Tuesday, November 17, 2009

these movies make my "nice" list...

From early November on, the television begins broadcasting what seems to be hundreds of holiday programs and specials (ever heard of the Family Channel's "Countdown-to-Christmas"?). With such a merriment of shows from which to choose, I wanted to post our family's favorite ones to watch:



I so enjoy watching this curled up with my children on the couch. I think Tim Allen is hysterical in this role ("I shave in the morning and by noon, I look like this!)". I also love this film's conception of the North Pole, the elves, and it's explanation of Santa's ability to visit all the children of the world in one night. Let's not forget the secret to squeezing down those chimneys! Admit it....when you were a kid that was one of the big Christmas mysteries you'd always wondered about...


I have always loved this movie about a family at the turn-of-the century who finds out they have to move from their beloved St. Louis to New York. Even as a little girl, I could have watched it over and over. It's hard to pinpoint what it is exactly that draws me to it. Perhaps it's my love of Judy Garland. Her version of my favorite Christmas carol, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is, after all, the one I prefer above all others. It rings of hope and of a brighter future. Maybe it's Margaret O'Brien, who is a perfect "Tootie". It could be the way this close-knit family is so loyal and driven for one another. If you haven't seen this, you've got to put it on your Christmas list!

Favorite Movie Quotes:

Esther Smith: Oh, Tootie, don't cry. Don't cry, it's all right. You can build other snow people in New York.
'Tootie' Smith:
No, you can't! You can't do any of the things that I can do in St. Louis!
Esther Smith: No, no, Tootie, you're wrong. New York is a wonderful town. Everybody dreams about going there, but we're luckier than lots of families because we're really going. Wait till you see the nice new home we're going to have, and the loads and loads of new friends we're going to make. But the main thing is, Tootie, that we're all going to be together, just like we've always been. That's what really counts. We could be happy anywhere as long as we're together.

- - - - -
Warren Sheffield: [on the telephone with Rose] Wait, Rose! We still have... 36 more seconds!

Rose Smith: [who is upset with Warren & wants to make him jealous] I have an engagement. I think I can hear Joe's voice, now.
Grandpa: [lifts the tablecloth and looks under the table] Good evening, Joe!


Who doesn't love this movie??? There are so many great & funny parts, but in addition to the boy slipping on his bike (so wish I could have found a clip of that!), my all-time favorite "Sleeping" moment is the conversation(s) taking place simultaneously at the Callahan dinner table ("These mash potatoes are so creamy." "John Wayne was tall." "Cesar Romaro was not Spanish."). The chaos and noise of the scene reminds me of another family I love (Merry Christmas, Kremins!). Enjoy watching--zip ahead to 4:37 on the red bar to get straight to the funny stuff!


This is such a beautiful addition to the Christmas classics! I love the soundtrack and the story - in a way it reminds me that "faith precedes the miracle". Here's my all-time favorite part: Hot Chocolate!


My dad, who hates to watch Chevy Chase act, even enjoyed this movie. It's funny, it's real, and yet it has that "warm fuzzy feeling" at the end. My favorite part? It's a toss-up between Cousin Eddie ("Merry Christmas! Sh*tter was full..."--I know that's crass and inappropriate, but you have to admit, that part is hilarious!) and the cat getting electrocuted when it chews through the tree lights. Or, there's the part where Clark unfastens the Christmas tree, which then engulfs the room with branches and tree sap. What about when Clark goes sledding at about 2 Billion MPH? Don't forget about Clark getting stuck in the attic and donning vintage women's furs, hats, and wraps to keep warm while he waits to be rescued. Within the first five minutes you are busting a gut when Clark gets their car stuck underneath a movie semi.


I still remember seeing this in the theaters and hearing my dad and my brother, Mark, laughing straight from the gut! Why it is that we as a society enjoy seeing a person in the movies get pummeled and physically injured is beyond me, but it is pretty dang funny! (Also, on a different note, this movie soundtrack is GORGEOUS. There are some peppy, upbeat songs that make you wanna shake your Christmas boo-tay, but what I really love on it are the instrumental score pieces or the boys choir songs.)


Who doesn't remember these airing each December during their childhood? Now I get to share them with my own kids and it. is. awesome. I love watching these "misfits"!

A CHRISTMAS STORY, starring none other than Ralphie Parker

This is the holiday movie of my childhood. This is what I recall so often when I think about my experiences at Christmas-time. I think about sitting with my parents, laughing out loud, sometimes to the point of tears, as Ralphie Parker so desperately obsesses with the Red Ryder BB gun, as he sulks with the humiliation of wearing a Christmas gift that is ridiculous, and as he deals with the daily threat of the school bully with yellow eyes. We watched this all-American family...the mother protecting the turkey dinner she's been cooking all day; the father taking pride in winning an "award", even though it is outrageously stupid and ugly; a furnace that prompts vulgarity; Randy, the younger brother who "can't put [his] arms down"; and even the horde of the neighbors dogs. Ralphie is about the same age my father would have been at the same time in American history. I am so excited to see this story played out live, on-stage at Pioneer Theatre on December 7th. We've invited my parents to come, which is so fitting. There's no one else I'd rather watch this with than them! This movie has too many good parts to choose just one, but the one on my mind at the moment is when Ma and The Old Man sit and look at the tree, listening to the radio softly play Christmas Carols in the rainbow glow of the lights. I also love that moment when Ralphie wakes up Christmas morning and almost reverently looks outside at the snow covering each little branch of the tree. The 2nd Video clip below wraps up very nicely why I love this movie.


Here's a fun youtube video of a couple who took a road trip to seek out all the "Christmas Story" stuff. Pretty fun! Wouldn't it be awesome to go to Cleveland and tour that house??? Dad, c'mon, let's go!!!!!!!!!

So what's your favorite holiday shows? What puts you in the Christmas mood?


Jen said...

Hope! This post made me soooo happy! And I'm so glad to see "Meet Me In St. Louis" in there, since I don't think a lot of people have even seen it! I remember the first time I saw it, in Jr. High, when I heard "The Trolley Song," I thought, "If I sing that for my audition I will make HiLites. Sure enough, it worked.

Also, on an interesting note, did you know "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" was written for this movie and they had to change the lyrics because Judy Garland said it was too depressing? It said things like, "Have yourself a merry little Christmas--it may be your last..." because they were soooo sad to be leaving St. Louis. Now it's such a Christmas classic! :)

I also love "Santa Claus: The Movie." They never show it anymore, but they used to show it every year when we were kids!! I randomly saw it on tv a couple Thanksgivings ago and I got so excited that Erik got it for me on DVD--I love it! :)

LaFawnda said...

My husband is SOOOOOO ready to go to see that house.
We did all the reasearch on it. I love it and think it'd be a fun road trip (perfect for a popup trailer or tents, just get and go.
Seriously let's consider it, along with my l.h.o.p. tour I'd like to take with Laurie, P.E.I. with mom and girls, gettysburg with mike, sigh etc..........
maybe we could....

"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson