By Andrea Renee Cox
Instead of doing my end of the month movie wrap-up, today I thought we’d talk about Christmas movies. There are so many options out there, too many to squeeze into one month of TV time, or even one blog article. What I like to look for, when choosing which ones to watch, is a good message of hope, which reflects the reason for the season: Jesus Christ. He is my hope, and I love seeing rays of hope in films during the season that celebrates His birth. When I watch movies with this theme, especially around Christmastime, I feel so inspired to keep working hard to overcome my weaknesses and, in the process, gain more characteristics that reflect the God I love and serve. With His grace, these characteristics will help me serve Him in new and wondrous ways that will spread His Light into the world around me.
Here are some of the Christmas movies I try to watch every year. They each make me hopeful in different ways and make me smile (and sometimes cry) every time I view them.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
You can’t really go wrong with Henry Winkler. Ever since he played The Fonz, this man has made me laugh. When you team him up with the holiday spirit, there’s much laughter to be shared. In this movie, Winkler’s niece schedules everything about Christmas. Can a vagrant show her how to “do Christmas” before her son stops believing in Santa Claus?
Now, this one isn’t technically a Christmas movie. It’s about a kid and his dog sled team that try to beat the odds to win a dangerous cross-country race. If that’s not a story filled with hope, I don’t know what is.
When a child gets missed on Santa’s trip around the world, Arthur launches a rescue mission of sorts to make sure the present ends up under the tree before the sun comes up. Will he make it in time? This animated flick is humorous and fun and allows adults to feel like kids again. And tell me … can anyone not bust out laughing at Arthur’s unique chortle?
What happens when a college student’s rival dumps him in the desert, dressed as Santa Claus, right at the beginning of the Christmas break? He has the adventure of a lifetime trying to find his way home and win back his girl … and maybe even discover a little bit of humility and self-respect along the way. (There is some crude humor and inappropriate language in this one, so please use discretion when watching with your children.)
It’s a Wonderful Life
Jimmy Stewart at his best. How can I describe this film to bring across its sense of family, despair, hope, and joy? An impossible task. But I’ll give it a shot. Unexpected things happen to a guy who aspired to escape his boring little town, trapping him there for a lifetime, it seems. One night, he receives a gift. He gets to see what life would have been like if he had never been born. As he sees the results of the lack of the impact he made on the lives of the people in his boring little town, will he learn to appreciate the life he had in time to get it back? One of my favorites, it will renew your hope when you feel like life is spinning out of control.
Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye might be an unlikely duo, but they’re really going places in this movie. What happens, though, when Danny’s character tricks Bing’s into joining forces with a couple of dames in order to help an old pal in the Army? A little comedy, a little music, some dancing, and a whole lot of fun! This one is, by far, my favorite Christmas movie of all time. Bing and Danny are a great team, and Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen hold their own with the boys quite well. Again, it’s difficult to get across just how special this movie is. You’ll just have to see it for yourself to get the full experience of the hope it spreads around. I challenge you not to cry by the end!
What themes do you look for in Christmas movies? Which holiday flicks do you like to watch with your family? What other traditions do you enjoy for Christmas?
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
See you in 2015.
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