Christmas is such a festive and exciting time of year. There are many community activities to partake in, family to visit, and presents to shop for. With so much energy moving around it can become a little overwhelming, especially for those in the military that may be spending time away from home. If your family needs to take a breath or if you are looking for some entertainment this Christmas, check out some of these classic Christmas movies that will keep the whole family in the holiday spirit without having to leave the house.
It’s a wonderful life
The timeline of this film takes us through the life of George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart. A young boy with dreams and aspirations of seeing the world, he carries those dreams with him through adulthood. It’s all George Bailey can think of, getting out of town. However, with the loss of his father he feels obligated to take over the family Building and Loans business. Through the depression, war, and marriage George continues to get more and more attached to the business. When money is lost, George contemplates throwing his life away, but a higher power is looking out for him. With the help of an angel, George is able to see how wonderful his life really is.
It’s a Wonderful Life is full of lessons and meanings. It shows how life doesn’t always go as planned, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good life. With a glimpse into a world he didn’t exist in, we see how much George Bailey helped his town. His sacrifices and good heart keep the town and people in it close. With a Christmas miracle, all of it is saved.
During a crucial point in a young boy’s life, Polar Express follows the adventures of a boy who begins to question his belief in Santa Clause. Throughout the film there is a lot of action and adventure. Starting on a train and put to dangerous tests, at times the film can make you feel like you are on a roller coaster. It is a lot of fun, and with Tom Hanks playing the voice of the majority of the roles, who wouldn’t love this film!
Polar Express teaches how important it is to believe in something bigger than yourself. The ring of a bell is what stands between the belief in something outside of yourself or something that doesn’t seem natural and the truth of knowing who you really are. It teaches to not only believe in what is outside of us, but also the magic that we hold within.
A Christmas Story
Set in an era of simpler times, A Christmas Story gives us a look into the past before technology ruled our homes. With a little boy’s obsession and wild imagination, we follow him through the Christmas season with his friends, confronting bullies, and giving an ultimate plea to the big guy himself, Santa Clause.
This film is usually easy to catch with the TBS television channel playing it non-stop for 24 hours on Christmas day. The film has something every family can relate to. It’s a special story about family dynamics and portrays the childlike excitement we all feel waiting to open presents Christmas morning. Hoping that the one gift we really wanted will be under the tree.
This post Korean War film pays homage to the military and the ones who sacrificed the most. The movie opens Christmas Eve at a base camp near a battlefield. They show respect for their General and dedication to the cause. Throughout the film the excuse, “It’s for an old pal from the Army,” is used often and takes them all the way to Vermont where they are reunited with their old General.
Through song and dance this movie is extremely entertaining. With big stars like Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, this film stands out for all that it encompasses. The themes of respect, national pride, love, and pure entertainment won’t be lost on military families that know them so well already.
Meet me in St. Louis
Meet me in St. Louis is centered around the excitement of the 1904 world’s fair. We follow the often-meddling Smith family and the housekeeper Katie through the seasons leading up to the world’s fair. All seems to be going well, with two of the eldest daughters getting close in age for marriage. Esther, played by Judy Garland, graces us with some beautiful original tunes for the film.
All of their plans come to a halt, however, when their father gets a better paying gig in New York. Not wanting to disrupt the family too soon, he decides they will move after Christmas. In the disappointment of leaving St. Louis just as it was getting its name on the map, Judy Garland debuts a now infamous song we all know and love at Christmas called, “Have Yourself a Merry Christmas.” The movie will resonate with any family that understands how hard it is to leave before you are ready. Yet, the movie drives the message that wherever there is family, you are home.
With so many wonderful Christmas movies for military families out there, it was hard to narrow down a top few. It is so much fun watching these films alone or with family as they really encompass the Christmas spirit. Whether it’s the first time watching or the feeling of nostalgia of watching them during a different time, they will certainly put a smile, and maybe a happy tear, on your face this Christmas. So, go get your coziest blanket, a warm cup of hot chocolate, your favorite sugar cookie, and enjoy one of these great films.