It happened to me for the first time this year while I was out. For the first time I felt that glow inside when you realise it won’t be long till Christmas.. I could feel it in the air. What brought it on you might ask? I was on my way into town on my scooter and someone hurrying past me in the other direction, laden with rolls of Christmas wrapping paper called out to me Merry Christmas and a few yards on a father crosses the road with his son who was carrying a football both were on the way into Tower Gardens and suddenly it felt like Christmas.
What else you may ask can be guaranteed to bring out the Christmas spirit in me?
Call me an old sentimentalist; it is true I just love a good old classic Christmas film. The kind of film that brings families together and even though times are hard things all work out because of the love they have for each other and the magic of Christmas. There are many great Christmas classics like ‘The Snow Man’, ‘The Polar express ‘ and ‘Peter Pan’ to name a few but for the purpose of this blog here are my top 5 Christmas films and I have them all in my DVD collection so I will be viewing each one sometime over Christmas.
5…. Meet Me in St Lewis starring the wonderful Judy Garland. The Story is about the Smith family who face having to move away from New York because of the Fathers future promotion and Judy falls in love with the boy who has just moved in next door and at the same time the Worlds Fair is coming to town. MGM musicals don’t come much better than this and the score for the ‘Trolley Song is one of the best. This is a classic Christmas story with the family of Mother and Father and four Daughters facing up to an unsettled future but with the hope that better times are just around the corner expressed in the words of the song she sings to her young sister ‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas and goes on to give hope in the words next year our troubles will be miles away. http://youtu.be/5g4lY8Y3eoo
4…. The Railway Children. Once again the family is the central theme; I love the start of the film with the opening of the presents and the visit to the traditional Pantomime. Then the Father is arrested for a crime he did not commit and the family forced to economise by moving to a smaller home in the country which happens to be closed to the Railway where all there adventures begin. I love the fact that it is “There old Gentleman” who comes to the rescue and the film builds up to the final tear jerking scene where Father steps off the train into the arms of his loving daughter to be re united with his family.
3…..Love Actually. Not so old this film it was released in 2003 but already it is a Christmas Classic. The film begins with a voiceover from David (Hugh Grant) commenting that whenever he gets gloomy with the state of the world he thinks about the arrivals terminal at Heathrow Airport, and the pure uncomplicated love felt as friends and families welcome their arriving loved ones. David's voiceover also relates that all the messages left by the people who died on the 9/11 planes were messages of love and not hate. The film then tells the 'love stories' of many people:
The story involves numerous individuals looking for love and fulfilment it is near Christmas and all over the world people are in a hurry to get to their partners before the commencement of the holiday and the film returns to Heathrow Airport at the end to watch everything fall into place perfectly.
2…… White Christmas. A real Hollywood blockbuster starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. Great songs great cast and a wonderful story about to guys going on a skiing holiday and meeting to gals. The owner of the hotel they are staying at just happens to be their general when they were in the army. The Hotel is having a bad season due to lack of snow and the boys decide to organise a re-union gig to help by inviting all the men from who were under the Generals commend. Culminating in a grand scene where Bing sings the title tract from the film and the barn doors open to display snow falling and a return to good times.
1……My all time Classic Christmas Film is ‘What A Wonderful Life’ The Film centres around our family man George Bailey played by James Stewart who’s life is in tatters, is business as failed and he’s taking it out on his family. In despair he goes out one Christmas night gets drunk crashes his car and decides to end is life by jumping from a bridge into a river. That is when he meets the unlikely apprentice angel Clarence who is trying to win is wings. George saves him from his watery fait and when George proclaims he wishes he had never been born his wish is granted. Eventually George realises how lucky he is and what a life he is missing and everything is restored to how it was. A real uplifting film that never fails to restore hope for us all.
All of these films have relevance to us at this time, with austerity measures hitting home hard, we all need some hope of a better future ahead. There is magic available at Christmas time for everyone but before you can feel it you have to be receptive to it.