Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Specials that Help Make Christmas Special!

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, so I guess I'm feeling a little sentimental. So, for a little while, enough about health care, birthers, deficits and the like...what's your favorite Christmas special.

As I said, I'm a little sentimental (please don't tell anyone!), so I'll share with you the Christmas specials I actually watch. I was shopping not long ago looking for a DVD for my granddaughter and ran into a 20 something guy who was raving about one of the specials here. I immediately credentialed by appreciation for the movie (and dated myself at the same time), by telling him I watched it the first night it came on television! Believe it or not, unless Providentially hindered, I watch them every year!

Here's my top four ranked in reverse order.

The first is 'Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer'. Yep! Long before 'animatronics', and CG (computer generated) graphics, this type of puppet animation was cutting edge. The story holds up too. It puts imagination behind a legend and its a typical Christmas 'feel good' story, with an important message: even misfits have something to offer (if only we could share that message all year long!)...






No. 3 is 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'. Those of us who grew up in the age of Charles Schultz remember that there was something genius regarding his capacity to get us to sympathize with Charlie Brown, love Lucy and want to dance like Snoopy! There was a great deal of good theology in his classic 'Peanuts' cartoon. This clip, in which Linus tells the real meaning of Christmas moves me to this day.






No. 2 is 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'! Seriously, is there anyone out there who doesn't love Dr. Seuss?! The transformation of the Grinch by the residents of 'Whoville' who refuse to have their Christmas joy 'stolen', is a reminder of the spirit of Christmas that should reach beyond our materialism and greed...




And No. 1 (drum roll please!)...

'It's A Wonderful Life'. Who hasn't, at one time or another, wished they had never been born?! And who hasn't, at one time or another, found out they were more meaningful to more lives than they have ever imagined? And yes, year after year, I tear up when they sing 'Auld Ange Syne'...

I guess by the end of the story, I realize that I have had 'A wonderful Life' after all...



I hope some of these clips speak to the kid in you, I know that's what they do for me - and I hope it never changes! By the way, my honorable mentions include: 'The Preacher's Wife', with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston (anyone who would like to see why I think Whitney was born to sing gospel music - no matter how great she is at anything else ought to see this!) and 'A Christmas Carol' (the 1984 version with George C. Scott as Scrooge).

Merry Christmas!

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