Written by cycleguy on December 9th, 2015

Christmas movies to be exact.

We all have our favorites. Some I wouldn’t walk across the street to see if they offered free admission and popcorn. Perhaps if they offered money to turn around and go back maybe… One of them would be Elf.

But there are certain movies which are Christmas classics. Miracles on 34th Street. Christmas Story (which I am still not fond of except for a scene or two. “Far rar rar rar rah”).

I tend to favor The Santa Clause I & II. Polar Express. White Christmas.

My favorite? Hands down: “It’s a Wonderful Life.” And that movie sure had a life of its own. Given up for dead in movie-land during its release, it found an audience years later. George sacrificed himself throughout his whole life-for family and friends- and found himself at the end of his rope. Through the help of a bumbling angel (Clarence), he realizes the greatest gift he had was his life. And what a life it was!

The movie was a dud at the box office in spite of some Academy Award talk. Jimmy Stewart’s performance was too over-the-top. Donna Reed’s portrayal of the wife was too perfect, and the ending of the story too ideal. As happens often the critics were wrong and the story of this “dud of a movie” making its way to the “Best Loved” list is testimony to the fact that time (and TV) changes things.

TV took over. I can remember when TBS must have showed it every day (and seemingly all day) during the month of December. It not only found a second wind but a new audience. Jimmy’s personal credibility helped, but so did the themes of sacrifice, faith, truth, loyalty, honor and “feel good.” People were trying to make sense of a lot of garbage and those themes struck a chord.

Two tidbits:

  • No matter how many times I see the movie, the end (how his friends and family rally to support him) always touches me. We never know the influence our lives have.
  • Our local theater showed it Sunday night of Thanksgiving weekend. There were close to 150 people of all ages watching. They laughed. I heard some sniffles. And they clapped when the movie was over!! Only in Spencer…. 🙂

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

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19 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    I really don’t have one. Certainly I have never had any sort of tradition to watch a given movie at this time of the year.

  2. Kari Scare says:

    It’s A Wonderful Life is my favorite. I also like A Christmas Carol. The idea that even the most unloving can make a turn around excites me.

  3. That is one of my favorites, Bill. It is, indeed, a timeless tale that reminds us God created us each unique and for a definite purpose. We never know how many lives we touch with ours.

  4. Pam says:

    So many to choose from! It’s hard to decide. I love White Christmas and A Christmas Carol. Lots of good messages in these movies.

  5. Deb Wolf says:

    We love It’s a Wonderful Life too. I think our favorite though is the George C Scott version of A Christmas Carol. It’s a “must watch” every year.

  6. TC Avey says:

    It’s a Wonderful Life is hands down my favorite too.
    A few years back my husband bought it for me…I got tired of trying to find it on TV each Christmas season and I hated sitting through commercials. That is one of my favorite Christmas gifts I’ve ever received. It’s such a great movie. I always tear up in the end.

  7. floyd says:

    I’m with you on any movie that applauds character in life that are based on Biblical principles.

    Although I haven’t seen it in years, A Christmas Story always brings a smile and nostalgic nod to my face. “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”

    • cycleguy says:

      It is on 24 hours from Christmas Eve-day to Christmas on TBS. Least it has been. I don’t watch it though. Once was enough for me (except for some parts).

  8. I wrote about Christmas movies from another perspective this week too, but to your point about It’s a Wonderful Life, I watched it with my kids for the first time this year. The affirmation that every life matters is so astounding. It’s a timeless truth and message. I have to admit though, I do like Elf. 🙂 Thanks Bill!

  9. I like too many to say one is my favorite. I’ll be ornery and say Die Hard.

  10. Linda says:

    Mickey’s Christmas Carol 🙂
    Actually I love many Christmas movies including It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Five Little Pennies, etc…

  11. Jon Stolpe says:

    Here’s my list of favorites:
    1. It’s a Wonderful Life
    2. A Christmas Story
    3. Christmas Vacation
    4. Polar Express
    5. The Santa Clause