Holiday Movies Add to Christmas Cheer

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Ever since I was a child, I have loved everything about Christmas – decorating, gift-giving, get-togethers with family and friends, candlelight services, parties, baking and cooking, music and movies. This year I was especially looking forward to seeing my favorite Christmas movies. Like most people, I watch classics like White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life every year. I also like to see Scrooge (the musical version of A Christmas Carol with Albert Finney as Scrooge, 1970), but it’s on VHS and my tapes are packed away, so I’m less likely to watch it. Besides, it’s rather long and I don’t always have the block of time I need to watch it.

Both Lifetime and Hallmark channels have a lot of holiday movies that I enjoy seeing every year. Some of my favorites include A Christmas Card (Alice Evans, John Newton and Ed Asner, 2006), Silver Bells (Anne Heche, Tate Donovan, 2005), A Boyfriend for Christmas (Kelli Williams, Patrick Muldoon, Charles Durning, 2004), Comfort & Joy (Nancy McKeon, Steve Eckholdt, 2003), Holiday Affair (Cynthia Gibb, David James Elliott, 1996), An Accidental Christmas (Cynthia Gibb, David Millbern, 2007) and A Christmas Wedding (Sarah Paulson, Eric Mabius, 2006).

Years ago, CBS had several Christmas movies that I now count among my favorites. I sometimes can catch Borrowed Hearts (Roma Downey, Eric McCormack, 1997), The Christmas Gift (John Denver, Jane Kaczmarek, 1986)and The Christmas Shoes (Rob Lowe, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, 2002) on other channels. However, Christmas in My Hometown (renamed A Holiday Romance on DVD) with Melissa Gilbert, Tim Matheson (1996), I’ll Be Home for Christmas (Ann Jillian, Robert Hayes, Jack Palance, 1997) and A Christmas Romance (Olivia Newton-John, Gregory Harrison, 1994) are only available on DVD.

Growing up, I loved watching the stop-motion animation programs The Little Drummer Boy (1968) and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). Sadly, The Little Drummer Boy is no longer shown on TV, but CBS continues to air Rudolph every year. I confess I still like to watch it and the song, “There’s Always Tomorrow” still makes me cry. More recent favorites include Elf (Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, 2003) and The Holiday (Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, 2006), which I can watch anytime of the year.

I’m more inclined to watch Christmas movies that emphasize faith and/or romance. I’m not big on the Santa Claus thing. I believe in the spirit of Santa Claus, but he’s not the reason we celebrate Christmas. I recently bought The NativityStory (2006) on DVD. I saw it in the theater when it was first released and thought it was better than most Nativity movies I’ve seen. I plan to watch it on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

There’s always a new crop of made-for-TV Christmas movies every year, but I haven’t been able to catch very many new ones yet this year. I’m sure I’ll be able catch the ones I’ve missed next year as the same Christmas movies seem to come back around time and time again.

What Christmas movies are on your must-see list?