I was looking for a movie to watch and suddenly, I realized our shelves are full of Christmas movies.  It’s already December, so if we don’t watch them now, we probably won’t watch them this year, at all.


A Christmas Story (1983)

So. I diligently went from shelf to shelf, extracting our holiday-themed movies. They are all favorites or we wouldn’t own them. And yes, we still buy DVDs because it’s really empowering to have movies to watch when the cable and WiFi decide to take a vacation.


It’s A Wonderful Life

This time of year, it’s not unusual for heavy snow or rain or wind to leave us without a connection … and that’s when — assuming we have electricity — we go to the big DVD shelf in the hallway. Where our movie collection lives.


The decorations will up this afternoon. Extracting them from the attic has become somewhat of a challenge. Our bodies and the folding ladder to the attic have aged and make loud, scary, creaking noises. Nonetheless, decorations will make their annual appearance today by hook or crook. Probably hook. I’ve bought wrapping paper, bows and tags and our little trees are in place and glow gently throughout the evening. Almost all the shopping is finished.

Alastair sim Chrismas carol

The weather is gray and cold, so what could be better than a cup of cocoa and a warm movie?

Here’s our holiday list. It’s a short list, a very personal list. It isn’t a “best of list,” just movies we like.

  1. It’s a Wonderful Life (Directed by Frank Capra, starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, 1946)
  2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
  3. Christmas Carol (Starring Alastair Sim, 1951)
  4. Home for the Holidays (Starring Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, 1995)
  5. A Christmas Story (Narrated by and based on a story by Jean Shepherd, 1983)

There are more. We have “White Christmas” and “Holiday Inn.” At least two other versions of “A Christmas Carol” and a newer remake of “Miracle on 34th Street.” And then there are a bunch of Disney movies that could be considered Christmas movies … like “Lady and the Tramp.” We don’t have enough time to watch them all, so we selected our favorites. If we find ourselves with a little spare time, we’ll add others.


Let me briefly address the issue of “happy holiday” versus “merry Christmas.” If you celebrate Christmas and wish me the same, I’ll smile and wish you one in return. If you celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or nothing … that’s okay too. Remember — not everyone is Christian. Even among those who are, not everyone celebrates Christmas, for whatever reason. People are entitled to be different. It isn’t (yet) a crime.

Take a lesson from the spirit the holidays supposedly represent. Happy holiday is not an insult. It is a non-denominational way to wish you well in a month full of holidays.

Enjoy your celebrations, whatever they are. I will happily accept any well-meant greeting in the spirit it was offered. Don’t use the holidays an excuse to spread ill-will.

Have yourself some great holidays. Be of good cheer, whatever you celebrate. And happy New Year to one and all!

Categories: Christmas, film, Holidays, Movies

Tags: , , , ,

41 replies

  1. Several of your favorite movies are also mine. I like Home for the Holidays a lot. As for the “Happy Holiday” expression, I like it better than any other because it doesn’t target any specific religious celebration. But it took me a couple of holiday seasons to get it. I learned some English in my French schools. “Holiday” there meant “vacation.” So the first time I heard “Happy Holiday” I thought that people were taking a vacation. When people started to wish me “Happy Holiday” I explained that I wasn’t going on a vacation. It brought smiles on people’s faces. Finally I understood that “holiday” in the States and in England are two different concepts.
    In any case I wish you and Garry and everyone reading your blog a Happy Holiday Season.


    • Actually, holiday here means both a vacation and derives from holy day — so it’s also a celebration, these days both secular and religious. English is a moving target. It has changed a lot since I was a kid.
      I also like the inclusiveness of “happy holiday.” I get tired of people who think whatever they believe is the only possible thing anyone can believe.
      Joyeux Noel, happy holiday, merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and your family!


  2. I bought some stocking stuffers today at a local Fred Meyer store. These are department stores here that also sell groceries. I saw a bin full of DVD movie disks for $4.99. Out of curiosity I looked at the titles and settled on two exact copies of a John Wayne movie collection of 25 of his best westerns, for $4.99. Soot, I found a second copy for myself at that price.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent top five movie list. And I agree wholeheartedly with your take on “happy holiday” vs. “merry Christmas.” And may you and yours have a wonderful holiday season!


  4. Nothing like watching the older movies at Christmas. We usually have A Sound of Music showing on TV every Christmas here. 😀


  5. Consider ‘Home Alone’, perhaps?

    Heartily reciprocate your greetings.


  6. It’s A Wonderful Life – a wonderful choice. I was lucky enough to see it at the cinema last Christmas, unfortunately this year it’s Elf, not nearly as good. It would be my all time favourite Christmas themed film if it wasn’t for Home Alone and Home Alone 2.


    • There are so many holiday movies. No matter what you taste, there’s at least one and probably a lot more than one. I think it’s in our constitution that everyone is entitled to like whichever movies “talk” to them. Enjoy, whatever it is!


  7. “Christmas Carol (Starring Alastair Sim, 1951)” is one of the greatest movies ever made.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A wonderful life it is, isn’t it? A Christmas tradition in our home. We watch in on the 24th in the evening. And by then, I hope I will be finally in the spirit 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Best Christmas post so far this year. Totally agree with your take on “happy holidays.”. And your most favoritest Christmas movies line up directly with mine. A very happy holiday to two of my favorite people! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy Holidays to you too Marilyn!


    • And to you and all of yours. This year Hannukah aligns with Christmas so we can get a tree, attach candles, and call it a menorah?


      • Whatever floats your boat Marilyn! I recently saw a gigantic menorah covered with holly wrapped around each candle holder on it!


        • You know you live in an area without Jews when you own menorahs and can’t find anyplace to buy candles. Really. No candles. I’ve been pondering this conundrum for a while. Maybe I should reconnoiter and move on to the Hanukkah bush concept?


          • No candles? I get them in the mail from some organization every year- what’s your address I’ll send you a box! Call whatever Chabad House is in the Boston area, I am sure they would make a special trip, but then you will be at their mercy to light with them and say the brachos 🙂 🙂


            • Honest, no Chabadniks around here. This is the whitest most Christian area in New England. Boston is more than 70 miles away. I’m sure we could find them at one of the Boston suburbs, though. I just don’t know the areas at all, so I would have to take my best guess. You can’t even get matzoh meal around here. Sad.


  11. Being a little non-traditional (and a big fan of films with lots of guns and explosions) I’m hoping to fit in “Die Hard”. Hey, it’s set at Christmas time!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I can definitely include all those on my favorites list along with one I watched tonight, The Bishop’s Wife. With Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, Monty Wooley and a cast of city folks who look suspiciously like residents of Bedford Falls from the previous year it is great fun, even if some of the dialogue is a little hokey.


    • Oh, that’s another good one. We just don’t happen to own it, but maybe it’ll show up on one of the movie channels. Tonight it was “Miracle on 34th Street.” I had no trouble believing in Santa, but we both laughed hysterically at the description of the postal service as an efficient, trustworthy government agency. Now THAT is unbelievable.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. There are so many Christmas movies to choose from. My daughter and I will start watching our favorites tomorrow (we’ll have a marathon till Christmas Eve). I think I’m the only one around though who doesn’t care for It’s a Wonderful Life.


    • I like the little “time travel” piece of “Wonderful Life.” I also like the “what would be different had I not lived” theme. And the town in the movie is real town in upper New York state. I’ve been there, so there are a few personal memories. As I said, these aren’t the best movies and that’s why there are no reviews. They are just our particular favorites, without rendering judgments on other Christmas movies.
      I think my current top favorite is “Christmas Story.” I like the dogs. And the gun. I have that gun. And dogs.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I always felt sort of strange for not liking It’s a Wonderful Life! Like something is wrong with me. LOL But I think you chose some excellent movies! A Christmas Story is one of my absolute favorites. People often forget the Christmas Carol version with Alistair Sim. I like it and the one with George C. Scott the best. And of course Holiday Inn is a classic or at least I think it is. I’ve not seen Home for the Holidays but I love Holly Hunter in pretty much everything she does and Robert Downey Jr. too so I will have to check that one out.


        • It’s a Wonderful Life was not a hit when it came out. It only became a classic in later years. The critics hated it when it came out, so you aren’t alone.
          Home for the Holidays isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea. It’s more Thanksgiving than Christmas.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Have you ever seen the original Christmas in Connecticut from 1945 with Barbara Stanwyck? You might would like that. It’s a light-hearted comedy about a Martha Stewart sort of character except she can’t do anything, especially cook.

        Liked by 1 person

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