To Watch in the Theater
A Christmas Story
It’s a Wonderful Life
The Newtown Theater, our local movie theater (and the oldest movie theater in America!), runs a series of Saturday matinees between Thanksgiving and Christmas of old holiday classics. These two happen to be two of our favorite holiday movies and we're lucky enough to get to see them on the big screen. For It's a Wonderful Life, we round up all of our families and watch together. Sadly, our local theater is running it on Christmas Eve this year, which isn't good for anyone's schedule, so we'll be hoofing over to Phoenixville to watch at The Colonial Theatre (famous for having The Blob filmed there). I always end up crying my face off and emerge from the dark theater with a very puffy face. Still, I love it.
Pinds Fun Fact: Having been watching It's a Wonderful Life with my family since I was a kid, as a small child, I once muttered "I want to live again" in church. If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's what George says on the snowy bridge after he realizes that his life was worth living. Also, when I was about 6 years old, I sneaked downstairs on Christmas morning and instead of opening my presents, I turned on It's a Wonderful Life and started painting my toenails with the polish that was in my stocking. My parents weren't pleased.
Pinds Fun Fact: Our cat Flick is, in part, named after the character who sticks his tongue to the pole in A Christmas Story.
To Watch on DVD
To kick off the Christmas season (after watching the Berenstain Bears, of course), Mr. Pinds and I watch Love Actually. After that, we'll watch what we're in the mood for, but save our favorites (Home Alone, A Christmas Carol) until Christmas is pretty close. We started watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Christmas Eve, which is a fun tradition. Sometimes The Nutcracker doesn't fit into our schedule, but it's more of a turn-it-on-while-we-do-something movie. This year I had it on while Nick worked on a Christmas present and I napped for half of it. It was great. In my opinion, the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol is the only one to watch (besides The Muppet Christmas Carol, but that's kind of its own animal), but we also sometimes fit in the Alastair Sim version, which Nick enjoys.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Twas the Night Before Christmas
Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas
The Muppet Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott version)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Nutcracker (Mikhail Baryshnikov version)
Charlie Brown Christmas
Pinds Fun Fact: I pretty much have the entire script of Home Alone memorized, including the sound effects. I challenge anyone to a Home Alone quote-off. Fuller will pee all over Kevin. He knows it. I'd also like to recognize the opening scene of Home Alone as one of the most well written segments of film that I have ever seen. It's brilliant. It's also probably a fancy orphanage.
To Watch if on TV
These are movies that I turn on while I'm making Christmas presents or wrapping up presents. They are movies that I don't mind watching halfway through or in small segments at a time. They're enjoyable but they're not crucial to my Christmas season.
A Smoky Mountain Christmas
The Polar Express
Pinds Fun Fact: Even though I despise most country music, Dolly Parton has a soft spot in my heart. Not only for A Smoky Mountain Christmas, which includes Lee Majors as "Mountain Dan" (best character name ever), but also for her TV special where she walks around her house and Dollywood talking about her Christmas traditions and singing songs. My friend Stephi and I used to watch it every Christmas and I've been trying to find it for the past few years. And Oh. My. God. Stephi, I found it on You Tube! For your viewing pleasure, here are Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four!
What Christmas movie traditions do you have?