Disapproval Would Be Folly...

Several times over the last couple weeks, people have asked me this question: What is your favorite Christmas movie? Of course, they sometimes ask this when I am decked out in my sweet Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington silk shirt with the Jack-faced buttons running down the front. Or often they will ask this when I am standing in front of them in my Jack scarf, striped and with Jack's smiling, beguiling face on either end. I am often surprised, though, how many people don't identify Nightmare as a Christmas flick, when it most certainly is one. I am equally surprised at the number of people who have yet to see it.

But Nightmare, while it would seem it is a given, is not my choice. Even though it is one of my very favorite movies, on my list of Christmas movies (this does not include TV specials, mind you) there can really only be one choice: the original 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street (in black and white, thank you very much!) While I am not normally given to the accepted ideas of family in our society, this one gets to me, and while I watch it, nothing becomes more important to me than whether sweet little Natalie Wood (so smart, so unmoved by the fantasy trappings of Christmas) gets the home she has always wanted, and whether her mother will hook up with "Uncle Bob", the lawyer neighbor who has won their hearts, and finally give her a complete family unit again. Oh yeah, and whether she will finally believe that the twinkly-eyed old gentleman named Kris Kringle (played by Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Edmund Gwenn, the most charming Santa ever) who has entered her world is really the Kris Kringle, the Santa Claus that her mother has taught her is nothing but stuff and nonsense. And also whether we, the viewers, believe he is...

I'm telling you, this one gets to me. To use Kevin Smith's term for the manner in which men weep during movies, the room got "dusty" about three times during Miracle on 34th Street for me, and I can't friggin' help it. Jen mocked me just a little for this (though she didn't watch it with me, but did see some of it later in the evening when it ran on TCM), but I can't help it. It's been this way with this movie since I was a kid. Especially when little Susan Walker (Wood) asks her mother (a gorgeous Maureen O'Hara) whether Kris is sad because of all the trouble he is having in the film. She answers, "Yes, I suppose he is..." ---

Oh! Hey! Did a wind whip up or something? Is there a tornado coming this way? Is there something in the air content? Because something is making my eyes water... what the hell? Ah, it got to me again just writing about it. Merry Christmas everyone!

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