by Beth Shriver
I just love this time of year! One of the reasons is watching and reading old Christmas movies and books. I am very into traditions, so even though my ‘kids’ are now eighteen and twenty, they fully expect to watch each and every one of our favorite Christmas classics. Although the selection has changed through the years as they’ve gotten older, there is still a handful they know we will watch no matter what the age.
Here are a few you may not have heard of or forgot about: The Bishop’s Wife starring Cary Grant, an angel who helps the bishop’s wife raise money for their church. Another is A Midnight Clear set in 1944 staring Gary Sinise about an American Intelligence and reconnaissance unit sent out on a reckless mission on Christmas. The story is even more meaningful with the thought of our troops overseas. Some of the oldies are forgotten, such as Holiday Inn starring Fred Astaire. Another oldie but goodie is White Christmas Starring Bing Crosby.
The movies and books my kids grew up with are becoming outdated with new stories, but we stick to our regulars such as, Charlie Brown is my daughter’s favorite and Elf is my son’s. A Christmas Story is my dad’s first choice, reminding him of a time when he was a boy. My husband counts Die Hard and Trading Places as Christmas movies but I beg-to-differ. My two favorites are It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol staring Alistair Sim. And I like to watch them both in black and white although I have the color versions. It feels more real to see movies set back in the day to be the color they were originally. There is no better Scrooge than Alistair and who can top Jimmy Stewart? But then I’m partial as Jimmy is my favorite all time actor.
The book How The Grinch Stole Christmas is an all time fav. The Night Before Christmas is one I still like but my teens lost interest awhile ago. I’ll have to wait for grandchildren to read that one again. Some count The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe and I am one of them, only because I liked the book so much:) I went to The Nutcracker play which is popular on stage this time of year but wasn’t crazy about it, and have never wanted to read the book. The Polar Express was popular but it didn’t grab me either.
The Greatest Story Ever Told was a book that I started but didn’t finish. Not because it wasn’t good, because I got distracted and need to finish it one of these days (maybe this Christmas?). The same goes for The Christmas Box but I finally finished that one.
It’s fun to find out likes and dislikes and maybe something new! So…what are your favorites?
In 2003, Beth Shriver began writing her first book. A couple of years later it was published and she has been writing ever since. Beth received a degree in social work from the University of Nebraska and was a case worker before starting a family. Beth followed her passion and has written in a variety of genres in both fiction and non-fiction. Her latest release is Healing Grace.
My favorite Scrooge is the one played by George C. Scott – very touching. If you haven’t seen that version of Christmas Carol, you’ll want to. Two fabulous classic reads which can be called Christmas stories (by your definition) are the famous book Ben Hur (skip the 1st chapter), and How Far to Bethlehem (Norah Lofts).
The Grinch is definitely a yearly tradition with us. I also like Meet Me In St. Louis for its Christmas scenes, though it spans all the seasons.
I read Max Lucado’s The Christmas Candle this year for the first time and was instantly charmed. I didn’t make the theaters to see the new movie adaptation, but plan to see it when it comes out on DVD.
Thanks for sharing your favorites with us!