Last week I wrote about definitive, scientific studies that proved without a shadow of doubt that “Home Alone” was the greatest Christmas movie of all time. While there was much tongue-in-cheek with my last column, it made me ask the question — what does make for a Christmas movie?
I got some feedback from the column, with the majority saying that they don’t consider Home Alone a Christmas movie. Many people would mention the quintessential movies that are considered Christmas classics — “White Christmas,” “Miracle on 34th Street” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
It got me thinking about what makes those films classics while others aren’t lauded in the same way. Is it because the exemplify the ideals of Christmas? For that matter, what are those qualities?
When I think of many of the films considered perennial Christmas flicks, few of these resonate with me. My Christmas experiences have hardly been like “Miracle,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” while a good movie, never hit me in the same way as it did others.
For me, the quintessential Christmas movie is, aptly, “A Christmas Story” and the Ralpie’s quest for an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot range-model air rifle. I can empathize with this vision of Christmas.
The movie isn’t as idealistic as George Bailey discovering the impact his life has on others, but there is a human element and a bit of realism to it. As much as we often romanticize the holidays, there are aspects that are less glamorous, pink bunny pj’s and all.
The same can be said about “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” a film that has become something of a recent Christmas favorite of mine. It isn’t the same vision of Christmas that some hold dear, but I think there is truth to it, and a more relatable version of the holidays.