The 9th Blog of Christmas: Season Misfits


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Christmas celebrations
vary between different ancestries, geographical regions, and simply between
families. I love that Christmas in America is a hodgepodge of traditions: some
religious, some pagan, some old, some new. I even think it’s great that we add
new ‘classics’ over the years. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t hear,
“Ral-phy!” at least once. There are some things, which we’ve adopted into the
Christmas season, however, that just don’t fit.
 

I think it all started
with Jingle Bells. This was a song originally written for Thanksgiving, but
who’s ever heard of Thanksgiving Carols? No one wanted to deck the halls with
turkey gizzards, and since with global warming the idea of a Thanksgiving
sleigh ride anywhere south of Santa’s village seems preposterous, Jingle Bells
slid into the Christmas season without a complaint to be heard.

Next My Favorite Things
starting appearing on Christmas albums. Sure, this Sound of Music
tune mentions snowflakes and silver white winters,
but it also mentions kittens and schnitzel. Is there anything particularly
Christmassy about schnitzel? One could argue there is a Christmas scene in the
movie (although this particular song is during a thunderstorm). So does that
mean every movie that has a late December setting is a Christmas film?

Well, yes, actually.

I don’t
particularly oppose the Harry Potter movies slipping into this category.
Although outside of one Christmas scene in each, they have little to do with
the holiday, they are family-friendly and based on the themes of love,
friendship, and self-sacrifice, which are all very much a part of the Christmas
season. And it’s pretty obvious Santa is a wizard employing a flying charm, an
invisibility cloak, and probably a time-turner. Duh.

What about
the not-for-children flicks, though? Why is it that every Christmas season
includes a Die Hard

marathon?
I know, movie one was set on
Christmas Eve, and McClane’s wife’s name was Holly, and the terrorist, like the
schnitzel, was German, but aside from that there’s no real connection to the
holiday. I love Bruce, baby, as much as the next
gal, but I’m not about to sign my Christmas cards, “
Yippee-ki-yay,
motherf—“

For our final Christmas
misfit, we have Gremlins
. Yup,
another flick that starts on Christmas, with a teenage boy being given the best
and worst present ever, Gizmo. Gizmo’s adorable and obedient and almost
perfect, until he gets wet and spawns evil offspring that attack and eat half
the town leaving a trail of blood as red as Santa’s suit. Not doesn’t that
sound cheery?

How on earth we devolved
from adopting Jingle Bells and Julie Andrews to embracing blood and gore, I’ve
no idea. It’s one thing if ABC Family wants to fill eight of their 25 Days of
Christmas with Harry Potter; this Potterhead and Christmas lover is all for
that. I think perhaps, though, we need to reexamine what really makes a movie a
holiday film, before airing every R-rated, carnage-filled, action flick, which
mentions Christmas, and calling it a seasonal classic. 

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