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'Tis The Season

Dec 15, 2018 -- Posted by : Stephen

'Tis The Season by Stephen M.

Christmas is my favorite holiday but maybe not for the reason you think. Sure I enjoy getting and giving gifts. The parties with family and friends are really fun. And yes, I love all the food! But none of these things make it my favorite holiday. It's not even the day itself, it's the whole season because I love Christmas movies! I watch at least one Christmas movie a day from December 1 to Christmas Day. Several of these Christmas movies I watch on a certain day every year. I won't get into all of them, but here's a few and why they have a special place in my heart.

Scrooged (1988)

Scrooged is a modern take on the classic A Christmas Carol. (If you can call 1988 modern.) Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, the head of a TV network which is airing A Christmas Carol live on Christmas Eve. It has a great cast including Karen Allen, Bobcat Goldthwait, Alfre Woodard and several of Bill Murray’s brothers. Frank encounters the three classic ghosts including a punchy Ghost of Christmas Present played by Carol Kane.

The story culminates with Frank interrupting the live broadcast after his encounters with the ghosts have changed his heart. Frank’s speech at the end of the movie touches mine. He says, “It’s Christmas Eve! It’s the one night of the year when we act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be!” I try to take this to heart and be the person I always hoped I would be for more than just a couple hours on Christmas Eve. Imagine a world in which people were the best version of themselves every day.

Elf (2003)

My favorite Will Ferrell movie! Elf is the story of Buddy (Ferrell) who is raised by elves at the North Pole and decides to find his father who lives in New York. Ferrell plays innocent so wonderfully. This movie proves that Will Ferrell can be funny and also clean. I quote this movie so much, especially at Christmas. “I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite.” “Son of a nutcracker!” “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?” “I know him. I know him.” Also, my brother’s family has an Elf on the Shelf named Francisco.

This movie also introduced me to Zooey Deschanel. I love her! She was Jovie way before she was the New Girl. We see Peter Dinklage before he was Tyrion Lannister. This movie also has legends like James Caan, Ed Asner and Bob Newhart. It’s a great, fun movie with a great message about having Christmas spirit.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

I watch several different versions of A Christmas Carol and The Muppet Christmas Carol may be my favorite. I love the Muppets. I grew up on The Muppet Show and have always enjoyed the Muppet movies. So I was “in” from the start.

The thing that makes this Christmas Carol great is all the music written by Paul Williams. “One More Sleep ’til Christmas” is a very sweet song sung by Kermit on the way home after working with Scrooge. There are fun songs like “Marley and Marley” and “Fozziwig’s Party.” And if you aren’t crying at the end of “Bless Us All,” you are a robot! There’s also some good comedy with the Narrator played by Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat. It’s a fun movie for the whole family.

Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas (1977)

This movie was such a big part of my childhood. I think HBO showed it every day during the month of December for about 10 years straight in the 80s. It features Jim Henson's Muppets and has some more great music written by Paul Williams. At one point in my life, I know I could recite all the words for memory.

It's such a sweet story that borrows themes from The Gift of the Magi. Emmet and his ma sacrifice something (unbeknownst to each other) in order to enter the town's talent contest so they could use the prize money to buy each other a Christmas present. But the Riverbottom Nightmare Band might have something to say about that.

It's been edited so much from network to network, but I luckily found a DVD version with the Kermit the Frog intro. This is a must watch every year and it's a quick 48 minutes.

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

This is probably the most popular Christmas movie of all-time. It's at the top of many people's favorite Christmas movie lists. I've seen this too many times to count, but it makes me cry every time, usually multiple times! I find it hard to believe there are people out there that have not seen this movie, but I know that they are out there.

It's the story of George Bailey who doesn't think his life is very meaningful, so his guardian angel, Clarence, gives him a glimpse of what the world would look like if he had never been born. So when George goes to the bridge the second time and Bert the cop catches up to him and George says, "Bert? Do you know me?" I lose it! I'm tearing up just thinking about it while I write this. It's my favorite Jimmy Stewart movie too—a classic!

Polar Express (2004)

The first time I saw this movie, which was in 3D at an IMAX theater, I didn't really care for it. The animation is a little weird. I was a little distracted that Tom Hanks was about 72 different characters. And I just didn't believe. But I watched it again. Then again and again. And now it's my Christmas Eve movie every year and one of my favorites. I love the original score by Alan Silvestri.

I sound like a broken record, but it's such a sweet story about believing at Christmas. I really like the part when the main kid realizes he has lost the bell that Santa gave him because of a hole in his pocket. Then he found the bell wrapped up under the tree with a note from Santa. He and his sister can hear the bell but their parents can't. Psst, I can hear the bell too.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

My absolute favorite Christmas movie! My Christmas Day is not complete without watching this classic about the Peanuts Gang. This is another one that at one point in my life, I could recite every line. There so many wonderful scenes—Lucy with her Psychiatric Help stand, Snoopy's decorated dog house that wins 1st prize, Schroder playing the piano and of course, the tree that Charlie Brown chooses from the tree lot. By the way, I have this pitiful tree as a part of my Christmas decorations.

It has great music by Vince Guaraldi. The song "Linus and Lucy" IS Christmas music to me. And the best part of this movie is that it is one of the only Christmas movies that talks about the real reason for Christmas. The last song sung by all the kids to end the show says it all. "Hark! The herald angels sing. Glory to the new-born king."

Final Thought

As I said, Christmas is my favorite time of year. And Christmas movies is what I love best. We'd love to her about your favorite thing at Christmas too. You can tell us at our Facebook or Twitter. And I hope this made you think about your favorite Christmas movie which you can also tell us about. Merry Christmas from Tommy House Studios!


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