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Christmas Classics Bring Nostalgia


The holiday season is a time filled with merry tidings and Christmas cheer, but an equally important emotion associated with the season is the all important and omnipresent nostalgia. Everywhere you look, memories shroud each stocking and light, which ushers in a warm feeling that makes you want to curl up around the fire and indulge in another classic Christmas tradition: watching a Christmas movie. 

Christmas movies come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes; from the comedy of “Elf” to the fast paced action of “Die Hard,” which yes I do consider wholeheartedly to be a Christmas movie, but one common theme amongst all of them is that they all seem to get better with each passing year. Christmas movies have that special lasting power which most other movies fail to achieve, and a large part of that is the nostalgia. 

In this article I will delve into these movies with an unbiased lens in order to separate the genuinely good from the nostalgic. 

A Christmas Story (1983) (9/10)

This is a near perfect movie, even when looking past the nostalgia. Its humor is on point and its overall “Christmas-y” feeling is unparalleled. 

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) (6/10)

This movie is weird, that’s all I can really say about it. It’s very creative, almost to a fault, but its animation feels very vintage and is really the saving grace of this movie. 

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) (8/10)

This is an indisputable classic with fantastic voice acting, vintage animation, and, most importantly of all, a very short runtime. It had a story to tell and it told it masterfully and in a fun way.

Dr. Seuss’ how the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) (5/10)

This movie fails where the original succeeded. Even despite the masterful Jim Carrey portraying the titular character, this movie is too full of filler content, strange adult humor, and just downright ugly visuals.

Elf (2003) (9.5/10)

This movie is hard for me to be unbiased with. Watching this film has become a holiday tradition for my family for as long as I can remember. But even when I strip away the years of memories and look at this film with an unbiased lens, it’s still the funniest Christmas movie I’ve ever seen. 

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) (6/10)

Having watched this movie for the first time this year, I can confidently say…that it’s perfectly alright. Despite the film only lasting thirty minutes, it moved very slowly. There were definitely points in which you can tell that the animation was done in the 60s, and not in a good way like for “the grinch.” However, despite these criticisms, the film was very cute, the music was catchy, and the message was good. 

Home Alone (1990) (7/10)

Home Alone was a movie that everyone around me always told me was great, but I never really got into it. I never really understood the moral of the story and Kevin McCallister scares me. There is definitely some good humor in the movie with the ridiculousness of the situation only adding to that. 

Polar Express (2004) (4/10)

There is probably a good story in this movie, but I couldn’t pick up on it past the scary uncanny animation with the terrifying monster children giving me jumpscares by just being on screen. This is the prime example of bad animation overshadowing the rest of the film. The presence of Tom Hanks saves this otherwise lost cause of a film. 

Die Hard (1988) (10/10)

This movie works entirely separate from being a Christmas movie, but the fact that it is a Christmas movie only makes it better. 

I will admit that this list is far from comprehensive, and the movies I picked were only movies that I deemed nostalgic to me personally. I definitely missed out on some certified classics like “Home Alone 2,” “The Santa Clause,”  “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” and several others, but I simply deemed myself not to have the expertise to cover these movies. That being said, all the movies on this list hold a special place in my heart, and even despite the ratings I gave some of them, I highly recommend you watch them at least once in your life. 

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About the Contributor
Spencer Pfaff, Reporter
Spencer Pfaff is a junior at Rockbridge County High School. This is his first year writing for the Prowler. He is an accomplished swimmer, placing sixth and seventh at the Virginia Class 3 State Championship meet in both the 50 and 100 freestyle. He achieved all-district third team in the 50 freestyle. Pfaff is also on the academic team and involved in Model UN. He is also a member of the National Honor Society. During his freetime, Pfaff enjoys watching TV, of which his favorite shows are “The Office”, “Breaking Bad”, and “Arrested Development”. His favorite subject in school is History, so he is currently taking AP US history. 

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