Christmas Movie Musings
I’m going to start with a few confessions:
So, if you think we can still be friends after those shocking revelations, I’d like to tell you about the Christmas movies that help me step into Christmas...
1. The Snowman.
Good, clean family viewing with excitement, sadness, joy and fantasy all packaged up into a 30 minute gift of loveliness. I’ve watched it every year for as long as I can remember. Having a Primary school teacher for a mum was probably a big influence - it’s one of her favourites and even when we’re not together at Christmas we’ll both let the other know when we’ve completed our first festive viewing of it. It’s a tradition I’ve brought into family life with my two girls and even with all the advancements in technology I hope they’ll want to share this 1982 classic with their own families one day.
2. Father Christmas.
Another animation that takes me back to my childhood. Again, there’s no great dramas in this family film but boy did me and my brothers find the ‘bath scene’ hilarious. As in, keep rewinding the video tape to the bit where Father Christmas shows his bottom hilarious! This, coupled with the fact that his expletive of choice was “bloomin’” had us in stitches. Perhaps the sign of a sheltered childhood or simply the pure innocence of youth but either way, they don’t make films like that anymore and certainly not in VHS!
3. Home Alone.
In a land before prequels and sequels the original antics of Kevin McCallister was played on repeat every Christmas in our house. We could reinact most scenes and generally did at any opportunity. There was (and still is) something about this film that played to my overactive imagination - what would I do if I ended up fending for myself at Christmas time? Would my creativity with household appliances be enough to outsmart Harry & Marv? In the spirit of finding some deeper meaning to the message behind the movie, I think Kevin’s encounter with old man Marley can be a lesson to us all about the importance of not judging a book by its rough and seemingly scary cover. There’s also the fact that in a world where we measure our parenting against the perfect lives of strangers on social media, we can all (I assume) rest in the knowledge that we’ve not boarded a plane to Paris having forgotten one of our kids...
And last but by no means least, although it’s the least child-friendly film of my selection:
4. Love Actually.
Aside from certain scenes that are excruciating to watch with your parents in the room (yes, even at 34 years old I’m still that awkwardly juvenile), what’s not to like?
Christmas ✔️ Love ✔️ Liam Neeson ✔️ Cute kid dressed as an octopus ✔️
Now, in case you haven’t worked it out already, I’m no bonafide film critic but with laughter, tears and an excellent (in my biased and completely unfounded opinion) soundtrack, I think it’s a relatable, feel good film for the festive period. It’s a reminder that families are complicated, relationships can be uncertain but it’s entirely possible for romance to blossom on the basis of/in spite of (delete as appropriate) questionable dance moves.
Congratulations if you’ve managed to read this far! I’m sure offers for a regular film review column will come rolling in any day now. However, on the off chance that this is my one and only opportunity to expound my seasonal movie wisdom, I’ll end with the somewhat ironic statement that: It’s not about which film you watch, it’s who you watch it with that counts.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas snuggled on the sofa soaking up the special season with your loved ones. Just kidding, you know as well as me you’ll be refereeing popcorn wars and pausing for toilet trips every 10 minutes but enjoy anyway!
ClaireTagged with: christmas films, christmas traditions, family christmas movies, family time, family time at christmas, festive films