It’s a Wonderful Life.  I’ve lost count of how often I’ve seen the film.  And I still get choked up during the last scene.

Bittersweet is a better description. It’s about the family we want and how we accept the hand we’re dealt.

A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott).  I hear all the film buffs talk about a black & white version from 1951.  I guess if you like cheesy effects and overacting and believe it’ll get you into the in-crowd…  Scott is a marvelous and cantankerous miser.

A Christmas Story.  I guess we’ve all seen this one.  The thing is, while it was still gaining traction as a tradition I would see people watch it for the first time and their reactions all were the same.  Laughing out loud.  Even young people who had no idea who was Orphan Annie.

A Charlie Brown Christmas.  I’ve been watching since I was three.  I so identified with Charlie Brown it spurred me to read.  In grade school I would buy the collections of the comic strips in book form for a dime and then read them walking home from school.

A House Without a Christmas Tree.  What?  I know, it’s obscure.  A low budget production from the early 1970s with great acting.  It can’t be called a happy ending.  Bittersweet is a better description.  It’s about the family we want and how we accept the hand we’re dealt.

Christmas Vacation.  The cousin emptying the sewage from his RV into the storm drain reminds me of more than a few relatives.  And the tree fire!  We’ve all had Christmas disasters.

The Homecoming.  Both parents explained it was so very much like the Christmases they experienced as children.  It’s a testament to survival and hope.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  “Bumbles bounce!”  When I was a little boy it seemed like a full length movie.  Watching years later with children I was impressed by how quickly the story moves.

Miracle on 34th Street.  A reminder of how talented John Payne was as an actor.  He pulled away from most movie-making while still young and made a fortune in business.  William Frawley as the ward boss giving signals to the judge is great political farce.

The Bishop’s Wife.  Watching Cary Grant decorate a tree while waving his arms I thought I could use the same skill.  Now if he had only stuck around to take it down!  I really enjoy the little girl recognizes him when everyone else forgets he’s an angel.

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