Everyone has their favorite Christmas movie, and I am no exception. Even though I could probably recite most of the film from memory, every year, with glee in my heart, I watch “A Christmas Story.” As much as I love this movie, however, it is not enough alone to get me through the Christmas season.
Don’t get me wrong. I have some amazing memories of the joys of the holidays. Baking cookies, buying gifts, going to see light displays, singing carols, decorating the tree and hanging the stockings – these are things that I truly love. Or at least want to. As a very harried homemaker and mother of six, these things now seem to just add to my stress as my to-do list is always too long as it is. Unfortunately, the holidays mean “Hey, you’ve got fifty MORE things to take care of over the next few weeks or everyone will be sad, so good luck with that!” So the one thing I count on to lift my spirits during the holiday season is Christmas movies.
I have quite a collection of Christmas movies at my house. In fact, I think there are very few holiday films I do not have in some form, from VHS tapes to DVDs to digital downloads. I keep them all in a box, which sits in a corner of my family room most of the long dreary year until I can move it to a place of honor right by the TV as December rolls around. It’s a glorious day when that happens. They start to call to me, beckon me with their cheesy sentiment and vast spectrum of holiday tales.
What I really love is the wide array of “Made-for-TV” offerings that arrive every year. My DVR gets quickly filled with Hallmark and Lifetime movies, 120 minutes of mindless sap that gets me every time. I remember once feeling deeply betrayed by my beloved holiday drivel when I realized during the last scene of a movie that it was, in fact, a sequel to “The Christmas Shoes”, that evil holiday song turned evil holiday movie where people die and it makes me feel like someone has stabbed Santa or poisoned my eggnog. Christmas movies shouldn’t be sad. You can cry during them, but only because everything is just so happy in the end.
My penchant for obsessive Christmas Movie watching has been passed down to my children. My college age son messaged me this weekend to let me know that, if I was starting to watch all our holiday favorites, I had to save two particular ones for when he got home for break. I am more than willing to make that happen for my baby. Two of my children actually love sitting down and taking in a Christmas flick or two from my newly recorded treasure trove each year. My daughter has even started subjecting her boyfriend to them, and in a shocking turn, he still stays with her despite what must be torture to most red-blooded American teenage males.
I have added some movies over the years that I used to ignore at the holiday season. I have decided that “Die Hard” is, in fact, a Christmas movie and one I can share with my older kids now. There are a few Christmas films I just can’t quite get into, though. I’m not the fan of “Elf” that everyone else seems to be, though I will still sit down and watch when my kids inevitably put it on. I have yet to sit through “The Polar Express”, probably because the grandparents took the kids to see that one and it never really caught on with me since I missed out on that experience. But overall, Christmas specials, movies, TV shows, they bring a song to my heart. Some I have been watching for my entire life, classics such as “The Grinch”, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”. Some I will discover in the weeks to come. Some I bring out every few years, and some are “Must See” lest it’s just not feel like Christmas.
So while the holiday season tends to spark more feelings of dread than holly-jollyness in me these days, and I can’t always enjoy it because I’m too busy preparing for it, a Christmas Movie always brings a smile to my face and warmth to my heart.
Now, excuse me because something called “Crazy for Christmas” has just started. I’m going to grab some hot cocoa and sit down to watch for an hour or two. Happy Holidays!