Traditional Christmas Movies?

It’s officially December. Christmas trees are up and decorated. Holiday tunes stream from every speaker. Tis the season for joy and family and festivities.

Growing up, Christmas time always meant special movie and television traditions. Of course It’s a Wonderful Life is a big part of Christmas. I recall several holidays at my grandmother’s house when all the cousins would gather around the TV to watch A Christmas Carol starring George C. Scott. And I still have a tough time getting in the Christmas spirit without A Charlie Brown Christmas. My favorite book from childhood was Little Women, and I have grown to love most of the movie adaptations of this book as well.

My first date with my husband was to see A Christmas Story, which has become a contemporary classic, along with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Elf. I have my own traditions, too, like decorating our tree while watching While You Were Sleeping. This year it took longer than usual, so I enjoyed Penny Serenade, too. Neither of these films are specifically Christmas movies, but they feature a holiday setting.

But what about holiday traditions that have nothing to do with Christmas at all?

I have friends that love to watch Jurassic Park at Christmastime. For them it’s about getting their family together and enjoying a quiet (though dino-filled) evening. What’s more Christmas-y than that? Another friend makes a weekend date with her family to stay in and have a Lord of the Rings marathon. This year is especially exciting for her with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arriving next week in theatres.

Do you have a Christmas movie tradition to share? I’d love to hear what films you love best for the holidays!

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.

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