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Finding Christmas spirit through film

So here we are, Christmas 2012. Once again, I find myself spending my evenings surfing up and down the digital remote looking for a holiday movie that will help me find the spirit of Christmas.


So here we are, Christmas 2012. Once again, I find myself spending my evenings surfing up and down the digital remote looking for a holiday movie that will help me find the spirit of Christmas.

It’s not like I’m a Scrooge or a bah-humbug type of guy. It’s just that life is just so busy these days that I don’t have time to even think about what this time of year should really be all about.

Sadly, I usually don’t catch the Christmas spirit until it’s almost over.

In my house, we make a point of watching the classics, including: Scrooge, It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and my favourite of all time, A Christmas Story. For any of you who haven’t seen this one, it’s set in the late ’50s and tells the story of little Ralphie and his quest to unwrap a Red Ryder BB Gun on Christmas day.

Every time I watch this movie, it reminds me of growing up in the east end of Toronto. From Randy’s snowsuit, to having my mouth washed out with soap (my mom’s lectures about swearing being a sign of a weak mind would always proceed this punishment).

If you’re in your 50s or 60s, it’s going to take you back. Don’t be surprised if you laugh until you cry.

Although not a classic by any means, I also enjoy Home Alone. Granted, the Christmas message plays a poor cousin to the slapstick abuse that Macaulay Culkin installs on the bad guys, but the importance of family is loud and clear in the movie’s final moments.

I suppose the classic of all classics is Alastair Sim’s Scrooge. I recall the first time I watched this on the old RCA black and white. To be honest, I spent a good portion of that production with the blankets pulled over my head. As a four- or five-year-old, the ghosts were just a little too real for my liking.

My holiday programming usually ends on Christmas day with the Yule Log burning on my TV. It’s safe, easy, and won’t burn my house down. Some stranger’s hand can be seen from time-to-time stoking the fire and he even plays my favourite Christmas tunes, with no commercials!

However you celebrate this time of the year, I wish you and your family health and happiness in 2013. Drive safe everybody!


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