Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Movie Mayhem

Countdown to Christmas--17 days left!
In my debut novella, Bright Copper Kettles, Darcy Carr introduces Dean Whitfield to her collection of holiday comedies. To help ease the lonliness of her single-status, she gravitates toward Christmas mayhem instead of romantic, sappy films. Here is an excerpt from the book when Dean asks Darcy what her plans are for Christmas:
        "After my Marie Callender feast, Gomez and I have a date with my towering collection of Christmas comedies."
        Didn't most women prefer sappy films? "Comedies?"
        "I have a whole selection I watch every year: A Christmas Story, Home Alone, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." She scrunched her nose. "I tend to gravitate toward chaos and disaster around the holidays."
        Dean grinned. Disaster did seem to follow her like a hungry dog.
        "I avoid movies involving mistletoe and necking couples at all costs. Too depressing. A cat getting electrocuted is much more uplifting."
For anyone who hasn't read the book yet, Gomez is Darcy's cat.
To keep in the spirit of the Christmas movie theme, I thought I would share some of my favorite holiday movies and the reasons why I love them.
A Christmas Story 
In A Christmas Story (1983), Ralphie tries to convince his parents, teacher, and Santa Claus that a Red Ryder BB gun is the perfect gift for Christmas.
Why do I love it?
Every person during some point in their childhood wants a certain gift so much they can't think of anything else. Where I personally have never had a BB gun on my Christmas list, I did want a Strawberry Shortcake dollhouse when I was six so badly that I would dream about it at night. Literally. I would close my eyes and picture myself playing with it. I drove my parents crazy. (Yes, I got one.) And when my husband bought a BB gun for our oldest son two Christmases ago, the first words out of my mouth were, "He'll shoot his eye out." To this day, I'm not sure if that bit of movie dialogue is just stuck in my brain, or if that's a genuine fear of all mothers worldwide.
Home Alone
In Home Alone (1990), Kevin McCallister is accidentally left behind when his family flies to France for the holidays. During their absence, he defends his home against idiotic burglars. 
Why do I love it?
It might be a generational thing. Yes, Kevin is a spoiled brat who needs a good spanking, but what kid hasn't longed to be the adult for once--making the decisions, calling their own shots? And though his character is devious for one so young, he is clever. And the way he outsmarts the bad guys...hilarious!
White Christmas
In White Christmas (1954), a successful song-and-dance duo team up with a sister act to save a failing Vermont inn, belonging to the duo's former general.
Why do I love it?
It's full of conflict, great music, entertainment, and romance. And any time spent listening to Bing Crosby sing is a pleasure. Iconic songs such as "White Christmas," "Counting My Blessings," and "Sisters" are known and loved by many 59 years later.

The Grinch
In The Grinch (2000), the classic Dr. Seuss character comes to life, intent on stealing Christmas.

Why do I love it?
It started as a child with the book, then the cartoon I never missed during Christmas, then with Ron Howard's remake. As an inspirational writer, I'm a fan of character growth. And who grows more internally than the Grinch? After all, by the end, his heart literally grows three sizes. It's witty, true to the original story's characters, and the details in the movie are so fun to pick out.

Pluto's Christmas Tree
In Pluto's Christmas Tree (1952), Chip 'n Dale take refuge in Mickey's Christmas tree. When Pluto discovers their hideout, mayhem breaks loose as he tries to run them off.

Why do I love it?
This cartoon is by far my absolute favorite movie to watch at Christmas. It has been since the first time I saw it at age 3. Who doesn't love Mickey and Pluto? The clever little chipmunks invent ingenious ideas for outsmarting the dog, and in the end, they all decide to put their differences aside and enjoy the holiday together.

These are just a few of my favorite movies to watch during December. There are many, many more I failed to mention, such as A Charlie Brown Christmas and Elf...
I'd love to hear from you. What are your favorite Christmas movies and why?

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