As the mashed potatoes and fall festivities slip into hibernation at the end of November, the joyous December Holiday season comes to light and the many comforting movies it provides finally reach the screen again. From true love romances to snow day comedies, almost every individual can find a film that gets them in the holiday spirit and prepped for the chilly and festive season ahead.
One of the most popular Christmas movies, known for its pure comedy and original plot line, is John Hughes’ Home Alone. This nearly two hour film tells the story of two brilliant robbers in their quest to steal from a selfish and ungrateful little boy. It is a tough life out in New York City. That is why thieves like Harry and Marv try to bring justice to the less fortunate by borrowing valuables from abundant families like the McCallisters and their wealthy neighbors.
After young Kevin McCallister forces his loving family out of their home so he can enjoy Christmas without their presence, the two Robin-Hood-like thieves make their move, but are brutally tortured by glass ornaments and expensive irons which are taken advantage of by the priviledged eight year old. This heartbreaking ending leaves viewers in a grateful mood, ready to share with those around them and properly execute the familial mood of the holiday season.
Staying on trend with Christmas in NYC, David Berenbaum’s ever-popular Elf follows the story of Walter Hobbs, the Vice President of New York’s very own Greenway Publishing. Focused on his craft and determined to produce a renowned children’s book before December 25th, Hobbs is hard at work when a 6’3’’ “30 year-old man-child” in an elf costume barges into his office confessing his love for his long lost father in musical fashion.
Long story short, Hobbs’ ex-girlfriend gave birth to a baby boy 30 years earlier and quickly put him into an orphanage without Hobbs’ knowledge of the situation. On the baby boy’s first Christmas, he accidentally crawled into Santa’s toy bag and was taken back to the North Pole where he was named Buddy and raised by a single elf father with help from his fellow toy-makers and the one and only Santa Clause.
After a DNA test confirms Buddy’s relationship to Hobbs, the midlife elf forces his way into the Hobbs’ family life, eating all of their spaghetti, using their wooden cabinets to create unnecessary children’s toys, and calling his hard working and very busy father every five minutes. The moral of the story here is to be realistic with one’s gift wish list and to avoid being too greedy this Holiday season because, who knows, Santa may just send a few more unnecessary adult-elf-children to the doorsteps of materialistic residents.
While Elf and Home Alone cover the stories of regular citizens absorbing Santa’s magic from home, others, like Robert May’s wildly popular Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, investigate the behind-the-scenes experiences of the creatures who make Christmas happen. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer relays the events immediately preceding Christmas morning. When an unexpected snow storm hits the North Pole, the neglected Rudolph with a shiny bright nose is finally called into action to lead Santa’s sleigh through the foggy night, in turn, saving Christmas.
After this night, Rudolph, who has never been an official sleigh member, becomes the MVP of Santa’s crew and a Holiday legend. Christmas has been around for centuries, and for every year prior to Rudolph’s shining moment in 1964, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen have taken turns leading Santa’s sleigh to make Christmas happen and yet not a single one of those essential reindeer have received any praise for their hard efforts. This story reminds viewers to be grateful for what they have and to call their peers out for any recent successes or accomplishments, because within moments, a younger, shinier (figuratively or literally) individual could come in and take all that hard work away.
While there are millions of Holiday movies floating around the numerous streaming networks of the world and the active Hallmark Christmas channel, these three perfectly captivate the Holiday spirit through their exciting and festive storylines and seasonal lessons revealed at the end. This December, it’s important to make time to watch these spirited films to prepare for the season ahead and learn from the lives of Harry and Marv, Walter Hobbs, and Santa’s selective sleigh roster. Happy Holidays!