Right now, many writing blogs are talking about favorite holiday movies or books. I’m feeling a bit Grinchish, or is it Scroogish?
There is a Christmas book I despise. I was home for Christmas a year or so after I graduated college and my father recommended that I read this particular book. He was almost giddy about it. Growing up, I don’t remember my father reading much. When he did it was piddly little things like The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, or the biography of Margaret Thatcher. So, when he suggest Skipping Christmas, I expected something rather momentous.
Instead, it was about everything I hate about Christmas: conforming to someone else’s ideal of Christmas to make them happy will end up making you happy. And broke.
My dad seemed crushed when I told him I didn’t like it.
Sometimes I wonder, did I miss the point of the book?
OK, so let’s end this on a happier note: Christmas stories I like.
Every year, my friend and I watch White Christmas at the Music Box Theater in Chicago. They always host an It’s a Wonderful Life/White Christmas back-to-back sing-a-long. While I do like It’s a Wonderful Life, we usually skip it…two long movies in a row is too much…even when they serve popcorn with real butter. Before the show, Santa sings and we all get to join along. And then the audience sings with the musical numbers in the movie. People wear funny hats, toss confetti snow, ring jingle bells…it’s a lot of fun. If you’re ever in Chicago for Christmas, get tickets (in early November or they’ll sell out) and join us!
I’m also a fan of the black and white version of Miracle on 34th Street. I love when Kris sings in Dutch. I always sing along…and I’m pretty sure three decades of watching the movie hasn’t gotten me anywhere closer to singing actual Dutch words.
I remember really liking the Muppets’ Christmas Carol…and it might be time to watch it again. I haven’t seen it in years, but every time I see any A Christmas Carol-version Marley appear on screen, I have to sing “We’re Marley and Marley.”
Thinking about this post made me realize that I don’t read a lot of Christmas stories. I’m not sure I’ve even read A Christmas Carol. I know I’ve read books that take place at Christmas time…I have to have done it, right? There have to be tons of books out there that are Christmas themed or at least have a Christmas scene.
So, what are your thumbs up (or thumbs down) Christmas stories?