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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas movie overdose

by Jennifer Squires Biller

Maybe I’ve overdosed on the wassail, but I’m pretty sure reindeer fly.

Santa is real, too. And snowmen can talk.

Oh sure, it doesn’t seem plausible. But if you soak up enough of the classic TV holiday movies, you’ll start to believe, too.

While you’ve been breaking out the holly and mistletoe, I’ve been settling down with some of my old favorites. There’s just something comforting about the classic Christmas movies. They teach moral lessons, renew the spirit, and make you long for a Red Ryder BB gun.

With so many holiday movies out there, how do you choose what to watch? Here are my picks for those you should put on your annual list. They’ll make your heart grow three sizes. I promise.

For animation, you can’t go wrong with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. (I love Lispy Linus, as he gives the Peanuts gang a reality check about the true meaning of Christmas.)Rudolph and his island of misfits teach a moral lesson that being different isn’t bad. After all, it allowed him to go down in history. And The Grinch is wonderfully entertaining. I like the new Jim Carrey version as much as the classic. That scene where Martha May uses a mechanical gun to put up her decorative outside-lights is hilarious. Where can I get one of those?

For heartwarming Christmas movies, you can’t miss It’s A Wonderful Life. It’ll make you want to carry your own ZuZu’s petals around with you. I also can’t make it through the season without White Christmas. There’s something magical about Bing Crosby’s soothing voice that comforts the soul.

My all-time favorite holiday movie is Miracle on 34th Street, the classic version. It gives hope to the optimist in me. It’ll restore the Christmas spirit in even the Grinchiest of souls. So even when I’m doubting that tweeting birds can actually hang lights on a Christmas tree, as in Rudolph, I’m reminded that “Faith is believing in something, when common sense tells you not to.”

I’m not sure why I need my annual dose of Christmas movies. Maybe I identify with those misfits. Or perhaps I need to know that it’s perfectly normal to break out in song in the middle of a conversation. Cindy Lou Who does it. So do Bing Crosby and Hermey the Elf.

While watching these movies, don’t try to analyze them too much. It can lead you to dark, confusing places. You could spend hours contemplating why Sam the Snowman carries an umbrella while narrating Rudolph. It doesn’t rain at the North Pole, does it?

Or why Santa refers to Donner and his family as “the Donners.” That would make him Donner Donner. Do all reindeer have the same first and last names?See? I’m obsessing. I’m telling you, it’s the wassail.

Originally published 12/15/04 in The Exponent Telegram newspaper.


weevilswobble said...

Great column, Tube Talk Girl! Donner Donner---LMAO!

Heather said...

I love Christmas Vacation. Chevy Chase cracks me up!

Nick said...

I've always wondered.What exactly is wassail?

Belinda said...

You're not gonna believe this: a kindergarten teacher just told me last eve that the reindeer's name in Donder. It's in the book The Night Before Christmas. Who knew?? Well, this site does a fun job of explaining it: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pointe/9352/christmas-donder.html

Julie said...

What about A Christmas Story?!! I love that. We'll probably watch it at least 2x on TBS on Christmas Eve. :)

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