The Top Ten Christmas Movies EVER

December 4, 2007 at 3:55 pm (Pop thoughts)

I got a lot less controversy than expected with my Top Ten Christmas Songs EVER post. It seems as though most of my loyal readers are becoming more and more like me in taste. As Bill Parcells says in those Coors beer commercials, “That’s a good thing; not a bad thing.”

Well come along now my little 70% mini-me’s and let me now inform you as to the greatest Christmas Movies ever…

10. Tie Elf and The Santa Clause

It was so difficult for me to pick between these two. They both do a fine job of adding to the Santa Claus story. One by explaining the eternal nature of the jolly old elf and the other by demonstrating the free will of his underlings. Initially I give the nod to Elf because Will Ferrell does a terrific job of demonstrating child-like innocence in the big city of New York. However I can’t resist the sarcastic barbs that Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is constantly throwing at Neil (Judge Reinhold in his last great roll). Prime example, “The only thing you need to worry about is where you’re going to buy your sweaters after the circus leaves town.”

Since there is about 10 years between them I give them a tie for now with the The Santa Clause holding a slight edge because it’s been as funny or funnier for a longer amount of time.

9. The Nativity Story

Regardless of your religious beliefs there isn’t a person on earth who can deny the fantastic story telling abilities of the Bible. Except of course for Hollywood executives who for generations, neglected the fact that the overall viewing public actually does like Biblical stories.  Thanks be to Dreamworks who in 1998 re-opened a genre with it’s animated film The Prince of Egypt that had been lost since the 1950’s. Since then Biblically themed epics have become tremendous box office successes. The cinematography and dramatic scenery coupled with the very humanizing depiction of Mary by Keisha Castle-Hughes, makes this film worth the watching. It neither adds to nor detracts from the Biblical narrative but rather reinforces what our imaginations had already pictured. Best of all is that it avoids making Mary seem like some kind of god, the classic Christmas caveat propagated by Catholicism worldwide.

8. A Christmas Story

The Leg lamp.

“ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra.”

Oh “Fudge”.

Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.

“I triple-dog- dare you.”

“I can’t put my arms down.”

Soap Poisoning

and of course…

“You’ll shoot your eye out.”

7. Miracle on 34th Street

I am of course referring to the1947 version which far surpasses the 1994 version as well as any TV versions that may have come along. The little girl in this film was played by Natalie Wood who later became famous for her role as Maria in West Side Story. This was one of the few Christmas movies to transcend the Christmas genre and really be Academy Award worthy. It was nominated for best picture but won three other awards including, best writing and best original screenplay. It really is a fascinating story about a crazy old man who thinks he’s Santa Claus but spends his time working as a Macy’s store Santa.  The parade footage is actual footage of the 1946 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in which Edmund Gwenn (the actor who played Kris Kringle) actually did the job usually occupied by a minimum wage employee. It really does change the way you see mall Santa’s.

This movie was so good they released it in May. Can you imagine a Christmas movie in May now a days?

6. The Muppet Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens classic story being narrated by Rizzo the rat and Gonzo the whatever. What a difference 150 years does to story telling eh? While a IMDB search of Charles Dickens turns up over 280 screen credits, none is better suited for children than this. I really like the Muppets for the simple reason that the lead Muppet, Kermit the Frog, is the humblest of all animated posse leaders. I like Kermit so much better than the arrogant Bugs Bunny and the smug Mickey Mouse. Neither of them could ever play the role of the hard working family man Bob Crachit. Mickey tried to in 1983 and the Loony Toons also did a version in 1979 but had Bob Crachit  being played by Porky the Pig. Clearly neither of these would work. But a humble character such as Kermit was a perfect fit, as was the always inspiring Michael Cain playing the role that defines the antithesis of everything that is Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge.  You can’t make it through a Christmas season without hearing someone say, “Ba Humbug”. I guess that makes it Christmasy huh?

5. Home Alone & Home Alone 2

If you were born between 1976 and 1986 then you know how important these two movies are. While John Hughes was best known for targeting high schoolers throughout the 80’s this movie ushered him into the 90’s and the ever profitable genre of family films.  I guess these were the beginning of the end for his pop-cultural relevancy but what and ending it was.  Macaulay Culkin plays the role of the little brother we want to beat the snot out of or the kid we really want to be. But in a classic case of “the grass being greener” he finds out that he really does love his family. This movie made us all fantasize about just how nice it would be to have a couple of days by ourselves, but it also makes us realize just how fortunate we are to not be by ourselves. Mad props to Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern for being  bad guys who we never really think of as being so sinister as to actually do anything bad.

4. Christmas Vacation

Another John Hughes triumph. The reason this movie probably resonates so well within my generation is because it was just a little bit edgy. Chevy Chase plays the stereotypical doofus American father/husband who talks a big game but fails to back it up with consistent actions. Nevertheless having a big family Christmas always seems to bring in some characters from this film, whether it be a crazy great-Aunt,  a redneck in-law, annoying yuppie neighbors, or a disconnected boss. You know you’ve got those people in your life, that’s what makes it funny.

3. It’s a Wonderful Life

Frank Capra and James Stewart are always a winning combination. This movie is no exception. It uses Christmas as the background stage setting for a story about life and self loathing. I don’t watch this movie every Christmas, in fact I can only recall watching it in it’s entirety once or twice, but I know the story very well because it tells it so well. The message is simply to not discredit your life. It’s easy to lose sight of our own individual significance when we are blinded by tragedy, but our ultimate significance isn’t in how we feel today but rather the lives connected to ours. What better time than Christmas to be reminded to stop being selfish?

2. How The Grinch Stole Christmas


This is the animated version not the Jim Carey one. While I liked the Jim Carey one well enough it didn’t exactly measure up to the 1966 TV classic. This half hour program tells the simple tale of the Who’s and the Grinch who bitterly attempts to destroy Christmas. When he finds out that Christmas happens even without all the presents, food and decorations he comes also discovers redemption.

Interestingly enough our culture still doesn’t get this. We make songs and music and movies about it, but we don’t get it. Suppose your Christmas is stolen by thieves, would you, like tho Who’s still be happy and joyful?  Hmmmm

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas

Best of all are the charming and delightful Charles Schulz characters in this  1965 TV special. This is one of the few times you will every hear any scripture quoted on national television as Linus quotes Luke 2:8-14 followed by the synopsis, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” Of course if you buy the DVD the back of it will tell you that Charlie Brown discovers the true meaning of Christmas and has something to do with fixing up a scrawny Christmas tree with just a “little love.”

Sigh

Outside of this and the Nativity Story I have yet to see any quality films with any type of Christian Christmas message, so I’ll gladly take this.

Advertisements

50 Comments

  1. itsasecret2u said,

    I love all the movies on this list (that I’ve seen – I still need to check out The Santa Clause and Nativity Story), but I threw up in my mouth a little when I saw that both Holiday Inn and White Christmas had been left off. Can’t we get a little love for the song-and-dance Christmas movies too!!??

    Both of my boys love Home Alone and Home Alone 2, so it would appear that they still appeal to kids, even those not born in the 76-86 year range. They really like the Jim Carrey version of the Grinch (as well as the classic TV version), but it irks me that they changed the basic premise of the classic Dr. Seuss story for the Hollywood-movie version. They made the Whos superficial, totally focused on the overly-commercial aspects of Christmas. Christmas only still came after the Grinch stole it because Cindy Lou’s protests made them realize that they were missing something. That wasn’t the vibe of Who-ville in the cartoon version.

    If I may, I’d like to add some more good Christmas movies for kids:

    1. Mickey’s Christmas Carol – We watched this every year on TV growing up. My husband and I searched for years to find it on DVD (or even VHS!) to share with our kids. We only found VHS copies on ebay selling for $60. Finally, we saw a DVD in Target for $10 that was some sort of Disney Classic Cartoon Collection and Mickey’s CC was on there! The kids love it.

    2. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street – Another TV special, first airing in 1978. I grew up watching this one too. My kids love it as well, even though it’s before the “Elmo days” that are more characteristic of Sesame Street since the 90’s. Amazingly, many of the human characters from back in the day are still on Sesame Street today. I was shocked when my oldest was 2 or 3 and we turned Sesame Street on and there were Bob, Susan, and Gordon!

    3. Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas – This is the only newer movie on my list. We bought it several years ago when we were unsuccessful finding Mickey’s Christmas Carol on DVD. It seemed we needed some sort of kids’ Christmas movie that our kids would look forward to each year like we had. I was very pleasantly surprised by this collection of 5 short stories. They each have a typically-Disney message (don’t forsake friendships for the spotlight, behave yourself and put others first, love and accept your family, etc.). They’re well-done and pretty watchable for adults as well. I’d recommend it for anyone looking for something the kids will enjoy that has a more updated feel (like if you get sick of looking at the tacky 70’s sweaters on Christmas Eve on Sesame Street).

  2. danielbalc said,

    You haven’t seen the Santa Clause? I’ll give a free pass on the nativity story since it just came out last year but the Santa Clause has been around for a long time and is currently all over TV.

    I dogged mickey CC so no way I put it on my list. I really can’t stand Mickey Mouse. He’s a jerk I hate him.

    I’m just not a fan of the singing and dancing Christmas flicks. Sorry but they don’t do anything for me.

  3. Former FFL Champ said,

    “I really can’t stand Mickey Mouse. He’s a jerk I hate him. ”

    Wow. You better go see Pastor Bruce. 🙂 🙂

  4. itsasecret2u said,

    I really can’t stand Mickey Mouse. He’s a jerk I hate him.

    It’s ok, I feel the same way about Winnie the Pooh.

  5. Albino Hayford said,

    Your list is a very good one.

    We just watched the Grinch tonight for the first time with Rachel, and I am still moved by that cartoon. Here’s the money line: “How could it be so? It came without ribbons; it came without tags; it came without packages, boxes or bags!” I am also a big fan of “Home Alone” and “A Christmas Story”…ditto to the rest…almost.

    I will make 2 tweaks. Let’s dump “Nativity” and “Elf/Santa Clause”. I tried to watch Nativity this year and literally fell asleep. No movie can ever portray those events to my satisfaction and this one is a real snoozer (especially the lame “ghost angel” scene with Zachariah).

    I am much more pleased with the literal reading of Luke 2 in the Charlie Brown Christmas.

    DUDE…How could you forget about “A Christmas Carol”???

    I am eliminating Elf and The Santa Clause because they can’t compete with two of the best adaptations of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”,

    and both must be included:

    A Christmas Carol starring George C. Scott

    George C. Scott’s portrayal of Scrooge is AWESOME. We at once despise and pity him as he works his way through the three spirits, and the scene where he reconciles with his nephew Fred makes me cry every time.

    Scrooge (“A Christmas Carol”) – starring Alistair Sim

    Something about this old adaptation is haunting in the way Sim helps us gaze into Scrooge’s soul. London is dark and dirty and Scrooge”s lonliness and stinginess is brought out by the sense of cold when the spirits arrive. Brrrrr…

  6. Albino Hayford said,

    Whoops…forgot to dump your pathetic muppets “Christmas Carol” —- ugh. The Mr. Magoo Christmas Carol is better, but I’ll replace the muppets by putting “The Santa Clause” back on the list.

  7. Albino Hayford said,

    Forgot to give you BIG props for “It’s a Wonderful Life”. GREAT film.

  8. RubeRad said,

    Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.

    With a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time…

    Christmas Story is #1!

    Coming in a close 2nd for me, Nightmare Before Christmas. I loves me some Burton&Elfman! (Still need to see Corpse Bride, and can’t wait for Sweeney Todd!) Muppet Christmas Carol is also awesome (suck it, Albino!)

    But no love for the claymated/animated classics? Heat Miser/Snow Miser, Meisterburger Burgermeister, Rudolph, Frosty?

    Also, you forgot Bad Santa.

  9. amyleesspace said,

    A Christmas Carol is def a classic, I would def include that in your list.

    I don’t like christmas story because when Wency first watched it, he then thought it was ok to punch little kids. We had to work on that one 🙂

    I love love love the Grinch and Charlie Brown!

  10. danielbalc said,

    Rube….

    Never saw Bad Santa (not exactly sorry about it either).

    I wanted to include “A Claymation Christmas Celebration” but it just missed the cut.
    http://imdb.com/title/tt0272045/

    I’ve never liked Rudolph or Frosty.

    Just a few months ago I saw about half of the nightmare before Christmas. I really liked what I saw but I still haven’t seen the whole thing in its entirety so I can’t put it on my list.

    As for all the Christmas Carol supporters, I prefer the Muppet version over any other version thus far. However IMBD reports production of a 2009 version in the works being directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring some HUGE names like…
    Tom Hanks
    Jim Carrey
    MIchael J Fox
    and
    Christopher Lloyd.

    While these are all still rumors it seems like it could be an instant classic. Hanks and Zemeckis teamed up was star and director in The Polar Express, Cast Away and Forest Gump so I’m pretty pumped about the prospects.

  11. Aunt Beth said,

    Daniel, I usually agree with more of your selections, but it’s hard to believe that the following are worthy of top ten status: A Christmas Story, the Home Alones, The Muppet Christmas Carol, A Christmas Vacation, and The Santa Clause.
    Why not include some of these holiday movies?
    The Christmas Box – It’s intriguing , it reminds us that there is so more beneath the surface, and it leaves enough loose ends to make you think about what’s important in life.
    Jingle All the Way – Absolutely hilarious and much more enjoyable than the “Home Alones,” “A Christmas Story,” or “A Christmas Vacation.”
    About a Boy – A self-absorbed, modern day scrooge who hates Christmas and exploits others grows up and learns to value people (even goofed-up, broken people) and enjoy the season. I love the absence of consumerism and, of course, who can resist “Killing Me Softly” sung with eyes closed?
    A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott – so much better than the Muppets!
    Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Who doesn’t love the Island of Misfit Toys, the little elf who wants to be a dentist, and redemption for the abominable snowman?
    Finally, it’s = it is. The possessive for its does not contain an apostrophe.

  12. danielbalc said,

    AB,

    first of all I had to re-read my entire post looking for my “its” miscue. It took me a while till I got to my last comment (next time I’ll read backwards). Thank you for pointing out my errors. I so appreciate it.

    Christmas box? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Most annoying Christmas movie EVER!

    Jingle all the way was pretty good until the governor got into the Turbo man costume and started flying around. I prefer the unbelievable stuff be done by “magic”.

    About a Boy- Never seen it. Sounds gay.

    Again I prefer muppets CC over George C Scott’s

    And NO I don’t like Rudolph and the dentist elf. Way too much being added to an already legendary addition. It’s like making a sequel on a sequel. As mentioned with Elf and the Santa Clause, they did well in adding to the Santa Legend. Rudolph is adding to the Rudolph legend. I don’t need that.

  13. pokerforprofit said,

    I have no idea how Christmas Vacation is not #1 on the list. This is in my top 5 of all time. A great movie.

  14. pokerforprofit said,

    Here are some beautiful lines from said movie,

    Clark: Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?
    Eddie: Naw, I’m doing just fine, Clark.

    Eddie: You surprised to see us, Clark?
    Clark: Oh, Eddie… If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am now.

    Eddie: Every time Catherine would turn on the microwave, I’d piss my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour.

    [after Clark fails at lighting all the exterior Christmas lights at the “lighting ceremony” in front of the entire family]
    Frances: Talk about pissing your money away. I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was.
    Audrey: He worked really hard, Grandma.
    Art: So do washing machines.

    I will be watching this movie again real soon.

  15. amyleesspace said,

    I agree with Poker, Christmas Vacation was one of the best Christmas movies ever made!

  16. 5najeras said,

    Daniel,
    Shame on you for not having “A Christmas Story” as your #1, and you should shoot yourself in the foot for adding “It’s a Wonderful Life”. That is the worst movie EVER made in the entire history of the universe. It’s dark, depressing, boring and highly overrated. Seriously, what is everyone’s fascination with that stupid movie?? Is it just one of those things that everybody says is a classic so you don’t want to feel like the idiot that doesn’t watch and say, “What a great movie!”? I don’t get it. It traumatized me as a kid. The kid getting slapped in the ear and bleeding. What the heck? Terrible movie, especially for kids. It will ruin the Christmas spirit.

    Ps. I’m in a bit of a rage because I’ve had a bone to pick with this movie for many years and now all this pent up anger is getting released. It’s like therapy…. I appologize for my tone but not for my words. 🙂

  17. itsasecret2u said,

    James Stewart’s charm alone makes It’s a Wonderful Life watchable. I love it. 🙂

  18. Albino Hayford said,

    5najeras,

    Put down the bong pipe and pick up a dvd of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and WATCH IT AGAIN!!! Are you nuts? It’s about loss and redemption and true kindness and the fact that life really matters. Without the dreariness at the beginning, you can’t exult with the joy at the end. Maybe you should be condemned to watch “Bad Santa” on a loop all day on Christmas for your outrageous pilloring of this masterful bit of cinema.

  19. 5najeras said,

    “Without the dreariness at the beginning”

    More like an hour and fifty five minutes of dreariness for a measly 5 minutes of happiness at the end. Not worth it! It’s so depressing that if you made me watch it, you’d have to put me on suicide watch afterward. 😉

    Ps. Albino, I was wondering how long it would take you to jump on that comment.

  20. danielbalc said,

    5n,

    Really, Christmas story is your number 1? That seems really odd to me. I think all the movies I put above Christmas Story deserve their placement.
    So far here is what readers have insisted belongs in the top spot…

    A Christmas Story
    Christmas Vacation

    both getting 2 votes each for #1

    Does anyone at all agree with me that Charlie Brown is the #1 best Christmas movie of all time?

  21. pokerforprofit said,

    Does anyone at all agree with me that Charlie Brown is the #1 best Christmas movie of all time?

    You can clearly see just from the select few lines I posted that Christmas Vacation is the best Christmas movie of all time and clearly one of the best movies of all time period. That is humor at its best.

    In fact, watching that movie every Christmas season will be one of my family’s favorite traditions.

    “If you are going to crown ’em, crown ’em!”

  22. RubeRad said,

    It’s about loss and redemption and true kindness and the fact that life really matters.

    Oh no you di’int!! IAWL has nothing whatsoever to do with redemption, unless you mean in the wishy-washy, pop-culture, self-improvement sense, which use of the term gospel preachers should avoid like Jacobus Arminius’ ghost of heresies past, future, and present!

    But the fact that it is not about redemption isn’t what makes it a bad movie — there’s no reason to expect that it should (or could) be about redemption. The real problem is that it is over-sentimentalized pap. I agree with sis.

  23. danielbalc said,

    The real problem is that it is over-sentimentalized pap.

    um, dude, that’s what Frank Capra is all about. If he didn’t invent the genre he certainly defined it.

    “Capraesque”
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/capraesque

    You are definitely in the minority by not being a IAWL fan. Just ask the American Film Institute who voted it the most inspiring American movie ever…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AFI%27s_100_Years…_100_Cheers

  24. itsasecret2u said,

    “Capraesque.” I like that. I usually hear the cynics call it “Capra-corn.” But I don’t care. That movie deserves a watch every year.

    Poker,

    How long will you wait before letting your kids watch Christmas Vacation? I love that movie, but the reason it wouldn’t be higher on my list is because I can’t enjoy it with the whole family. There are the skanky underwear saleslady scenes (in the mall and the pool fantasy), plus the use of the f-word when Clark has his breakdown toward the end. This is unfortunate because that movie is hilarious (I like it better than A Christmas Story, personally).

  25. pokerforprofit said,

    How long will you wait before letting your kids watch Christmas Vacation?

    I don’t expect my kids to have any desire to see a movie like that until they are at least 11-13 years old I would think. Before that, it would be over their head and boring for them.

    I will say as a general principle (sorry for the thread jack, but she started it) I am more apt to have my kids discover these things (scantily clad women, bad words, etc…) through movies in our home where I am present to explain why they are wrong than at school or another venue where maybe it is condoned as ok.

    So to answer your question 11-13 seems ok to me depending on circumstances and their individual level of maturity at a given age.

  26. danielbalc said,

    Whoa, 11-13?

    I don’t think I can agree with the principle being implied here.

    “OK son, What we are watching here is bad and wrong, don’t do it. But isn’t it funny?”

    I can’t remember the first time I saw this movie, but I definitely remember the scenes that Secret is talking about. They really make an indelible impression on the brain and while I think the overall movie is very funny I would prefer to not have the junk that is floating around in my head be in there.

    I don’t have kids, but if I did I don’t think I would let them watch this movie until at the very least post-“the talk”.

  27. danielbalc said,

    BTW Secret’s right, I don’t have it higher because it isn’t family friendly.

  28. pokerforprofit said,

    I don’t have kids, but if I did I don’t think I would let them watch this movie until at the very least post-”the talk”.

    If you are having “the talk” with your kids after the age of 13 you are waiting too long in my opinion.

    Unless they are homeschooled and completely sheltered they have seen and heard plenty worse than what is shown in that movie long before they reach 13 years old.

    It may not be right that they are faced with these things at such a young age, but it is the world in which we live.

  29. Albino Hayford said,

    Rube, Have you watched the movie? All of his friends come and “redeemed” their shares in his bank. Watch the movie again, this time without your crack pipe.

  30. RubeRad said,

    “redeemed” their shares in his bank

    What does that have to do with God’s solution for our sin?

  31. Albino Hayford said,

    I didn’t say ANYTHING about God’s solution to our sin. I just used the word “redemption”. It doesn’t always have a doctrinal context. Look it up in the dictionary. Haven’t you ever “redeemed” a coupon?

  32. Albino Hayford said,

    They “redeemed” their shares thereby saving his bank = loss and redemption.

  33. itsasecret2u said,

    If you are having “the talk” with your kids after the age of 13 you are waiting too long in my opinion.

    I think I’m a proponent of 2 “talks.” One needs to happen whenever questions about babies and such start. That’s the science talk. Then there’s the other talk that happens much later when there is a different maturity level and understanding of what you’re actually talking about. I’m just not sure when that talk should happen. Junior high? High school? I have no idea. And maybe it’s different between boys and girls and homeschooled kids vs. public schooled kids (because Poker is right in that public schooled kids will learn about this stuff long before their parents bring it up if they wait long).

    Anyway, about Christmas Vacation… I’d say maybe high school (which is maybe 2 or 3 years from Poker’s 13-year-old figure). I’m really bad about knowing when stuff is appropriate. I just hate the idea of my kids hearing (and possibly using!) the f-word and becoming desensitized to the objectification of women. Especially when it’s a married man doing the fantasizing! Lame!

  34. amyleesspace said,

    This is why I won’t let my kids what “A Christmas Story” Cause the little boy punches another kid in the face. I don’t want my son to think it’s ok to just haul off and punch someone. Although sometimes you may feel like doing that, it’s not right.

    As far as the “talk” I don’t know an approp age to have that either, what I do know is that I am DREADING the talk. Can’t my kids just be 2 and 4 forever 🙂

  35. RubeRad said,

    I didn’t say ANYTHING about God’s solution to our sin. I just used the word “redemption”. It doesn’t always have a doctrinal context. Look it up in the dictionary.

    That’s my point; the context of your original statement “It’s about loss and redemption and true kindness and the fact that life really matters” implies the “problem solved” meaning of redemption, and I’m saying as a minister of the gospel, you should be interested in promoting the explicitly Christian meaning over any ambiguous culturally popular meaning.

    They “redeemed” their shares thereby saving his bank = loss and redemption.

    So what you really meant was “It’s about loss and exchanging promissory paperwork for goods or services or negotiable financial instruments, and true kindness and the fact that life really matters”

    Actually, the point was that they DIDN’T redeem their shares; there was a run on the bank in which they tried to redeem their shares (exchange them for money), which would have destroyed the bank (any bank), but Jimmy staved them off with “I don’t have your money — your money is in Charlie’s house, and JimBob’s hardware store, and SallySue’s bakery, and …”

    “saving his bank” does not equal “redemption”, not even in the vague pop-psychology sense. It makes no sense to say that the movie was about “the redemption of the bank”. Redemption of a character maybe, which in pop culture means that the character started out bad, saw the light, and in the end did enough good to outweigh his history. But I wouldn’t say that Jimmy Stewart’s character experienced pop-redemption in the movie. His only problem was despair that he couldn’t handle problems the world was throwing at him. Personally, he was a very good guy, and didn’t need any redeeming — he just needed to become a better him.

  36. RubeRad said,

    I won’t let my kids what “A Christmas Story” Cause the little boy punches another kid in the face

    I’m actually holding back on A Christmas Story because of “FUUUUUUUUDGE! Only I didn’t say fudge — I said the real thing! The Queen Mother of all dirty words!” I don’t want to have to explain to my boys what bad words are; my kids are “homeschooled and completely sheltered”, and I can’t think of what contexts they might be hearing bad language.

    I also don’t want to have “the cussing talk” with them, and find out they already have been exposed to everything there is to hear!

    As for the punching, he didn’t “just haul off and punch someone”; the movie builds up enough to show that that punk deserved it. If any of my boys endured that much bullying for that long, I hope they would stand up for themselves the same way!

  37. Albino Hayford said,

    as a minister of the gospel, you should be interested in…

    If I had a nickel for every time somebody told me what a minister should and shouldn’t be saying or doing, I’d be a millionaire…As a mathematician, you should do the math…

  38. danielbalc said,

    First, as far as this redemption argument goes you guys are both ridiculous.

    Albino attempting to defend redeeming bank certificates…. LAME

    Rube not allowing the pop context of redemption to be applied as a quality aspect of the film… LAME

    Next, as far as not allowing your kids to watch “Christmas story” I think there is a mixed bag on that one. First of all it’s not necessarily designed to be interesting to kids and in my experiences most kids don’t want to watch movies that aren’t animated or brightly colored with lots of music. Christmas Story is dark and deliberate (slow). I don’t think I really took an interest in that movie till 10-13 age range. So I would allow but not encourage my kids to see it, knowing that they wouldn’t make it halfway through.

    Meanwhile regarding the objectionable materials in it….
    Punching- I have NO problem with violence in movies. I do have a problem with torture and the glorification of gore, but fighting heroically for what is right is a very positive thing. Boys need to watch adventure movies with a strong leading male role who saves the day. It’s a positive thing to “kill the bad guys”.

    Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance day and on the way in this morning I heard a WWII veteran on the radio telling his story of where he was and how he enlisted and his first combat mission etc. The reason those guys were so willing to fight is because they were raised to be MEN. I’m constantly worried that now a days we are raising our boys to be feminine versions of men who cower in fear at the slightest hint of danger. I talked a lot about this after the VA-Tech Tragedy in April

    https://danielbalc.wordpress.com/2007/04/16/a-senseless-heinous-act/#comments

    As for the cuss words, that’s something I am still, even at 27 fairly ignorant in. Every time I think I know all the cuss words I find out some new cuss word. It’s really weird. Does anyone else feel like that?

    And finally regarding the “talk”, I think it’s time for secret or amylee to post a topic thread regarding that subject because this one was supposed to be about CHRISTMAS MOVIES!

  39. Albino Hayford said,

    I tried to bait Rube — AND SUCCEEDED 🙂

  40. 5najeras said,

    My kids LOVE “A Christmas Story”. They watch it year round. And I definitely don’t have a problem with the bully getting taken down. It teaches the consequences of bullying and also for kids to stand up for themselves. Our kids have been taught the phrase, “If you hurt me again I will knock you out”. No joke, This way, they are giving the bully a warning, but still standing up for themselves. It’s a win-win situation. 😉

  41. amyleesspace said,

    I also was taught growing up, If someone hits you, then you hit them back.

    But I wonder what Jesus would think about that?? And yes I pulled the WWJD card.. Isn’t that how we should live our lives, in mirror of the Lord as much as we as “humans”,and “sinners” can??

    If someone hits my son in his preschool class, and Wency smacks the kid back, who do you think will get in trouble??? BOTH OF THE KIDS!! Hitting is wrong period.. If I punched everyone I wanted to, I would have a serious problem. If my 2 yr hold hits my 4 yr old (which happens quite often) if my 4 yr old hits her back, he will too get in trouble. Hitting is just not acceptable period.

    As far as watching “fighting” movies, I just don’t want my kids walking around pretending they are killing people with swords. My son watched Chronicles of Narnia with my husband last night, and guess what Wency was doing ALL day today??? Pretending to stab his stuffed animal lion with a sword.

    As far as thread jacking, you have Matt and Secret to blame for that.. I just threw my two sense in about it 🙂

  42. RubeRad said,

    As far as watching “fighting” movies, I just don’t want my kids walking around pretending they are killing people with swords.

    One of these days you’ll have to come to grips with the reality that Deuce is a BOY! Until then, keep dreaming that you can prevent him from play fighting. The fighting instinct is in there, in every boy, and it needs to get out.

  43. RubeRad said,

    I tried to bait Rube — AND SUCCEEDED

    Ha ha. I certainly bit hard! (Doesn’t make me wrong though… (about proper use of “redemption”, or the suckiness of IAWL))

  44. amyleesspace said,

    I like to dream (**insert wink here**)

  45. itsasecret2u said,

    Gotta agree with Rube about the fighting. After having two boys, I’d have to say that the “fighting thing” is innate. My little one eats his toast into the shape of a gun every morning a pretends to shoot things (though I draw the line at pretending to shoot mommy…). I certainly didn’t teach him to do it and most of his movie-watching is limited to Disney fare, so who knows where he even learned it? And they’re sheltered homeschool kids! Boys have natural aggression that is healthy, so long as it is channeled in healthy ways. Sports can be a good one. May I also suggest letting your children watch UFC? 😉 OK, just kidding… But seriously. It’s a fine line between teaching your sons to get their aggression out in healthy ways and trying to make them suppress it altogether. It can make them feel like something that is such a part of them is somehow evil.

    Sorry about the threadjacking, Daniel. What were we saying about Christmas movies?

  46. amyleesspace said,

    Sports is an excellent way to get out that “boyish” aggression.

  47. danielbalc said,

    It’s “manliness” not “boyishness” that you should want to cultivate in your son.

    Men described in the following terms are now mocked by our culture.

    Strong
    Brave
    Courageous
    Fighter
    Warrior
    Hero
    Powerful
    Controlled
    Selfless

    Compare those with this yahoo answers to “describe your ideal man”
    LEAVE HER CUTE TEXT MESSAGES.
    KISS HER IN FR0NT 0F Y0UR FRIENDS.
    TRUST HER 0VER EVERY0NE ELSE.
    TELL HER SHE L00KS BEAUTIFUL.
    L00K HER IN THE EYE WHEN Y0U TALK T0 HER.
    TELL HER STUPID J0KES T0 MAKE HER LAUGH.
    LET HER MESS WITH Y0UR HAIR.
    MESS WITH HER HAIR.
    JUST WALK AR0UND WITH HER.
    INCLUDE HER IN ALL THINGS Y0U D0.
    WHEN SHE CRYS D0 WHATEVER IT TAKES T0 MAKE HER SMIlE.
    F0RGIVE HER F0R HER MISTAKES.
    L00K AT HER LIKES SHE’S THE 0NLY GIRL Y0U SEE.
    TICKLE HER EVEN WHEN SHE SAYS ST0P.
    H0LD HER HAND EVEN WHEN Y0U ARE AROUND Y0UR FRIENDS.
    WHEN SHE STARTS SWEARING AT Y0U TELL HER Y0U L0VE HER.
    LET HER FALL ASLEEP IN Y0UR ARMS.
    GET HER MAD, THEN KISS HER.
    TEASE HER & LET HER TEASE Y0U BACK.
    STAY UP WITH HER ALL NIGHT WHEN SHES SICK.
    WATCH HER FAV0RITE M0VIE WITH HER
    KISS HER F0REHEAD.
    GIVE HER THE W0RLD.
    WRITE HER LETTERS.
    LET HER WEAR Y0UR CL0THES.
    WHEN SHES SAD, HANG 0UT WITH HER.
    LET HER KN0W SHE’S IMP0RTANT.
    LET HER TAKE ALL THE PH0T0S 0F Y0U SHE WANTS.
    KISS HER IN THE RAIN.
    CALL HER EVERY NIGHT.
    AND WHEN Y0U FALL IN L0VE WITH HER, TELL HER.
    AND WHEN Y0U D0 TELL HER. L0VE HER LIKE Y0U NEVER L0VED BEF0RE.

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070308113812AAjZtBu&show=7

    I pity the girl that gets stuck with a guy like that. If you don’t want a man you won’t get a man.

  48. itsasecret2u said,

    GET HER MAD, THEN KISS HER

    Ugh, who came up with THAT one??

    Not all of the Yahoo things are bad… A brave, selfless warrior-hero could totally tell his woman she’s beautiful and let her wear his clothes, right? Especially when she’s 9 months pregnant and she doesn’t have any of her own sweatshirts that fit… Right??

  49. amyleesspace said,

    Wences, myself, and Crystal watched ” Christmas Vacation” last night. I was reminded of why I feel this is the BEST Christmas movie of all time!!! We were all cracking up the whole time!!!

  50. Albino Hayford said,

    I just knew all of you would want to see this lost footage from “It’s a Wonderful Life”. It kind of changes my opinion of the whole movie. Too bad it was found.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: