I never really got into the Christmas specials that most kids did. I have no nostalgic memories of watching Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman; I'll watch them when they're on TV but I don't search them out and I'm perfectly content not seeing them. There are, however, five movies that I have watched pretty much every year since I was four. It's a tradition my stepmom started and even when I lived in Germany/Switzerland, I found three of them on television at odd hours and made sure to watch them.
A Child's Christmas in Wales
This was my dad's contribution to the annual movie line up. The year that Denholm Elliot passed away, my dad decided to tell me while we were watching this film. The following year, he decided to tell me again that Denholm Elliot was still dead. Thanks, dad! Because I was expecting Denholm Elliot to be the epicentre of the zombie apocalypse. Of course, now my Baby Bro and I always finish the title by saying "he's dead, you know!" which we think is hilarious... even if no one else does.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
We watch the Black and White version because we're traditionalists in our family. At least, when it comes to films.
It's a Wonderful Life
A Christmas Carol
First, I just need to comment "a spirited portrayal as Marley." BWAHAHAHAHA! Spirited!!! HAHAHAHA!
While I have seen plenty of adaptations, the 1951 one with Alistair Sims (again, not colourized) is my favourite. I have watched this film (in fact, all these films) at least 25 times. I am 31 years old. The scene when he can hear the bells ring turns me back into a terrified 4 year old. To the best of our ability, we try to watch this one as close to Christmas Eve as we can.
Note: The film was released in the UK as A Christmas Carol and in the States as Scrooge. It wasn't until we got the DVD about six years ago that we knew it had two names. I will always call it A Christmas Carol.
Is the movie really just a chance to showcase the talents of the four stars with a somewhat simplistic storyline and schmaltzy love story? Yes. Does it contain some fabulous songs and great dance numbers? Does it make me ridiculously happy? Yes. So really, it's a giant film of win.
And because this scene used to make me laugh so hard I'd snort (I don't anymore because I'm a lady... well, I'm an adult), here's a bonus video!