by Kathleen Scheibling, Executive Editor, Harlequin
I’m rather non-traditional during the holiday season. Oh, I like visiting with my family. And gatherings throughout the month with my friends. Of course, I can enjoy my Christmas turkey with the best of them (to be honest, my SIL’s cured salmon appetizer is what I’m jonesing for). And as Johanna knows, I’m all about the holiday cookies.
What I really love doing during the precious days off around the Christmas holiday is going out to the theatre and watching movies. We watch films in different ways now – streaming on our TVs and laptops, watching on our phones in 10-minute snips on the bus or in line at the grocery store. I still prefer the big screen, seeing a movie in a darkened room with other people. There you can have a shared experience. When there’s a tender moment, you can hear other people sniffling back their tears. Depending on the audience, you may hear someone yell, “yeah, take that!” when the villain of an action movie gets his. And there’s nothing better than people laughing together (there’s always someone with an odd snort that just makes you laugh all the harder.)
For the nights I may be staying in, there are two strict holiday film traditions that are pretty obvious. It’s a Wonderful Life is my classic go-to. I love Jimmy Stewart. I love that Bert and Ernie’s names for Sesame Street came from this film. I love the small moment where the most horrible thing that happens (in the alternate reality) is that Mary (the unfortunate spinster) is working late at the library (OH NO!) And I very much enjoy when Mary yells up to her mother “He’s making violent love to me, Mother!” Because that meant something very, very different at the time.
The other movie is the greatest rom com of all time. I’ll watch it anytime it’s on TV. I have it on DVD and Blu Ray. It’s When Harry Met Sally, duh. You may say that’s not a Christmas movie (No, Die Hard is NOT a Christmas movie – come get me.) But WHMS has the holidays running through it (the timeline covers twelve years and three months) so it totally counts. Because sometimes you know a great movie, like you know about a good melon. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you better see that movie.
Happy holidays, no matter how you celebrate! What are your favourite Christmas movies?