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Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Christmas Movies For The Family

Christmas movies have touched both religious and non-religious audiences. It does not matter what is somebody’s race, creed, nationality, gender, or sexuality, there are Christmas movies that all members of society can enjoy from comedies and dramas to religious themed storylines and the supernatural/surreal. Christmas movies transcend the artificial differences that divide people, and evoke a response from them whether it’s to make them laugh, cry, or open their eyes to the errors they have made in their own lives.


“Babes in Toyland (March of the Wooden Soldiers)” is one of the first Christmas films ever shown in movie theaters starring Laurel and Hardy who work in a toy factory that makes goodies for Santa. Originally made in 1934 in black and white, the film has since been colorized. Set in the backdrop of the Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, the story focuses on the romance between Little Bo-Peep (Charlotte Henry) and Tom-Tom Piper (Felix Knight) as the mean-spirited Silas Barnaby (Henry Brandon) attempts to make Bo-Peep his wife. It is a Christmas tradition to start the Holiday Season with this classic.

movie“Trading Places” released in 1983, takes place during the Christmas Season as Investment Bankers Randolph Duke (Ralph Bellamy) and Mortimer Duke (Don Ameche) play a trick on their broker Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) forcing him to trade places with Philadelphian hooboo Billie Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy). The jokes never get tired and the storyline proves to stay relevant over the years.

“Scrooged” is a contemporary version of Charles Dickens classic novel “A Christmas Carol.” Entering theaters in 1988, the story evolves around Francis Xavier Cross (Bill Murray), a jaded network executive who commercializes Christmas and is missing the point of the Christmas spirit. Visited by the three Ghosts of Christmas, his eyes are opened to what a schmuck he has been as he tries to rectify all of his wrongs.


“Christmas Vacation” has become a contemporary classic, epitomizing and ridiculing the family man whose expectations of Christmas are impossible to reach as he fumbles through the Holiday. Starring Chevy Chase as Clark W. Griswold, Jr. and Beverly D’Angelo as his wife Ellen, this one is a keeper that induces laughter from beginning to end.

“Home Alone” in 1990 and its sequel “Home Alone 2” in 1992 are both set during Christmas as Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) finds himself separated from his family through the days leading up the Christmas. He learns that he can be quite resourceful while alone and finds enjoyment in being involved in the world around him.


movie“It’s A Wonderful Life” is an American classic made in 1946 starring Jimmy Stewart as the mortgage and loan manager George Bailey who falls into hard times when his uncle loses the company’s deposits. In despair, George wishes that he was never born and his guardian angel Clarence (Henry Travers) descends to earth to grant his wish. Life without George Bailey proves to be worse, and George asks to return to his old life where he manages to lift himself out of the abyss with the help of friends and family.

“Miracle on 34th Street,” a 1947 film, is about a young girl named Susan played by Natalie Wood who is the only one that believes the stranger, Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) is really Santa Claus. When Kringle is brought up on charges of misrepresenting himself as Santa Claus, Susan and her mother’s friend Frederick Gailey (John Payne) set out to prove that Kris Kringle is indeed Santa Claus.

America‘s “Scrooge”/ England‘s “A Christmas Carol” is based on the novel by Charles Dickens. The 1951 film stars British actor Alastair Sim in the lead role. Though it is still shown in its original black and white format, the bleakness captures the spirit of Dickens novel and portrays the story beautifully.

movie“White Christmas” made in 1954 stars Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace who is one half of the Broadway duo Wallace and Davis with Danny Kaye playing Phil Davis. They meet another entertainment duo, the sisters Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera Ellen). The foursome finds themselves at a Vermont resort owned by World War II veteran, Major General Thomas Waverly (Dean Jagger). Eager to assist the general in bringing in more guests to the resort during the Holiday Season, the four put together a revue that would rivalry a Hollywood variety show staged on Christmas Eve at the resort.

“Gift of Love,” originally aired in 1978, the movie stars Marie Osmond as Beth Atherton and Timothy Bottoms as Rudi Miller. Based on William Sydney Porter’s novel “The Gift of the Magi,” the couple sacrifices their most prized possessions to buy each other the gifts which they wished for on Christmas.


movie“The Bells of St. Mary” is a 1945 film starring Bing Crosby as Father Chuck O’Malley and Ingrid Bergman as Sister Mary Benedict. The story centers on the fate of St. Mary’s Catholic School. When funds run short for repairs on the school, Sister Benedict puts her hopes in the city’s leading businessman Horace Bogardus to offer his new building to the church. When the sister contracts tuberculosis, she must be sent away, but her faith in Bogardus proves to make miracles happen.

“The Bishop’s Wife,” released in 1947, stars David Niven as Bishop Henry Brougham and Loretta Young as his wife Julia with Cary Grant playing the angel Dudley. When Bishop Brougham neglects his wife for the sake of the parish, the angel Dudley shows him that nothing is more important than the welfare of his wife especially on Christmas.

“The Nativity Story,” a 2006 film shot in Italy stars Keisha Castle-Hughes as Mary, Oscar Isaac as Joseph, and Ciaran Hindsas as King Herod. The movie retraces the Annunciation and the Nativity from the Old Testament as told by King Herod climaxing with The Magi.


“The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t,” made in 1966, weaves a Christmas tale around Phineas T. Prune (Rossano Brazzi) who is an old miser that holds the deed to the North Pole. It seems that Santa Claus is behind in his rent payments and Prune plans to have Santa (Alberto Rabagliati), Mrs. Claus (Lydia Brazzi) and the elves evicted from their home while keeping the Christmas toys in lieu of debts due. Santa turns to Sam Whipple (Paul Tripp) for help who rallies the children around the world to aid Santa so Christmas won’t be cancelled.

“Jack Frost,” the 1998 surreal flix starring Michael Keaton as Jack Frost and Kelly Preston as his wife Gabby Frost, captures the imagination when Jack is killed in a car accident and comes back to life as the snowman from his front yard. As a snowman, he teaches his son Charlie what is important in life especially putting family above work. When Jack begins to melt, he uses his last fleeting moments to say good-bye to his wife and son, and makes amends for neglecting them.

movie“The Family Man,” the 2000 fantasy adventure hinges on the story of Investment banker Jack Campbell played by Nicholas Cage, who enters an alternate world when he makes a deal with a disgruntled man who claims to have won the lottery on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, Jack wakes up to find himself married to his former girlfriend, Kate Reynolds played by Tea Leoni. He tries to fit into his alternate life with the help of his daughter Annie played by Makenzie Vega. When he is given an opportunity to resume his former life as an investment banker, he accepts it, only the second time around he makes several adjustments putting Kate as his first priority.

What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?


Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in eastern Long Island, I always enjoyed writing making several contributions to her high school literary magazine, The Lion’s Pen. Influenced by writers of epic novels including Colleen McCullough and James Clavell, I gravitated to creative writing. After graduating from New York University with a BA in Liberal Arts, I tried her hand at conventional jobs but always returned to creative writing. Since 1998, I has been a freelance writer and have contributed thousands of articles to various e-zines including: Associatedcontent.com, Helium.com, Suite101.com, Jazz Times, Hybrid Magazine, Books and Authors, and Musicdish.com. My latest romance novel The King Maker has been published by Champagne Books and can be found on the publisher’s website [champagnebooks.com].

Find the author online: website | blog



Cullen Danes never believed in love at sight, but when the investigator for the British Aviation Ministry meets the girl in his dreams, he surrenders to the emotional currents that consume him. Nina Holt is far too concerned about finding a job in her chosen field of public relations to abandon her quest and put her faith in the stranger with the piercing blue eyes; yet, when Cullen’s life is in danger, she has no other choice but to save him from suffering the same fate as his friend, American pilot Steve McKenna, whose involvement with an international crime ring concludes with his murder.

Together, Nina and Cullen uncover a web of illicit activities that includes government officials, financial institutions and global industrialists. Though the perilous circumstances they encounter tests their mettle, Nina and Cullen's true test comes when he asks her to take a major leap of faith. Torn between jumping into the unknown or remaining in a static position, Nina has to decide whether to take the biggest risk of her life, that is, if the King Maker does not have them killed.

1 People had something to say:

  1. Natalie (Mindful Musings)Dec 20, 2011 01:51 PM
    I used to love Babes in Toyland as a kid, and I still ADORE Christmas Vacation. I've seen it at least ten times and I never get tired of it!

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