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VanCougar picks holiday classics worth another look

Fall semester is nearly over, and Cougs are waiting like toddlers under the Christmas tree for their holiday break to begin. What could be better on a cold winter night than to cozy up by the fire, enjoy a hot beverage, and watch a favorite holiday classic? These are a few of the VanCougar’s favorites:

“A Christmas Carol” (1938)
One of the best adaptations of Dicken’s literary classic features the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and his redemption on Christmas Eve by the ghosts of past, present and future. With beautiful set designs and memorable acting performances, this short and sweet film is a must-see.

“A Christmas Story” (1983)
This funny yet charming film follows Ralphie on his quest to prove to his parents, teachers and even Santa Clause that a Red Ryder B.B. gun is the best gift for giving in the 1940s. Filled with frozen tongues, a sultry leg lamp, pink bunny pajamas and other shenanigans, Clark’s film pays homage to the All-American Christmas.

“Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965)
Charlie Brown is repelled by the commercialism of Christmas and sets out to find the true meaning of Christmas. When his friends rally around and decorate his spindly Christmas tree, he finds the meaning he seeks. While not technically a movie, this Peanuts classic is cute, heartwarming, and essential to everyone’s classic holiday movie vault.

“Elf” (2003)
Who said Christmas had to be all spirit and no laugh? Unintentionally wreaking havoc on Santa’s elf community because of his large size, Buddy, raised as an elf at the North Pole, does some soul searching when he is sent to the U.S. to discern his identity. A recent addition to holiday films, this Christmas comedy starring Will Ferrell adds a splash of humor to the traditional holiday cheer.

“Frosty the Snowman” (1969)
Thumpety-thump-thump, look at Frosty go! And go he shall on our top list of holiday films to watch. This is a cute story of a live snowman and a little girl who struggles to evade the grip of an evil magician who wants old Frosty’s magical hat. Endearing and perfect to watch with your children, little siblings or nieces and nephews who come to visit.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” (1947)
In this black and white classic, Jimmy Stewart plays the role of George Bailey, a frustrated and suicidal businessman. Before things go too far, George’s guardian angel shows him how he touched people’s lives and what life would have been if he had never existed. While depression and suicide may not scream “classic Christmas film,” Frank Capra’s movie shows the true meaning of Christmas: life, family and friends.

“Miracle on Thirty Fourth Street” (1947)
Proof that Santa Claus exists? Very much so in this holiday classic about Kris Kringle, who is deemed insane by those around him when he claims to be Santa Claus — until a young lawyer defends him in court by arguing he is indeed the real Santa Claus. This heartwarming and sentimental film will undoubtedly have Cougs believing in St. Nick once again.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964)
While Christmas would be nothing without Santa Claus, it wouldn’t be the same without Larry Roemer’s memorable adaptation of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” Who could forget this stop-motion animation holiday classic about a misfit Reindeer and his friends?

“Polar Express” (2004)
A magical train takes children to the North Pole to meet Father Christmas in this animated holiday film starring Tom Hanks. With exciting action scenes and moments of uncanny beauty, this film really brings out the magical side of Christmas.

“The Little Drummer Boy” (1968)
This classic follows an orphaned drummer boy who hated humanity until his life changes forever when he meets the three wise men traveling to Bethlehem. With childlike wonder, this story encapsulates the Christmas story, evokes childhood memories, and captures the miraculous spirit of Christmas.

“The Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992)
The tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and his redemption on Christmas Eve by the ghosts of past, present and future is a well-known holiday tale. In this adaptation Kermit, Miss Piggy and their Muppet friends create an endearing and inspirational holiday film about second chances.

“White Christmas” (1954)
Bing Cosby and Danny Kaye star in this holiday film about a song-and-dance team that become romantically involved with a sister act. They team up to save their former commanding general’s Vermont inn. Filled with romance and bundles of holiday spirit, this film will inspire Cougs to “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.”

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One Comment

  1. Kelsey – Thanks for the great reminder. These shows/movies are part of all our lives; we’ve all grown up with them. They will surely bring back many happy memories for young and old alike.

    Now’s the time to start your holiday traditions by watching/buying one of these classics for Christmas viewing!

    Jo