Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Films to get you in the Christmas Spirit in 30 minutes or less

Here are a few great Christmas movies that will help you keep the right perspective during the holiday season and put a smile on your face... each in less than half an hour.  So for a quick pick-me-up, put on one of these for yourself or for the whole family.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (25 min.)
"ISN'T THERE ANYONE WHO KNOWS WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT?!"  If you're overwhelmed or dismayed by the commercialism of the season (still reeling from Black Friday?), you can commiserate with Charlie Brown, who gets no respect for trying to find meaning in the Christmas routines (until the end).  If not for the soundtrack alone, this is a fun way to set the proper Christmas mood.  I can't help but watch it several times each year.  There are so many memorable lines and antics from the Peanuts characters.  This short movie actually inspired me as a child to memorize the nativity story from Luke 2 in the New Testament (and recite it just like Linus), as well as the carol "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

Also, I can't go a year without watching this entertaining mash-up: http://youtu.be/-sKrwsHweGc

Mr. Krueger's Christmas (26 min.)
If you're a day dreamer, a lonely person, or someone who sees the magic in everything about the Christmas holiday, you can relate to Willy Krueger.
No, this is not a spin-off of a horror flick. The aged Jimmy Stewart stars in this touching snapshot into the life and imagination of a lonely widower who has plenty of Christmas cheer and yet rediscovers the meaning of Christmas and of life through his introspective interview with the Christ child and his new friendship with a sweet little girl.

The Gift (17 min.)
Can't decide what to give someone for Christmas?  Often the best gifts don't come from stores or catalogs, but are made by hand, or are done with our hands.  Seemingly simple acts of service can make more of an impact that we realize, as young Sam finds out in this humbling and heartwarming film that shows another perspective on giving using a very simple setting and story.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (26 min.)
This is another one we've seen many times, but it still brings a smile and a tear to our face each time.  If you're human, it breaks your heart to see a character so heartlessly take advantage of another who is so meek, innocent, and vulnerable.  But how joyous it is to see the change of heart (that finally starts to beat) and immeasurable good that is brought on by the unconquerable Christmas spirit and attitude of giving and sharing!
If you have children, I recommend reading the book to them instead for a quality family bonding experience.  There's always time for a reminder to not be a Grinch.

Do you have a holiday favorite that always gets you in the right mood while reminding you of the true meaning of Christmas?

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