It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
I’m sure you’re probably aware that those are lyrics from a popular holiday song of the same name, and while I agree that it can be the most wonderful time of the year because of the joys I experience during the holidays, it can also be one of the most difficult times of the year for me, too.
Not because I get depressed over the holidays or anything, but it seems as if the shorter days, lack of sunlight, and the colder weather always zap me of most of my energy, motivation, and creativity. When I get home from work in the evening, I usually want nothing more than to relax on my recliner with a cup of hot chocolate, a blanket, my kitty cat on my lap, and a good book or movie.
So while I may have been a bit quiet here on my blog lately (something I plan on changing in the new year!), I have been busy doing some of the things I love most this time of year; watching Christmas movies and television shows and listening to my favorite Christmas music. I know there are only a few days left before Christmas arrives, but I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been enjoying in case you’re looking for some last minute ideas on what to watch or listen to.
Christmas Movies I’ve Watched This Year
Here are some of the movies I’ve watched and enjoyed so far this year along with a few brief words about the things I liked most about them.
Bachelor Mother (1939) – Charming performances by Ginger Rogers and David Niven, a very cute baby, scenes in a department store (I love seeing what they looked like back then!), and a heartwarming ending that made me smile. David Niven was a bit of a new discovery for me, and I can’t wait to watch him later this week in The Bishop’s Wife!
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) – Natalie Wood’s delightful acting (such great facial expressions!), scenes in Macy’s department store (a recurring theme as you’ll see), scenes shot in New York City on the actual day of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and a sweet, charming (and Academy Award winning) performance by Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle.
Holiday Affair (1949) – Scenes in a department store toy department, a cozy and picturesque scene of the family’s Christmas tree with light snow falling outside the living room window, and the wonderful performances by and chemistry between Janet Leigh and Robert Mitchum.
The Shop Around the Corner (1940) - My favorite actor Jimmy Stewart, snowy scenes outside the shop, great chemistry between Stewart and actress Margaret Sullavan, and the romantic ending scene when Alfred reveals his true identity to Klara – a prime example of what I love most about Jimmy Stewart!
Susan Slept Here (1954) – Debbie Reynold’s funny and spunky performance as a 17-year old juvenile delinquent, and Mark Christopher’s (Dick Powell) cool 1950′s apartment and furniture – I could totally see myself living there!
Some of my favorite Christmas movies that I did not get a chance to watch yet this year include Remember the Night, It’s a Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut, and White Christmas. Hopefully I’ll be able to fit a few more of them into my schedule!
Favorite Television Show Christmas Episodes
Here are some of my favorite Christmas episodes from television shows that I watch almost every year along with a few of my random thoughts about each:
Little House on the Prairie – “Christmas at Plum Creek” from Season One and “A Christmas They Never Forgot” from Season Eight – You can also purchase these as a double feature DVD. This was one of my favorite tv shows growing up, and as an adult it has been a long standing tradition of mine to watch these two episodes on Christmas Eve. This year will be no exception.
The Brady Bunch – “The Voice of Christmas” from Season One – This was my favorite show growing up, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this episode has something to do with why “O Come All Ye Faithful” is my favorite Christmas song. (Mrs. Brady sings the song at the end of the episode)
Family Ties – “A Keaton Christmas Carol” from Season Two – Who else is more qualified to play the character of Scrooge than Alex P. Keaton? Watch this episode to see how his family teaches him the true meaning of Christmas.
Happy Days – “Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas” from Season Two – I love the heartwarming bond that is formed between Fonzie and Mr. and Mrs. C in this episode! Whenever I watch this episode, I wish I could jump into their cozy living room and join in their celebration!
Favorite Christmas Music
Following are a few of my all time favorite Christmas albums including some of the songs I love most from each:
A Jolly Christmas by Frank Sinatra – favorite songs: Adeste Fideles, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.
White Christmas by Bing Crosby – favorite songs: White Christmas, Jingle Bells, and Joy to the World.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Gene Autry – favorite songs: the title song, Here Comes Santa Claus, and Up on the House Top (Gene was one of my mom’s favorite singers so listening to his songs every year at Christmas time is one of the many ways I keep her memory alive in my heart).
When My Heart Finds Christmas by Harry Connick, Jr. – favorite songs: the title song (my absolute favorite contemporary Christmas song!), I Pray on Christmas, The Little Drummer Boy, and O Holy Night.
The Music of Christmas by Steven Curtis Chapman – favorite songs: Christmas is All in the Heart, Angels We Have Heard on High, O Come All Ye Faithful, and Our God is With Us.
Well, I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about some of my favorite Christmas movies and music. I’d love to hear about your favorites too, so feel free to discuss them in the comments section below!
I would sincerely like to thank each and every one of you for reading my blog this past year. It is very much appreciated! I would also like to wish all of you a wonderful and happy holiday season.