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For some, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without enjoying the many Christmas Movies that have been made over the years. Most people list It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas as their top three favorite Christmas Movies. These films do indeed inspire the holiday mood, and from White Christmas comes many favorite Christmas songs.
After the top three Christmas movies, lists diverge significantly, and often include not only movies made for the silver screen, but also television holiday classics like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The Charlie Brown Christmas, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Some see these merely as children’s fare, while others, still being kids at heart, wouldn’t miss a Christmas season without viewing them.
In the continuing, and ever-growing list of Christmas movies, some cite the Jimmy Durante classic film A Christmas List, made in 1950. Almost everyone lists some version of The Christmas Carol adapted numerous times for films. Some prefer the Alastair Sim version of 1951, while others prefer the George C. Scott version of 1984. A critical minority prefers the teleplay starring Patrick Stewart as Scrooge, which first aired in 1999 on the TNT network. Children may enjoy The Muppet Christmas Carol with a quite good performance by Michael Caine.
The 1980s film The Christmas Story is now considered one of the best Christmas movies. While most of the films above can be watched by audiences of all ages, The Christmas Story while, fairly tame, may frighten young children. However, most enjoy the story immensely, and it has long been considered the funniest Christmas movie.
Some also list Meet Me in St. Louis as a classic Christmas film, since Judy Garland sings the well-known “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” in the film. However, some argue the film cannot technically be called a Christmas movie since it ends in the spring.
As well, the 1934 The March of the Wooden Soldiers featuring the comic talents of Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel, is often listed among the best Christmas movies. This film does feature Santa Claus for a brief time, but does not actually follow a Christmas theme. However, many consider it to be a classic film that is family appropriate, and will have one indulging in many a belly laugh.
Some like to add to their classic movie list each year by watching more modern Christmas movies. In recent years, films like Elf, The Santa Clause, and Love Actually make many Christmas movies lists. Others enjoy Home Alone or Jingle all the Way. It should be noted that Love Actually is not appropriate for children, and some may object to the slapstick violence in Home Alone and Jingle.
Unlike those films that are considered as true classic Christmas movies, modern films may need to be screened prior to showing them to children. In fact one of the nicest aspects in viewing the older films is that an entire family can watch them, since they tend to be more innocent and light hearted in nature.