– Charles Dickens
“Do they still make wooden Christmas Trees?”
– Linus Van Pelt in Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts”
Thanksgiving has come and gone, most turkeys surely by now has been picked clean and the other leftovers devoured or depleted.
Many folks have used this post-Turkey Day weekend to haul out the holly, deck the halls and all that jazz.
I’ve been planning my pre-Christmas entertainment, including watching favorite holiday TV shows and movies.
I’ve made a list of a few of my favorites. Maybe you’ll agree with some; maybe you’ll find a new discovery or two and enjoy them this holiday season.
• “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Who can resist that adorable George Bailey, whose large dreams of a life spent traveling are dashed because, well, life happens? There’s Mary, whose dreams of becoming the wife of her beloved George come true. And Clarence Oddbody, Angel Second Class, who teaches George – and the rest of us – that one person can make a difference in each life he or she touches – “No man is a failure who has friends.”
• “Miracle on 34th Street.” Whether it’s the original version with Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood as mother/daughter Doris and Susan Walker, or the remake with Elizabeth Perkins and Mara Wilson as the pair of non-believers, any movie with Kris Kringle on trial to prove he’s not insane and that he is, indeed, Santa Claus is worth watching. “Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind.”
• “A Christmas Story.” Based on the novel “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash” by Jean Shepherd, it’s the tale of young Ralphie and his wish for a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas. It’s hilarious. “You’ll shoot your eye out.”
• “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” A holiday classic. The highlight? Charlie Brown shouts in desperation: “Isn’t there anyone out there who can tell me what Christmas is all about?” And Linus does.
• “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Can’t go wrong with Dr. Seuss. The best is the 1966 animated version with the voice of Boris Karloff as the Grinch – “And then the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches plus two.”
• Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” The story’s so amazing, any film version will do. “God bless us, every one.”
• “The Bishop’s Wife.” Carey Grant as Dudley, an angel who’s supposed to help mend the relationship between an ambitious bishop (David Niven) and his wife (Loretta Young). “Sometimes angels rush in where fools fear to tread.”
• “Elf.” A big boy named Buddy is raised by elves. It’s fun for the whole family. “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”
• “The Bells of St. Mary’s.” Bing Crosby’s Father O’Malley and Ingrid Bergman’s Sister Mary Benedict butt heads over running a Catholic school. Keep Kleenex close. “If you ever need anything, no matter what it is or wherever you happen to be - Yes, I know. I just dial O for O’Malley.”
• Any Christmas movie of the Hallmark kind. I cry even at the commercials.
Pop some corn, curl up on the couch, hide the remote, sit back and enjoy.
Catch the holiday spirit.
Contact Leslie Criss at (662) 678-1584 or leslie.criss@djournal .com.