I’m trying to think about where and when my love of Christmas movies started. I’m pretty sure I saw Scrooged at the cinema, which means it may have been my birthday treat. But I couldn’t be sure, I’ve watched it so often since then (because it is so so good). I know for sure I sat through Miracle on 34th Street countless times whlist working at the Odeon on Edinburgh’s South Clerk St. And I loved every showing. I even sent my Mum and brother to watch it while I was working (they were staying with me that year).
And then I watched It’s A Wonderful Life. Which if course is THE Christmas movie. And I began a wee Juliet tradition of wrapping presents whilst watching Jimmy Stewart.
I think because my birthday is so close to Christmas these movies mean more to me. It’s like there’s this massive sense of goodwill associated with this time of year (in moviedom), and a wee bit of that rubs off on my birthday. And then of course there’s the underlying message of good will to all men, which I’m sure makes us all feel warm and fuzzy but which I still (naively) think might change the world.
So as the years have worn on I have sort of adopted Christmas movies as my go to birthday treat. I feel kinda weird having a birthday when everyone is so busy and spent (financially, emotionally and energy wise), Christmas movies have become my easily accessible to all happy happy joy joy sensation.
Hence one year my boyfriend had to come with me to see Elf on my birthday. And another year it was Bad Santa (although wikipedia tells me they both came out in 2003 so now I’m confused, oh well). Then when G-Hi refused, I made my friends spend my birthday at Four Christmases. I love Reese Witherspoon, in fact I adore her, and I really like Vince Vaughn, but this was a bad bad movie. It turned me off Christmas movies.
Until I discovered Hallmark. Or Christmas Movies 24 as the channel likes to name itself for the season. Oh lordy, I have watched so many feel good heart warming slightly shit made for TV movies. So far this year I have only taken in two but I already think Secret Santa is set to be a new favourite (crap) Christmas movie. Up there with the oddity that was Jennifer Grey post nose job in another Christmas sensation.
And that is part of the Hallmark Christmas movie fun. Spotting ex-stars of film and tv. My viewing this week included an ex-90210 and an ex-Saved by the Bell in quick succession. This is an added extra fun aspect.
But mostly it is the emotion. It’s the message that we should care for each other, and that we should be interested in the here and now, and that we should be open to what life throws at us, and that we should celebrate that. And that we should be nice to each other. I just wish we could think that all of these things should happen all the time, not just at Christmas. And maybe it’s the lack of niceness in general that makes me love Christmas movies, with all their hope and cheese and candy and angels and good luck and warmth and happiness and glee.
I wish it could be Christmas movie season every day.