, generosity. This movie downplays consumerism and pushes the "true" reason for the season. Of course, they completely miss the actual reason we celebrate – which is the birth of Jesus – but hey, I don’t have a problem with people setting aside a season every year to reflect on loved ones and see humanity for what it is – a world of people just like you and me, who have needs and desires.
This is my absolute favorite. I love Bing Crosby’s voice. This film is chock full of great songs, that my sister and I sing together all the time. ("Sisters, sisters! There were never such devoted sisters…") I love the story, the humor of Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby, and the ending never fails to make me cry. My dream someday is to have a White Christmas (we’re thinking a trip to New England over Christmas might be a good way to make that happen!). Little known fact: the actress who plays the housekeeper Emma also plays Cousin Tillie in "It’s a Wonderful Life".
This Irving Berlin movie was actually where the song "White Christmas" debuted. It also starred Bing Crosby, alongside Fred Astaire, and has songs all throughout the year with every major holiday. I like this movie as well, though I prefer "White Christmas". Little known fact: The hotel chain Holiday Inn was named after this movie.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A definite classic, with a gospel message. What is Christmas about anyways? I love Linus’ monologue. And Charlie Brown’s tree at the end. We had a tree like that growing up in Peru – it was artificial, missing half its branches, but when it was decorated didn’t look half bad. I also have "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" , which isn’t as good but I do enjoy the history lesson that’s also on the DVD.
The other DVDs in my collection aren’t really Christmas, but just took place around Christmastime (and I think may have been released in the theaters around Christmas). I enjoy them, though I don’t consider them classics.
While You Were Sleeping
What two movies should I get this year? I’m thinking of The Polar Express , mostly because I just really loved the beauty of the film and animation. I also wouldn’t mind getting "Frosty the Snowman" (but only the first one, because I really hated "Frosty Returns" ) and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer . Any other suggestions?