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Must-See Holiday Classics

A Christmas Story

Photo Credit: Fan Pop

It’s “the most wonderful time of the year” for a lot of valid reasons.

The food, the holiday spirit, and the decorations are first to come to mind. The glittering lights, the trees, the snow (if you live in a place lucky enough to get snow), the ornaments, and the many other holiday trimmings just make it a wonderful time to do just about anything.

And then there are the movies. There is no other season that is honored in the movies the way that the holiday season is, and there seems to be a new batch of films and TV specials every year. But there are a few films that seem to have become a permanent part of our holiday experience.

Let’s take a look at some of the most cherished holiday classics:

1. A Christmas Story

By now, most of us know a few catch lines from that film, including such gems as “you’ll shoot your eye out”, “I triple dog dare you, “and “oooh fudge”. However, it is such an iconic and must-see film that one network in the U.S. runs it for a full 24 hours leading up to and throughout Christmas Day. It is important to give a bit of attention to the film because it is not just a good holiday story.

Narrated in an unforgettable voice and manner, few audience members realize that it is also the author of the story that inspired the film who voices the grown-up Ralphie. A noted curmudgeon, Jean Shepherd wrote extensively about growing up in the 30s and 40s and it was a broadcast of his “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash” that caught the ear of Bob Clark. Not yet a famous director, he would have to wait many years before he would be allowed to turn the tale into a motion picture. When it did reach theaters it was not expected to draw attention, and though it earned enormous sums and good word of mouth it disappeared quickly from theaters.

Then, the advent of cable TV prompted TNT to run a marathon of the movie in 1988, and it was such a success that the network was pressured to make it a tradition. So, this film may not be just a must-see but a “you cannot possibly avoid seeing it” sort of holiday classic.