Watching Christmas movies with my family is one of my favourite Christmas activities. I am particularly enamoured with A Christmas Carol and we have several versions of it: the classic Alastair Simms version, the Muppet Christmas Carol and Scrooged – Bill Murray’s modern-day take on the tale. We also watch and cry with Jack Frost, Charlie Brown, It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original animated version.)
I have a few other slightly lesser known movies that are wonderful: the Academy Award-winning The Snowman – an animated film with no talking, only music; it’s mesmerizing. Another wonderful film is Joyeux Noel – a subtitled film about the story of how British and German soldiers shared Christmas across no-man’s land during WW2. Heartbreaking.
There’s lots of free or inexpensive ways for you and your family and friends to enjoy holiday movies:
- Have a movie swap with your friends and share your favourite movies with each other. You can even host a movie-marathon night and have a double or triple header with guests bringing their favourite film to watch with you. (Great way to also get rid of all that excess Christmas baking that you don’t really need to eat all by yourself…)
- The library is a great place to get DVDs for the holidays for free – better than a rental because you typically get to have them for 2-3 weeks.
- Rental facilities seem to be going the way of the dinosaur, so I’ve noticed many friends posting on Facebook about the deals they’ve gotten this season because of stores closing down.
- Check your thrift shops! One of the girls in our youth group told me last year that her family regularly stocks up on VHS movies since they tend to go for a dime quite often. They also stock up on VHS players, so that if theirs conks out, they just dig out the next one and use that! We have often found DVDs in great shape – I just got this copy of Miracle on 34th Street, still in the cellophane – for $4. You probably won’t find Blu-rays yet – but never say never, you just don’t know what people will donate to a thrift shop.
What’s your favourite Christmas film?