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Let’s talk Christmas movies

November 4, 2015
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

I have long insisted that Thanksgiving deserves its own anticipation and holiday season. No mistletoe is hung, no garland in sight, no colored bulb or Santa hat or Nativity set or light bulb or green and red plaid dare show its face in my house before Black Friday. Even then, we do not shop on Black Friday, but we celebrate Buy Nothing Day and it's accompanying fete, Turkey Sandwich and Leftover Pie Day.

But the rest of life and community begins gearing up for Christmas in November, and I can accept that, especially if these things can be called Advent celebrations (even though they fall earlier than Advent).

One of these, which I look forward to celebrating for the first time, is the Parade of Lights. The deadline for submitting an entry is Nov. 13. The theme, which I think is really fun, is Christmas Movies.

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

My usual answer is "Die Hard" the original.

Die Hard?

Of course! All NYPD Detective John McClane wants to do is get to his family in L.A. for Christmas Eve. His wife, Holly, has relocated to the west coast due to a work promotion, but John can't conceive of leaving New York's bad guys to the mean streets, so he didn't move with them. He gets to Holly's company's party just in time for a few awkward moments, but the terrorists come in and nearly ruin everything. At the end, the building is in shambles, the bad guys are done in, and as shreds of blown-up paper fall on the survivors, the soundtrack swells with "Let it Snow."

No? How about "Gremlins"? Try not to get the early Danny Elfman soundtrack in your head.

I really do like "Home Alone," "The Santa Clause" series with Tim Taylor, almost any version of "A Christmas Carol," and a hidden gem that must have happened when Patrick Swayze was hitting a slow period (but before he got sick, RIP) called "Christmas in Wonderland." Definitely geared toward kids with some campy, B-movie moments, Swayze, Chris Kattan, Tim Curry, and Carmen Electra make the silliness fun for mom and dad, too.

I thought the Polar Express was breathtaking. Classics like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street" get me every time. A very beautifully done recent classic was "The Nativity" of a few years ago.

I never thought I could possibly stay in the same room as "The Christmas Shoes." And with the song, it's true. We can talk about Christmas music later in the season, but what I always brace for, then sigh when it's finally over, is the first time in a season I hear the song, "The Christmas Shoes." It's cloying. It's emotionally manipulative. If you like it, I don't mean to offend you, but I just can't do that song.

I did catch the eponymous movie starring Rob Lowe. I survived it ok. It's no Die Hard, and it's certainly no burgeoning classic. Maybe I thought Rob classed it up a bit.

I still believe in Thanksgiving, a day of gratefulness, and feel we should honor that day as we gear up for the traditions and trappings of Christmas. I look forward to the Parade of Lights and hope to see many beautiful movie-themed entries in it. I'm grateful to have moved to this community and hope to get to know more of you in time. Maybe we can get a group together and catch a movie.



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