Movie Nights

 Movie Nights

By Beth Hanning

As we try to finish a very busy week of moving the elves, going to school Christmas shows, holiday parties, buying and wrapping gifts and many other things, try to plan a movie night for the family when things slow down.

I love television and films and am often surprised when I ask the kids I tutor or my students whether they have seen a certain movie or not. Here are some holiday classics (in my opinion that everyone should see).

  1. “Elf.” Sorry, Mother-in-Law, I know you hate Will Ferrell, but, to me, this is a Christmas classic. Will Ferrell, again in my opinion, brings out my sensitivity chip and makes me feel like Santa is real if we only just believe in the magic of the season. I feel this is what we might need in our society.
  2. ANY version of “A Christmas Carol.” Just last night, I did a Charles Dickens reading comprehension piece and I said this is the author of “A Christmas Carol.” The young man looked at me confused and I said, “Ebenezer Scrooge?” He said, “Did she invent something?” Well, needless to say, he has movie homework over the break! I feel I have seen at least ten versions from Alistair Sims to Jim Carey. We even saw a live production many years ago at The Paramount in Manhattan. Fabulous!
  3. “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The colorized version makes it easier for the young generation who sighs at a black and white film. Every year, in my film class, I would show this film the days leading into Christmas break and each year, so many students enjoyed it. Another film that breaks out my chip and makes me think that “No man is a failure who has friends.”
  4. Of course, all children should see “A Christmas Story.” Another classic holiday comedy with so many classic one-liners. Forty years later, my sister-in-law still wears the costume for holiday ugly sweater that Aunt Clara made for Ralphie.
  5. “Miracle on 34th Street.” The original was made in 1947 and had a female as a single working mother who had a high-profile job at Macy’s! As a child, I did not look at that aspect, but, as an adult, I am like wow! Another film that brings out the magic of the season.

There are other films, but I am running out of space. Then there are the debatable films such as “Die Hard.” Is it a holiday film just because John McClane flies into a holiday party?

So put the phones on silent, make a bag of microwave popcorn and spend some family time watching a classic holiday film. Of course, after this busy week is over. Make sure your child is not the one who does not raise their hand when the teacher says: “Who saw INSERT CLASSIC FILM?”

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