things i have learned: Christmas movies

Here begins my equivalent (equivocation?) to Rachel’s Top Fives! Originally I was going to pursue Batia’s excellent suggestion that I liveblog ordinary activities, but then I realized that any thoughts I have during those kind of activities are not interesting enough to blog about. Furthermore, my suite regretfully lacks a vacuum or a kitchen. So the only chorelike activities I would be able to liveblog are my homework assignments, themselves dully gruesome prospects in their own right.

Instead, I am going to make lists of unintentional lessons I’ve accrued over the years, with a nod to their source in each post title. Today, as it is the opening to that wonderful month of snow and goodwill and battle royales over parking spaces, I give you a list of things “holiday” (meaning Christmas, since no one in Hollywood seems to make films based on non-Christmas winter holidays apart from Adam Sandler, whose Eight Crazy Nights is all told pretty awful) movies have taught me.

1. Santa Claus is real. (Miracle on 34th Street; The Santa Clause; Elf; about a thousand others)

2. Santa Claus is not real. (Bad Santa; A Christmas Story; the mom in Miracle on 34th, even though she’s totally proven wrong later in the film)

3. Christmas is primarily designed for truth-telling –– though not, necessarily, about Santa, or even about the distinct absence of crustaceans and cephalopods at the birth of Jesus. (Love Actually)

4. Being unique is makes you special and awesome! But you know what’s also awesome? Vindication and subsequent social acceptance from your peers. (Elf; Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)

5. A dentist does not a horrific sadist make. (Hermey from Rudolph)

6. Money and/or gifts are what Christmas is all about! (Jingle All the Way; the snowman in Rudolph; Ralphie in A Christmas Story; the first half of It’s A Wonderful Life)

7. Family is what Christmas is all about! (the end of It’s a Wonderful Life; The Santa Clause; Home Alone; Home Alone 2: Lost in New York)

8. Mall Santas are alcoholic jerks. (Bad Santa; A Christmas Story; the parade Santa at the beginning of Miracle on 34th, circa 1995)

9. Suicide is a really terrible fucking idea. Don’t do it. You are amazing. (It’s a Wonderful Life)

10. Love, on the other hand, is something you should do. Bearing goodwill and kindness is really fucking awesome. (the ending of almost every Christmas movie I’ve ever seen)

Did I miss anything?


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