There is nothing quite as magical to a child as Christmas time. The music, the food, the movies… As a child, I couldn’t imagine anything better that sitting together with the family around the television, watching Christmas movies as the scent of sugar cookies baking in the oven hovered in the air. As I grew older, I didn’t think anything could match that feeling, that is, until I had children of my own. Not only do I get to enjoy those movies again with a new perspective and catch plot points I missed as a child, but I have the privilege of watching my children enjoy the movies just as I did when I was younger.
Sometimes sharing our love of Christmas movies with our children can be difficult, since we have six kids with six very different personalities! Somehow we make it work. Each year our family watches the same couple of movies, but we also try to incorporate one or two Christmas movies we haven’t seen before.
To kick off the holiday season, we begin with The Nightmare Before Christmas. I know, it sounds a little eccentric, but most of our family are Tim Burton fans (and fans of The Munsters, Addams Family, etc.), so for our us, this works. This movie covers two of our favorite holidays, Christmas and Halloween, so we usually watch it in the beginning of October as well.
The other movie we watch almost every year, is Little Women. This movie is usually just watched by my daughters and me, even though the guys are more than welcome to join us. This movie has been a favorite of mine since it came out in 1994. I was only 11 years old at the time and had never heard of Louisa May Alcott, much less any of her books. After seeing Little Women, I was hooked, and read several of Louisa May Alcott’s books throughout the next few years. Once I was married with girls of my own, I hoped they would enjoy Little Women as much as I did (which some do). Plus, it’s fun to see well-known actors like Kirsten Dunst and Christian Bale when they were younger.
Besides the two movies above, we usually choose a random Christmas movie or two, selected either from an assortment of movies we haven’t seen yet, or a movie we haven’t seen in a long time. So far this year, we watched Disney’s 2009 adaptation of A Christmas Carol. I wasn’t sure if we would like the movie or not because it was a 3-D animation, which we tend to avoid because of gratuitous 3-D effects, but we really didn’t notice any. While there were some points where the movie was a bit too dark and scary for our five-year-old, we still enjoyed it overall.
The next Christmas movie we watch this holiday season has yet to be chosen. Maybe it will be A Christmas Story, or maybe even Scrooged with our teenagers.
It’s still early, so we have time.