Christmas movies can take you on an adventure to your childhood just like the smell of oak logs burning will take you camping in your mind. There are numerous specials on TV, movies, and cartoons, but I always stick to the same ones. A Christmas Story is playing in the background as I type, and I will occasionally lift my head to watch a scene or two, like when Ralphie said a bad word while he was helping his pops. I, along with many others I’m sure, have memorized holiday movies, and can sing along to the songs, like in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Burl Ives gave Rudolph much of its life with his warm-hearted narration, and he sang with a voice made for Christmas, leaving memories in the minds of many who’ve watched. As silly as the movie is, I will catch myself slack-jawed, taking in the views of Rudolph flying for the first time, or the trip he took with his friends over the frigid water on a broken piece of ice. (I still can’t believe they survived.) I will never grow out of it, and I will also never get enough of Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.
Burgermeister Meisterburger used to freak me out, and even though he doesn’t seem as menacing in my adulthood, he still makes me uncomfortable. Childhood emotions really linger. Although some scenes in our classic movie library seem ridiculous when viewed with a more mature lens, others make me think, “What the hell?!” Some, like It’s a Wonderful Life I never saw until I was an adult, but the feelings resonate just the same, taking me back to different times in my life.
I was in my thirties when I saw lively James Stewart run across my TV screen for the first time, and now it also shares space in my living room in the background while I write, make cookies, or visit. Like the others, though, it’s familiar and reminds me of life before today when the air was cool and different people were close by. In our memories gifted to us by these movies, I can taste the green-sugared cookies Nana made, smell the sweet pine of the different trees I’ve had, and remember, fondly, people of our past. I don’t think I have time to watch new Christmas movies because I would rather go back on my life’s timeline, and just remember.