Let the list begin…
“The sign of Christmas is a star, a light in darkness. See it not OUTSIDE of yourself, but shining in the Heaven within, and accept it as the sign the time of Christ has come. He comes demanding NOTHING. No sacrifice of ANY kind, of ANYONE, is asked by Him. In His Presence, THE WHOLE IDEA of sacrifice loses ALL meaning. For He is Host to God. And you need but invite Him in Who is there ALREADY, by recognizing that His Host is One. And no thought ALIEN to His Oneness can abide with Him there. Love MUST be total to give Him welcome, for the Presence of holiness CREATES the holiness which surrounds It. No fear can touch the Host Who cradles God in the time of Christ, for the Host is as holy as the Perfect Innocence that He protects, and Whose Power protects HIM..”
A Course in Miracles—Chapter 15 Section XI Paragraph 2
It may be strange to hear this from a pagan New Ager like myself, but Christmas is my favorite holiday (Independence Day comes in a photo finish second). But whether people fully understand the holiday, that it is an expression of the best within us, of all that is good within humanity is uncertain. And while most people don’t fully understand it on a conscious level, this is the season where everybody seems to be at their very best. (Okay, maybe not on Black Friday, but that’s the exception not the rule).
So if I do a Halloween list when Halloween and horror movies aren’t my favorite, then I must do the holiday that I love more than all others.
It’s really hard to find even 24 good Christmas movies. There are lots of TV movies that are sweet and understand the holiday, but their production quality is so poor I can’t stand watching them. And there is a lot of Hollywood tripe that is arguably well made (in that it doesn’t just look like a cheap made for TV movie) but most of these have all the depth of Barrack Obama’s understanding of economics—they can sometimes repeat the words people want to hear but exhibit no real understanding.
So to fill out my list I then thought maybe there might be some good Chanukah films that I have missed…in my search for that idea I found the following list—The Top Ten Chanukah films on several sites:
There were some honorable mentions after this stellar list, but obviously this idea wasn’t going to go anywhere. (Honestly, there should be at least one good film, I don’t care if it’s not one of the High Holidays, it’s an American holiday and there should be something more than a dreadfully few Chanukah songs to honor it).
And it goes without saying that a search for Solstice films would be even more fruitless…
So here are my criteria that I had to use:
- At least one part of film must take place at Christmas.
- The film must be re-watchable at some level. There are some cute TV movies that deal with Christmas, but honestly, most of them you wouldn’t buy if you saw them at a $2 bin at Wal-Mart.
- It must have a central theme of redemption, faith, hope, or love– Which is actually what the holiday is supposed to be about.
Like I said, finding 24 movies that meet that criteria is hard (in fact #24 only meets it by showing the exact opposite)…if I wasn’t restricted by the fact that the movie has to take place at Christmas there are literally hundred of films that show the best in humanity, that show what we’re supposed to remember at Christmas—but those wouldn’t be Christmas films would they now?
So like the Halloween list, this list is going to start a little slow.
Why some films didn’t make it:
- Gremlins: A cute movie, but any movie that involves the story “my dad dressed up as Santa and got stuck in the chimney on Christmas Eve and died” has no right on a Christmas list. None whatsoever.
- Any traditional version of A Christmas Carol: any straight retelling of this socialist tripe is nothing but worthless humbug that understands nothing about money, charity or the good in humanity. Dickens was a depressing and rather vicious man.
- A Christmas Story or as I like to call A White Trash Christmas: The movie lacks depth, maturity or even the semblance of relevance. Why it is famous is frankly beyond me.
- Any kind of clay stop-motion Christmas special. They’re boring, full of truly annoying music, have a poor understanding of the true meaning of Christmas. Island of misfit toys, bah, island of cheap shit, probably made in China, that doesn’t work.
- Most movies involving Santa Claus. (With the exception of a couple of films) these movies are soulless movies that focus on the most shallow aspects of the holiday.
- Anything that involves an annoying abandoned child versus stupid criminals. Do I need to explain why these excuses for film should not be included on ANY top list? Ever.
So with the bad stuff out of the way…let us get to why this is a truly wonderful holiday…