With the Christmas season upon us I have been watching some of the old classic Christmas movies and some of the new ones and yes, even the Hallmark Christmas Movie specials which seem to boil down to the same plot lines in all. Girl meets boy, they like each other, some ex is in the picture, there’s a misunderstanding, girl and boy realize they love each other, happy days are here again. In all of these films, the town comes together to do something amazing, or someone completely changes their life.
There are certain movies however that have become a tradition in our family. A Christmas Story about the kid who wants a BB gun for Christmas – The Grinch Who Stole Christmas which is self-explanatory and Miracle on 34th Street (original) where a New York lawyer proves the existence of Santa Claus. There is also It’s A Wonderful Life that shows one young man what his world would have been like if he never existed and how we should be thankful for what we do have.
I also like The Holiday where a woman from LA changes homes with a woman from England and love ensues and Love, Actually which is bittersweet as not everyone ends up happy. The scene where Emma Thompson is listening to Joni Mitchell after finding out her husband has cheated on her and having to get it together to go out that evening makes me cry every time.
One of the funniest movies at this time of year stars Will Ferrell as Elf (one of his best roles) and how you can be different but still belong. The thread in all these movies is how you need to believe in the spirit of Christmas and magic will happen! Next to A Nightmare before Christmas which is 50% Halloween and 50% Christmas; one of the best animated movies is the Polar Express.
I know I have left off a lot of movies here but these are the ones I make sure I see every year. What are your favourites?
This house at 3159 West 11th Street, Cleveland, Ohio, stood in for the exterior of Ralphie Parker’s fictional Hohman, Indiana home in the 1983 cult classic A Christmas Story. The actual house has been renovated inside and out to capture the look of the movie and is now a museum.
The Georgian home Kevin McCallister protects from a pair of burglars is not actually in Chicago. The house in which Kevin gets left Home Alone in the 1990 movie still stands, as beautiful as ever, at 671 Lincoln Avenue in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, Illinois. The property was sold for $1.585 million in 2012.
In Elf, Buddy tracks down his real father, Walter Hobbs, who reluctantly allows him to come stay in his Manhattan apartment. The exterior of the Hobbs’s apartment building was shot at 55 Central Park West, a 1929 Art Deco building that also served as the location of Dana Barrett’s apartment in Ghostbusters.
Nancy Meyers’s 2006 movie stars two gorgeous homes. The charming English country cottage that belongs to Iris (Kate Winslet) in the 2006 film The Holiday is completely enchanting. Sadly, it’s not real—a facade was built in the middle of an empty field that was extensively landscaped for the movie.
All The exterior scenes of Amanda’s house in the movie were filmed at a real house in the small, affluent city of San Marino, California. The property was designed by acclaimed West Coast architect Wallace Neff in 1928. Located at 1883 Orlando Road, the house is a stunning, distinctive Mediterranean-influenced California mansion, filled with all the luxurious, modern conveniences. It also belonged at one point to the architect and his family (sometime in the 1930’s). It now has iron gates as opposed to the wooden ones in the film and a fountain in the driveway.
Amanda’s kitchen is beautiful; if I could have her home, I would take it in an instant, beautiful, pool, bedroom, swimming pool – what is not to like! Mind you, I’d also want a chef, pool boy and cleaning lady to go along with it.
You may not think of Die Hard as being a Christmas movie especially considering the violence, etc. but it is set on Christmas Eve. This classic 1988 (celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018) action flick has Bruce Willis fighting terrorists who’ve taken over Nakatomi Tower in Los Angeles although its real name is Fox Plaza tower. Both the exterior and the interior of the tower were used to film the movie and who can forget the opening song, Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC.
Regardless of what Christmas movie rocks your stockings, make that popcorn, snuggle under the blanket with family, friends, or that certain someone and relive those warm and fuzzy moments again. Believe in the magic!