Some of My Favorite Christmas Movies

An Incomplete List of Fantastic Christmastime Movies

I’ve seen many Christmas movies, including newer ones that are still being made.  I’m not sure why my favorites are “older” ones from 1945-1983, but I think it may have something to do with the older ones not being as snide and hard-boiled as many new films.  Being crusty and jaded has never struck me  as an automatic stamp of sophistication. I used to like National Lampoon Christmas, but it’s painful to watch at times and rather mean spirited in some ways.  I guess I save that kind of stuff for other times of year when feeling “current” may mean something more to me than it does at Christmas.  In any event, here is a list of my favorites with the years they were made. Would love to hear what other favorites of all of you may be — John

             My Favorite Christmas Films

Christmas in Connecticut
CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945) Barbara Stanwyck
THE CHEATERS (1945) Billie Burke and Eugene Palette
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) James Stewart, Donna Reed
THE BISHOP’S WIFE (1947) Cary Grant, David Niven, Loretta Young
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947) Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, Natalie Wood
LITTLE WOMEN (1949) June Allison, Mary Astor, Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret O’Brien
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951) Alistair Sim
White Christmas (1954) Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney
A Christmas Story (1983) Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon
Home Alone (1990) Macaulay Culkin
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The last one is iconic for Northwest Indiana, my home state. The story comes from the books and stories of Jean Shepherd, who lived and wrote in the community, where I taught for thirty-five years.  It’s my top choice for nostalgia, human nature, and humor.    JB

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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