Last blog was about rules of magic. The basic fundamentals you learn about magic tricks. This one is about Christmas Movies. Now I realize that the things I mentioned before were likely movies before they became Christmas program specials. But I don’t remember them that way. For me, they were always on TV. NOW I am going to look at the things that I remember in both distant and recent past that add to my holiday spirit. Before I digress, and in no particular order, let’s get our sled in gear.
- Home Alone:
The story of a kid left behind for the holidays while his ridiculously rich parents forget him just a moment too late. The Scrooge in this show was the Ungrateful brother’s family that appears to be freeloading off to Paris. Cheap people always make for a good bad character in the movies. We recognize them right off and we enjoy seeing them made fun of. Still while this movie is mostly about madcap fun at bumbling thieves expense. Message: The importance of family even when they appear to be a little too close.
Fun Show with Will Farrel as Buddy the misplaced elf looking for his dad. Also a jumping off point for Zoey Deschanel who has a lovely singing voice. The Scrooge here is Buddy’s Dad that doesn’t have time for all of this holiday nonsense. Of course it might be the children’s book writing guru little person with a bad temper. Nah, it’s the Dad. Christmas message: Once again, the importance of family even if they are long lost or only temporarily lost.
It’s a wonderful life:
A Christmas classic among classics. It’s a wonderful life chronicles one mans trip through a life without his existence after feeling like his friends and family would be better off without him. The Scrooge in this show is the banker (who else?). The message is that everyone has an effect on everyone else’s life in ways you might not expect. Black and white with hot chocolate is the best way to watch this one.
A personal favorite. No dialog, all visual/musical. This is not frosty the sell out. This is a captivating story of a young boy and his snow friend. There isn’t any mention of magic or anything else in this movie. It’s just assumed that things like this happened. The Scrooge here is heat. It just keeps melting that nice snow man! The message is that you can make friends everywhere and the best ones don’t care where you are from particularly the ones in your own head. Never lose yourself as your best friend.
A magical train that takes select kids to the North Pole. These kids come from different places but they are all bound by their common association (and doubts) to Santa Claus. The Scrooge in this movie is that Mandark kid (If you haven’t seen Dexters Laboratory, you should). The Message is, it’s important to continue to believe in things.
A Christmas Story:
One of my personal favorites, this might be the best portrayal of Christmas through a child’s eyes. Not kids the way we’d like to imagine they are, but a lot closer to the way kids really are. Often as disappointed as they are hopeful and they see things closer to the way they are. The Scrooge here is more vague: Everyone that is embarrassed about their past and how goofy or geeky or wonderful their mother thought they were. That or it’s all of those gun hating liberals, I’m not sure. Message: The memories of your past, no matter how much you’d like to avoid them, are unmistakable bits of who you now so embrace them.
Another classic of classics. Maybe not as much because of the story, but because of the songs for it. A terrific series of songs. A so so story. Performers get together and end up helping a friend that has sunk all of his savings into a Vermont lodge. But there is no snow! The holiday tunes go on and on here. White Christmas, Let it snow, I’ll be home for Christmas. Scrooge? Weather. Message: When you have friends, what else do you need? Don’t answer that, it’s rhetorical.
- Christmas Vacation:
Chevy Chase heads this movie about most of the funny bits of Christmas with family. The Holiday season and all of its angst and celebrations. The more family, the more you need a vacation from Christmas by the end of it. In the movie, business regains it’s heart and thinks better of it’s employees, but only after some real prodding. It’s not that way in real life. It’s just business. Any heart is purely coincidental and will probably be cut with the next board meeting. Scrooge? Business that doesn’t think about it’semployees much (Jelly of the month club indeed). Message: You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family, and Merry Christmas.
Muppet Christmas Carol:
A personal favorite again that I alluded to in my prior Christmas post. It hits 95% of the notes of Dickens’ famous story and keeps things going nicely all with that muppet holiday spice. The Scrooge in this show is the drawn out regretted love scenes. And Mr. Scrooge of course. The Message is the same one that the Christmas Carol always brings with it. Take care of your fellow man.
Nightmare Before Christmas:
Wait, this is a Halloween show right? Or. But. It’s all Halloween so it’s got to be a Halloween show. Well if Jack Skellington is driving a sleigh with 8 bony reindeer, I don’t know how much more Christmasy it needs to be. The Scrooge here is probably Jack himself, although I think Mr. Oogey Boogey is the more likely candidate. At least Jacks heart is in the right place, its his execution that’s lacking. Message: It’s ok to be who you are and there is nothing wrong with not being good at everything.