Friday, December 2, 2011

"Get the biggest aluminum tree you can find, Charlie Brown, maybe painted pink"

Christmas movies are always a highlight to the holiday season, especially for me. Now while there seem to be an increasing number of made for tv movies about this time of year (ABC Family I'm talking to you...Holiday in Handcuffs? Really?), there are also some classics that I absolutely love. 

The Santa Clause: This is a hilarious movie, but it also addresses a lot about Santa Claus, without making it too much about the commercialism of the season. This is one of those family movies that children will love for the story, and adults will love for the jokes and the story.

Home Alone: Along the same lines as The Santa Claus, this movie is a great one to watch with the family because it has stuff in it for all ages. I am completely in love with the house and the Christmas decorations that are set up inside. And who doesn't hope their kid will be as ingenious as Macaulay Culkin if left at home by themselves?

Elf: There are so many lines I could quote from this movie, and it's one of the newer holiday movies that I am really partial to watching. If my mom were here, you'd better believe we'd be quoting lines from this movie for several minutes straight. In fact, we watched part of it as a family on Thanksgiving, and my grandma and her boyfriend had just come over and were watching it with us for the first time. About every 2 minutes, my mom and I would say "oh, this is a great part coming up" or "this part is so funny, watch!" Basically, this movie is definitely on the must-see list!

It's a Wonderful Life: I had never watched this movie all the way through until a few years ago, and you better believe that I cried after watching it (actually, I think I ended up crying during the movie). There are so many life lessons you can take from this movie, and from George Bailey's life, but it all comes down to the title of the movie. What I learned is that life is a wonderful thing (hm, sound familiar?), and we shouldn't take ours for granted, no matter what our situation may be. 

A Charlie Brown Christmas: This is one of my absolute favorite movies, and not just at Christmastime. I have so many personal connections to this movie, and I love re-watching it several times throughout the season. When I was in high school, through a series of events, I ended up directing a play version of this movie at my church. That year was a tough one for me, and my family ended up going to get our Christmas tree without me (it's a huge grand tradition we have, getting our tree, but I'll save those details for another time). The long and the short (haha) of it is that the tree initially didn't fit in the tree stand, and so my dad did what dads do, and sawed off a few inches of the trunk in order to try to fit it in. No luck. He sawed off a few more inches...and a few more...until it ended up fitting. However, by this point, the tree was about 5 feet tall, after starting at about 7 or 8. When I came downstairs and saw the tree, I started crying, because I have a thing where Christmas trees have to look a certain way (big), and this one certainly didn't. My mom (of course) came to the rescue and said "but it's your Charlie Brown Christmas tree" and made me feel lots better. We crammed all of our ornaments onto that tiny thing, loading the branches down with as many as 3 ornaments each, and in the end, it's one of the only trees we've ever had that I can clearly remember. All this to say that this movie is one that holds a lot of meaning and memory for me. 

Miracle on 34th Street: I might cry about this one, because it's just so good. Every single year (since my brother and I were little) we have watched this movie on Christmas morning. I guess one Christmas my parents got tired of us waking them up at THE crack of dawn Christmas morning, and so they put this movie on for us, and said to come wake them up after it was over. We were good kids, and watched the movie all the way through, and to this day, we continue the tradition. Now my baby sister watches too, and my brother goes back to sleep after the first 5 minutes, but in a world where so many things are uncertain, I love having traditions like this one to look forward to each year. In addition, the story is just wonderfully told, and I love every bit of the experience (by the way, we watch the newer version, in case you were wondering). This is something I cannot wait to pass on once Ben and I have kids of our own. Plus. New York City at Christmastime. What's not to love?

There are plenty of other movies out there that are oldies and goodies (A Christmas Story, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, etc.), but these are the few that really stick out in my mind, and that I am excited to begin watching with Ben this year. 

I'm gearing up to start some yummy holiday baking tomorrow (Peppermint bark! Toffee!) and sing along to Christmas carols on the radio all day long. Hopefully I'll be able to continue to share some of the holiday traditions I have, as well as the new ones I'm creating with the hubby!!!

Remember, "the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!"


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