Friday, November 26, 2010

Lighten Up

And it is upon us. The ultimate Day After, Black Friday is the foot on the pedal that revs the engine of holiday shopping. There are a few ideas of where the term originated. Some people think it was traditionally the day when many retailers come out of the red part of their ledgers and into the positive end, the black side. While that may be true, the actual term "Black Friday" is said to have been coined in the mid-1970's by the Philadelphia police department in their chagrin of having to deal with jam-packed traffic and extremely crowded sidewalks on the 1st official Christmas shopping day after Thanksgiving (being from the greater Philadelphia area myself, I will choose to believe that origin as gospel).

It being a day of heavy and unrestrained shopping in retail stores (ie. many, many people in smallish, enclosed spaces), Black Friday has achieved a connotation of being a day filled with frustration, angst, and consternation. I'd like to encourage an alternative to venturing out into the merchandising blizzard out there: come to the library and get a holiday movie to watch with your family! We are open today and have a lot offer. The following is a list of my favorite holiday movies:

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
John Candy and Steve Martin offer up comedic genius in this odyssey to get home for the holidays.

A Christmas Story
"You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" One of the most quotable movies ever. Ever.

Grumpy Old Men

Another excellent comedic pairing, Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon act as best friends gone awry, upper Minnesota style.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947 version)
Doris Walker does not believe in Santa Claus, but her daughter Susan is not so sure herself. Very appropriate for Black Friday with the feud between Macy's and Gimble's.

It's a Wonderful Life

George Bailey realizes the impact he could have on other people's lives by seeing what life would be like without him. It's just not the holidays without watching this film.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Maybe I shouldn't admit to this, but Clark Griswold has long been a hero of mine. When I put Christmas lights out in front of and on my house for the first time this year, I will watch this movie for inspiration.

Which films do you like to watch around the holidays?


Roberta said...

Two newer movies that I think are perfect for Christmas are The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and The Seeker: The Dark is Rising. Both are British, which for some reason seems more Christmassy to me (plum pudding! wassail!), and also very snowy and occasionally threatening. Make yourself a toddy and settle in to the couch with the family!

Linda K. said...

I also love the Christmas Vacation movie (except for the scene with the cat)and I practically know the original Miracle on 34th Street dialog by heart. Another favorite is the first Home Alone movie - Kevin is a brat, but I love what he does to the thieves. For a good dark entry try Ice Harvest with John Cusack and Billy Bob. Crazy dark fun!

Lynne said...

I never outgrew the claymation and animated Christmas specials. Every year I dust off my VCR to watch The Year Without a Santa Claus, Nestor the Long-eared Donkey, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Muppet's Christmas Carol is another fun one. But for the past few years we have an action movie Christmas marathon, with Die Hard, Long Kiss Goodnight, Reindeer Games, Gremlins, and of course Die Hard. This year I think we'll add Ice Harvest (Thanks Linda!)and maybe the evil Santa episodes of Futurama: "Xmas Story." Fry: This snow is beautiful. I'm glad global warming never happened.
Leela: Actually, it did. But thank God nuclear winter canceled it out.

Linda K. said...

I just thought of another one "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" a cult classic from 1964! It's one of those that's so campy and goofy and bad that you won't be able to resist it.

Anonymous said...

I can't say it's a Christmas tradition, but we just watched 12 Angry Men after Thanksgiving. It really illustrates the difference a single person can make. The close, humid jury deliberation room with men in their button down shirts marked with sweat makes one wish for snow.

Veronica said...

During the holiday season we love watching "Mixed Nuts" starring Steve Martin, Madeline Kahn, Robert Klein, Juliette Lewis, Rita Wilson, Liev Schreiber, Anthony LaPaglia and Adam Sandler. In the past few years we've also added "Elf" into the mix.

Bob said...

For the Thanksgiving 2011 holiday, I'd like to watch "Airplane!" in honor of Leslie Nielsen, who died during this year's Thanksgiving holiday. The comic actor passed away on Sunday, Nov. 28, and probably is best known for his goofball roles in the abovementioned film and the "Naked Gun" movies. In "Airplane!" he plays a doctor faced with an outbreak of food poisoning on a flight. At one point he says something about passengers needing to go to a hospital. "A hospital?! What is it?" a young stewardess asks him. "Oh, it's a large buildinig with a lot of sick people, but that's not important now," Nielsen deadpans (those might not be the exact lines, but you get the joke. Oh, ... and stop calling me Shirley.

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