The Holiday Movie Ritual8 Dec, 2002 By: Kurt Indvik
With our time to enjoy the holidays increasingly crimped by workload and commute times, we are even more, I think, looking to movies to help us get a quick fix, a jump start to generating that good old holiday cheer. And nothing beats home video for delivering the films we grew up on and have become part of our holiday ritual.
Last week I performed one of my own holiday rituals that never fails to get me into the mood. I sat down and watched White Christmas on video. Most years I have watched it by myself, since I am the only person in the household who can't get enough of Bing, Danny and those Hanes sisters. This year, however, I found that a neighbor buddy of mine was also somewhat fanatical; about the film (he even has a tree ornament of the White Christmas quartet), so while our wives were watching something typically grim on the Lifetime Channel, we two he-men settled into the couch for a rousing time of singing and dancing (OK, really, we just like to watch the very lithe Vera Ellen strut her stuff) and mountain lodge horse play leading to that ultimate moment when the fellows' Army unit comes back for one more salute to “the old man.” It just isn't Christmas for me if I haven't seen it at least once a year during the holidays.
Alright, I'll admit it's a little weird, this compulsion to watch White Christmas, but hey, it could be worse! I could be daft over Ernest Saves Christmas which, according to a recent poll by the sellthrough chain Suncoast, was overwhelmingly voted as the worst holiday movie ever made. The chain surveyed some 2,400 people across the land and they found that men and women tend to differ on the absolute favorite holiday film. (My wife, for instance, can take or leave White Christmas, to my utter astonishment. Her favorite, and it's a good one, too, is The Santa Clause.)
Maybe typically, the movie most men voted as their favorite holiday fare was National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Hmm…, that does indeed express the pain and agony of the holidays. For women the answer was the classic It's a Wonderful Life. No surprise there. The best animated movies ever both men and women agreed, was How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
The fact is that everyone has an opinion about a holiday film and likely will go out of their way during the holidays to see it. It's always a happy holiday for the video business.