While Americans are gearing up for Thanksgiving, up here in Canada we celebrated Thanksgiving last month. Now that Remembrance Day has also passed, our thoughts are turning to Christmas.
Could it be that Christmas is just over five weeks away? I would say the season sneaked up on me, but it’s impossible to miss the festive music and decorations that popped up in stores the moment the Halloween merchandise left the shelves. Santa is already taking gift requests at our local mall.
I can’t say I mind. I love everything about the atmosphere of the Christmas season. Nothing brings up warm feelings and wistful childhood memories like the traditional movies, TV shows and songs of the holidays. Here are some of my favourites:
Movies and TV Specials:
You’ll need the twelve days of Christmas (and then some) to watch every adaptation. I have special memories of the Rich Little TV version from 1978. Rich Little impersonates famous actors of the day playing the various roles in this cheesy but lovable production, complete with songs and a laugh track (of course you can watch it on YouTube if you’re curious). A piece of advice: no matter how much you may have loved Frasier (as I did), keep away from the Kelsey Grammar musical version of A Christmas Carol.
In my house, the 2003 Will Ferrell movie Elf is an annual tradition. So are Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas – who can resist that sad little tree?
By the time December 25th rolls around, the Christmas music piped into malls and grocery stores can begin to wear on your nerves. However, there are two traditional carols I never get tired of: Ave Maria and O Holy Night. Something about their melodies tugs at my emotions, and whenever I hear them sung with a pure voice, I’m nearly reduced to a puddle on the floor.
Of course it wouldn’t be Christmas without classic modern songs like “The Christmas Song” or “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in their various renditions. Any holiday song performed by Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley puts me in the spirit. More recent recordings (though they are a few decades old now) that get happily stuck in my head are Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime”, Wham’s “Last Christmas” and Boney M.’s “Mary’s Boy Child”.
What movies, TV specials or songs puts you in the Christmas spirit?