Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tristi's Favorite Christmas Movies

Although radio stations have been playing Christmas music for nearly a month now, for me, this is when the Christmas season truly begins-right after Thanksgiving. My own personal tradition is to watch as many Christmas movies as I can between Thanksgiving and December 25th, and there are some films I watch over and over again. While this list is by no means complete, it does contain some of my very favorite Christmas movies of all time.

The Nativity Story: This film is a beautiful depiction of the birth of the Savior, presenting Mary and Joseph in a way I'd never envisioned before. The acting, the directing, and the casting were all superb.

The Forgotten Carols: Michael McLean has been presenting this story as a stage play for a decade and a half, and now it's available on DVD. I watched it at my sister's house on Thanksgiving Day and I have every intention of buying it and adding it to my yearly ritual. Truly a masterpiece.

Elf: Buddy is an orphan who accidentally crawled into Santa's bag and was taken back to the North Pole. The elves decide to raise him as one of their own, but it's obvious he's not one of them, and it's not just his towering height of over six feet. When Buddy learns the truth, he decides to search out his real father. With his innocent, childlike perception of the world around him, Buddy helps his crusty old father realize that family is the most important thing there is.

White Christmas: Christmas just isn't complete for me unless I've seen the classic movie, "White Christmas." Bing Crosby's crooning, Danny Kaye's sense of fun, Vera-Ellen's magical toes-it's simply a must-see every year as New York stage actors meet budding starlets and get swept away to Vermont, where a lack of snow is killing the ski season for a small hotel. It all becomes personal when the owner of the hotel is revealed to be the old commanding officer of the two performers, and they decide to put on a show to bring business into the hotel.

The Santa Clause series: What if Santa fell off your roof, you put on his suit, and became Santa yourself? What if you hated it, but eventually the spirit of the calling rested on you, and you became the best Santa there ever was? Scott Calvin knows what this feels like. After fighting the inevitable and learning to accept it in the first movie, he then has to fight to keep the right to be Santa in the second film, and finishs up in the third movie by helping the world remember that Christmas is based on love. These are movies you can (and should) watch with your whole family.

Mr. Krueger's Christmas: Willie Krueger is a widowed janitor who spends his days serving others and his nights alone in his tiny apartment with no one for company but his cat, George. This solitude doesn't stop him from enjoying the Christmas spirit, and he decorates his apartment with anticipation of the holiday to come. When a little girl reaches out to him and includes him in her celebration, he is deeply touched at the thought of having a friend. The highlight of this film shows Mr. Krueger (artfully played by Jimmy Stewart) imagining he is at the manger, visiting the Christ-child and thanking Him for everything.

I could go on indefinitely. Many wonderful films have been created to celebrate this most special time of year. I encourage you to seek them out and spend a little extra time bringing the spirit of the holiday into your home. Crank up the radio a little louder and sing along with the carols. Smile to the other shoppers at the store. Give a gift to someone who might be a little down on their luck. And may you have a wonderful month filled with memories that will last you the whole year through.

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Lynne said...

My favorite Christmas DVD is Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. We watch it every year. Along with White Christmas and the inevitable 24 hours of Ralphie. I've never heard of Mr. Krueger's Christmas - I'll have to look for that one.

Danyelle said...

My very favorite Christmas movie is What a Wonderful Life. I watch it every Christmas at least twice.

I've never seen The Forgotten Carols, but heard it was fantastic. I thought about getting the DVD, but was afraid it wouldn't be very good since it's usually a play. But since you say it's good, I'll have to splurge and pick it up. Thanks!

Holly said...

Mine are White Christmas, The Santa Clause series and Bundle of Joy (an old Eddie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds movie).

Candace E. Salima said...

White Christmas is my absolutely FAVORITE Christmas movie. I can easily say I have seen this movie upwards of 100 times.

Lynne said...

Tristi - Come over to my blog and claim an award!

Anonymous said...

Nothing tops "The Muppet Christmas Carol" for me! "Scrooge" comes a close second.

Echo said...

I too have got my favorite movies for Christmas holidays through Blockbuster.

Cindy Beck said...

What a fun thing, now you've got everyone listing their favorite Christmas movies! Can I play, too?

Mine are as follows: (there are far too many to list them all:)

WHITE CHRISTMAS-This is our Thanksgiving evening tradition, to kick off the Christmas season. We've been doing it for 20+ years.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE-No one shows us the far-reaching effects of each of our lives as well as Jimmy Stewart.

SCROOGE (in all its versions)-always a good reminder about the true meaning of Christmas and our obligation to share with others.

Cindy Beck said...

Oh drat ... I forgot to tell you thanks, Tristi, for sharing your favorite Christmas movies with us.

Shellie said...

Not to mention Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful Life, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Fourth Wise Man, The Grinch, A Christmas Carol, etc, etc. Love Christmas:)

Keith Fisher said...

I like A Christmas Carol but not for reasons you might imagine. I love to see how many different actors can mangle the Scrooge character. There have been a lot of poor performances over the years. I especially like Orem's Hale Center Theatre's redention. they emphasize marleys point about giving to mankind, better than I have ever seen.

I also like It's a wonderful life but it was overplayed so much in the past, there was a time that I hated it. Now I'm coming back to it.

Anna Maria Junus said...

I love Christmas movies too, certainly the ones on your list.

Another favorite of mine "The Bishops Wife" with Cary Grant. Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington remade it into "The Preacher's Wife" which is enjoyable but the original is better.

The Gift of Love, The Christmas Box, and any kind of Scrooge inspired version (ever seen the Henry Winkler one).

Anonymous said...

One of our family favorites is "Garfield Christmas". Groovy music and some good humor. Can't go wrong with that.
What about a post that talks about your favorite Christmas music? I think a lot of it gets pretty old, but there is some new stuff out there that would be worth talking about.
Thanks for the post!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Some of my very favorite Christmas music is on my Playlist right now ... turn up the speakers and you can hear it! I tend to be pretty traditional with my Christmas music preferences.

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