Monday, November 9, 2009

Carnival Blog: My Favorite Holiday Movies

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A scene from "Miracle on 34th Street"






This time of year who can't resist the many Holiday specials that have become such a part of our lives. When I think back to when I was very young, there was not such thing as Cable TV - let alone color TV. What stands out most in my mind, while waiting for Thanksgiving Dinner, with its delicious smells coming from the kitchen, was every year watching the original "Miracle on 34th Street". Who can ever forget the innocence of Natalie Wood saying "I Believe, I Believe". In fact a few years ago, my children gave me the collector's edition of the original movie.

Then comes the official "Holiday Season"! Those four weeks that we would wait so patiently for the sound of those reindeer's hoofs landing on our rooftops. To keep the anticipation growing during this time of year, I truly cannot omit those favorite Cartoons, which not only I grew up with, but also became a holiday tradition for my children as well; as now will follow through with my first grandson, Zachary (although only 1 month old). Of course, you all know I am going to say "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Poor Charlie, who carries with him the true meaning of Christmas, with his little tree, it branches almost bare, yet he still finds the beauty in something that the others laughed at and cast aside, as he so proudly decorates his little tree. Next, another family tradition was and still is watching "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and the island of misfit toys; and lastly "Frosty the Snowman".

Now to answer Mysticwynd's question of which is our (myself and children included - although they are all grown) favorite Holiday movie would be, I would definitely have to say "A Christmas Story"! If you had asked me maybe 20 years ago, I would have definitely said the original "A Christmas Carol" with Alistair Sims, which I would sit up practically all night on Christmas Eve as they would run that movie continuously. For those of you who don't know the movie "A Christmas Story", which is shown on almost every channel throughout the Christmas season, it is the narrative of a man looking back on one particular Christmas season. The movie takes place during the 1940's, when life seemed so simple and innocent. The boy's one dream for this particular Christmas was for Santa to bring him a "Red Rider BeBe Gun", only to be continuously told, "You'll shoot your eye out kid!" I think one reason this movie ranks among my Christmas favorites is because so much of it reminds me of the innocence of my own childhood during the Christmas season. The anticipation of that one particular gift that you truly want; walking down to the corner, often up to our knees in snow to buy a "real' Christmas tree, then helping my grandfather carry it back up the hill to our house. If I went through the whole scene of my grandmother's many comments as we were decorating (which in themselves were truly classic) I would have to make a movie myself!

Somehow we often forget the simple things that makes life so special. Unfortunately, the holiday's are so commerical, that unless we bring our own past traditions to our children, the true meaning of Christmas truly gets lost. I guess that is why the movies which stand out the most, and are mine and my family's favorites are the one's that bring that innocence and joy back into our lives.
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