Christmas Treats: Introduction

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in Christmas Treats (Other Than Your Aunt Mildred's Gingersnaps) | 0 comments

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“Merry Christmas, movie house!”
– George Bailey

You may have noticed I labeled this chapter in violation of political correctness and with full knowledge of religious denomination. The fact is, quite simply, I’ve yet to see a single Hanukkah, Kwanza, or Festivus film that’s any good. If you have one to suggest, by all means I’d love to see it and include it in this volume. Besides that fact, the holiday season rarely injects the spirit of Jesus or Godliness into me, but the spirit of giving/receiving, scarfing down food, and, most importantly, family. And what better way of feeling the warmth of familial bond than flopping down in front of the tube and checking out some holiday classics? This way you don’t have to go through the trouble of actually bonding with family members.

While Santa makes a list and checks it twice, I have my own list every holiday season that I use to gauge whether it will be especially naughty or nice. A Christmas morning without snow on the ground – that’s especially naughty for a Midwesterner such as myself. A Christmas feast without large slabs of meat and heaping piles of potatoes (polished off nicely with some brightly decorated cookies), should immediately call into question the occasion. A Christmas without alcohol-inspired bickering and awkward conversations with relatives most certainly isn’t one held at my house. And, finally, a December without claymation specials or 24 hours of “you’ll shoot your eye out” is more insufficient than that one year I got a stocking full of coal. At least you can use and enjoy the niceties of coal.

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If you’re like me – for your sake, let’s hope you’re not – while you watch some of these holiday classics you’ll think about how movies have shaped what parents tell their children regarding Santa. How he does it (The Santa Clause and Elf), if it’s really him at the mall (Home Alone, Elf, Miracle on 34thStreet), etc. With so many conflicting sources, and the fact that kids aren’t easily dooped, parents might want to carefully regiment which holiday films they regularly screen so as not to confuse their stories.

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