It’s the holidays. It’s true.

Especially in light of the horror of last week’s events, I think we are all taking extra time to be grateful not only for our health and safety, but for the little things in life that make us happy and full of wonder (the good kind). I have been hugging Bear closer and kissing her more often (which I didn’t think possible). But in addition to all of the really important things for which I’m grateful, I’ve also been recently reminded how grateful I am for the movies. I don’t mean this in any sort of trivial manner. As you know, Dear Reader, I love the movies and am often left in awe at a good movie’s ability to transport me to someplace else, to make me think of things in a new way, to make me wonder at things I never thought to wonder at. AO & I saw Lincoln on Saturday (thanks again to the Madison grandmas for watching Bear) and it really was amazing. I was worried that it would be too dry or melodramatic or bellicose, but it was none of those things. Thanks again, Mr. Spielberg, for lifting me up and leaving my mind spinning. I appreciate it more than I can ever say.

The holiday movie, as a genre – or more specifically the Christmas movie because I suppose Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve could be subcategories of The Holiday Movie genre – is particularly fun. I think a good one usually consists of a lot of sparkle, a little adversity and plenty of good cheer. So, let’s talk favorites. It’s a Wonderful Life tops the list for me for obvious reasons. As for other classics, Miracle on 34th Street really never gets old. I also have always enjoyed Christmas in Connecticut and need to see Holiday Inn again because I remember thinking it was pretty nifty. More recently made favorites include The Holiday (I can’t help it: I always watch it when it’s on), The Family Stone (Diane Keaton AND Rachel McAdams? What’s not to like?), While You Were Sleeping (I love Sandra Bullock in a Chicago toll booth taking subway fare with a passport in her pocket ready to head to Florence should the moment present itself) and Love, Actually (because it is actually pretty damn fun). As for the movies set at Christmas time but that don’t exactly make you feel warm & fuzzy, I think I’d probably put Die Hard at the top of my list.

I know I’m forgetting a million (some deliberately) so please tell me what flicks put you in the holiday mood. And happy holidays!

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9 Responses to “It’s the holidays. It’s true.”


  1. 1 gwendolyngarden December 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I love Christmas movies! I always watch a bunch of Harry Potters while I’m baking cookies… And Love Actually (great taste!) And Bridget Jones (which has a lot of Christmas stuff in it)… I love any movie that has snow in it during my favorite season! Merry Christmas, happy Chanukah and may you have a delightful and peaceful new year!

    PS and happy anniversary, my friend!

  2. 2 Jane Roe December 18, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Mike and I always watched a series of films that seemed to gear us up for Christmas. Miracle on 34th Street always started the process followed by Going My way, The Bells of Saint Mary’s, Holiday Inn, and finishing with It’s a wonderful Life. It was a great way to get in the mood, not that either of us ever really needed any help getting in the mood.

  3. 3 kateandgracie December 18, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Ooo! Good ones, both of you!! I am esp fond of Bridget Jones’ Diary (I forgot about the xmas theme) and The Bells of St Mary’s…Maybe Saturday will be devoted to Christmas cinema. Sunday we’re headed to the game. Brr!!

  4. 4 Sara H December 18, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Love Actually! Must watch.

    The Family Stone – interesting pick! I can never decide if I liked that movie. Yes on Diane and Rach (and a Wilson), but SJP was odd and it always makes me cry in a sad way.

    How about Elf?

  5. 5 kateandgracie December 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    You make an excellent point about TFS — SJP was odd and not a good choice, I don’t think. I don’t think her comedy chops are in the same league as Diane’s and Rachel’s. I think what I like best about the movie is the whole big family thing. But you’re right, it is terribly sad. I sort of blocked out the whole Diane dying thing. Eeks.

    Elf. You know, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the whole thing. I know I’ve seen a scene or two with Bob Newhart (love) and Will Farrell (always awesome) but I must sit myself down to watch it from the beginning. Sometimes I get a little turned off by tall men playing elves, but I should give it a solid try.

    Ooo. Is Dan in Real Life a holiday movie? I think so and I liked that one. Another big family thing like TFS.

    Oh. And Home for the Holidays. I like that one, too. Is that Thanksgiving though? I must check.

  6. 6 kateandgracie December 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Hmm. I don’t think Dan in Real Life is Christmas. It should be, though.

  7. 7 Kristin December 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    For me, Miracle on 34th Street is my definitely fave. Love Love, Actually. I’m also gonna put in a vote for Home Alone – I still love it. And Frosty and Rudolph of course. For my family it’s definitely The Sound of Music. Even thought it’s not a Christmas movie, they always play it around this time and we watch it every time.

  8. 8 Terry December 19, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I’m not surprised that Jane’s list is identical to mine…the Roe tradition is strong! I just realized that I forgot my own tradition this year of watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles at Thanksgiving! Not only is it funny, I can, of course relate to so many of the scenes, particularly the difficulties of calling home to give status reports when you’d have to stand in line at a pay phone at the airport. (Did you think I’d pick some of the OTHER scenes?)

    After our year of discovering a flying squirrel had found a home in our Christmas Tree (a great home movie had Murphy been level headed enough to film it), I was told to check out at least one scene from the National Lampoon Christmas movie…haven’t done that. Could not be any funnier than the scene of us finding our squirrel and getting him out of the house.

    I would add A Christmas Story to this list if it hasn’t been mentioned so far.

    But my best times are listening to old Christmas music, alone in the house, while baking cookies off of the recipe cards that are in my mother’s beautiful penmanship. However close I cut the time I allow myself to get everything done, those are moments where I recall all the people I love and have loved, and all the wonderful memories of Christmases past growing up. Our trees were right out of a Charlie Brown Christmas…another good movie, if perhaps better seen about every few years.

    Thanks for the post. Need to buy some baking goods and get going!

  9. 9 kateandgracie December 21, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for your comments! I laughed at the squirrel — I really think of that often & always think how I need to give you guys more credit for not really having the PTSD that I’m certain I would still show signs of if that had happened to me — and I teared up at the image of you baking away, thinking of grandma & Mike (and others) while you make us all those delicious treats. I’m excited for Mollybear to celebrate Christmas with us.


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