Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vintage Tip Tuesday XXIII

There are some awful Christmas movies out there hoping to be watched on Netflicks. Christmas With the Kranks, Surviving Christmas, Fred Claus, The Santa Claus trilogy (I just can't buy Tim Allen as Santa), Home Alone 3 which didn't even star Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci or Daniel Stern, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas with Jim Carey, Santa With Muscles starring Hulk Hogan, and most if not all of the Hallmark Chanel made for TV movies. All of these films tried to copy successful ideas of the past that didn't work once replicated. They cheapen the holiday by choosing to try and make a buck with a recycled storyline or theme as opposed to embarking on something original. Films like It's A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street were courageous movies back in the 1940's. The first dealt with suicide and the latter addressed mental illness. Neither of these films were huge box office hits the year they came out and their thought provoking plots caused critics to feel divided on weather they were worth even seeing. Now these two films are the quintessential films seen across the country during this Christmas season.   In the eighties, A Christmas Story and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation came out and audiences are still cracking up. Only one movie has ever dared to state the real reason of the season, however. Everytime I watch this film I am instantly reminded that all the outward hustle and bustle of the holidays is not what Christmas is all about. It's not about belting out Christmas tunes, buying and opening gifts, watching the tree lighting, gliding around the ice on skates, decorating your place with lights and dazzle or even baking cookies. This film that offers up the real reason is the 1965 cartoon A Charlie Brown Christmas.

 In his search for the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown knew only one thing: no one in his life was understanding the real reason we celebrate Christmas. The entire peanuts gang had fallen into the trap of commercialism, and it was Linus that finally set them all straight with his bold but kind explanation.

 My tip for this week is to watch this children's holiday classic. Even if you watch nothing else, take time to watch this one. It's not meant to get you pumped up for the chaotic Christmas shopping experience or increase your urge to host a holiday party. It is, however, a message that has the ability to strike a chord.

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