I love Christmas Eve. Possibly more than Christmas Day. Both are great fun, and reuniting with friends and relatives I rarely see is delightful of course.
But the quiet anticipation of Christmas Eve is where it's at. For me it's usually a day off work, wrapping (occasionally running around to buy) a few gifts, then a casual evening with my visiting brother (happily, he did come back for Christmas again this year). We often take a drive or two around the city to hang and laugh and get philosophical or whatever).
Christmas day is fun too, but…well, it's like taking in the sight of the presents you've given or received, versus the magical hours before, spent imagining what's inside all those wrapped boxes.
No comparison, really.
Movie-wise ('cuz I'm a movie guy), Christmas isn't the bonanza one might hope. Most are too corny or childish for me (I don't have kids). On the other hand, though I love horror movies and thoroughly enjoy a few scary flicks that are set at Christmas (we saw The Krampus the other day…very good!), but I enjoy them almost despite the fact they're Christmas movies. Horror and Christmas aren't a great mix in my opinion. Ditto the cynical Christmas flick. I liked Bad Santa, but it's not usually one I'm interested in watching during the actual season.
There are only a few that hit the sweet spot for me.
This is our Christmas perennial, and a great movie. The story is beyond familiar, of course, but it contains plenty of great lines, and one of Bill Murray's greatest performances. We laugh at something in his face, or line delivery, or at some little physical bit of business every time we watch it. Since we have Scrooged, we don't need anything else.
A CHRISTMAS STORY
I've known and loved this one since I was a kid. The perfect mix of cynicism/reality and heartwarming. It was ahead of its time when it came out, and is just lightning in a bottle. I've overwatched it at this point, but it's one of the all time Christmas greats.
My screenwriting books tell me it's a perfectly constructed script. It's also Will Ferrell's funniest performance (and yes, I love Ron Burgundy). Most movies set in the real world where Santa actually exists don't work for me. The logic breaks down too darn fast. But this one's a rare exception.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween, discovers the magic of Christmas and tries to do that Holiday his way, with disastrous results. A stop motion musical that blends Halloween and Christmas beautifully. The scene in the end where all the residents of Halloween Town experience the delight of a Christmas snow for the first time gets me right in the feels every time.
Hey, I hope you all have a fine, fine holiday season, no matter where you are and whether you celebrate the thing. Thanks for reading this!
…and to all a good night!
Banes at 12:00AM, Dec. 24, 2015
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