Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Favorite Holiday Movies

A family tradition starting after Thanksgiving is to watch a slew of Christmas movies, ending with my favorite White Christmas. We do this every year.   It's a great way to celebrate the holiday and good movies never get old no matter how many times you've seen them.

We usually start with Miracle on 34th Street (1947) because the center of the story is Macy's Department Store, since the Macy's Parade is a Thanksgiving "must." A young Natalie Wood leads the cast.

Christmas in Connecticut (1945) features a young Barbara Stanwyck who falls in love with a sailor home from the War.

Holiday Inn (1942) is probably my second favorite holiday movie and it features the same set that you'll see in White Christmas 12 years later. It features Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby and the dancing is about as good as it gets. Here's a bit of movie trivia for you: 

The firecracker dance sequence was added to the movie as a patriotic number, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, which took place during filming. The dance number required three days of rehearsal and took two days to film.  Fred Astaire did 38 takes of the number before he was satisfied with it. The crew members had to wear goggles during filming, because the sand from the firecrackers flew into their faces. Also, animation was added to make the firecracker "blasts" more dramatic. Later, Astaire's shoes for the dance were auctioned off for $116,000 worth of war bonds. 

Christmas Vacation (1989) is one of the newest movies on our list. This one never gets old. Uncle Eddie, Clark Griswold, and the yuppies next door (a young Julia Dreyfus long before Seinfeld made her famous) make a great cast.

The only new film on the list is The Family Stone (2005). Sarah Jessica Parker leads an all-star cast.  I'm not sure why this one is on the list, but I just like this movie.


I am adding two new movies to our list for 2020, two films that I have never seen before:

Holiday Affair (1949)

Just before Christmas, department store clerk Steve Mason meets big spending customer Connie Ennis, really a commercial spy. He unmasks her but lets her go, which gets him fired. They end up on a date, which doesn't sit well with Connie's steady suitor, Carl, but delights her son Timmy, who doesn't want Carl for a step-dad. Standard (if sweet) romantic complications follow.


The Bishop's Wife (1947)

It's a Wonderful Life isn't on our list, it's just too much of a downer for me. And Rudolph is in our stash as is Polar Express, but I don't include movies without real people in them. Both are good.   And White Christmas goes without saying. It's just a classic to be watched by everyone at least once a year.  Enjoy!


  1. The Family Stone is one of my favorites too. Terrific ensemble cast

  2. I love all of the above and would add Elf and Love Actually!


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