Christmas Movies: A Perfect Holiday Pastime

{Written by Journalism I student Daniela Zevallos ’20}

Oh, how the times have changed.

December is a key month to indulge in one of the classic traditions: Christmas movies.     Whether it be movies from the 50’s or Netflix specials, watching Christmas movies is a must during the holiday season.

Over the course of several decades, however, the style of Christmas movies has definitely changed from traditional family-friendly plots to comedies and finally to cheesy rom-coms.

“The old movies had more Christmas spirit in them versus the more recent, less appropriate films,” freshman Katharine Bales said.

From the late 40’s to early 80’s, the classic style for holiday movies was family-friendly, orthodox movies. The late 40’s brought classics like It’s A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street, and the 50’s and 60’s showcased beloved characters like Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, the Grinch, and Charlie Brown and his friends.

“I definitely like old movies. They had a real message while the new ones, like Hallmark, always end with the girl getting engaged or married,” history teacher Bernie Paul said. “Christmas is more than just romance.”

Being classics, something about the older movies still entices audiences to continue to watch these year after year.

Though still targeted towards families, the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s added more comedy, sometimes adult humor, to their holiday classics. Winners like A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, The Santa Clause, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Elf had families bursting into laughter.

“I prefer holiday comedies because it makes me laugh, and it brings me happiness, which is just what I need around Christmas time,” junior Hope Whitcraft said.

Today’s writers and directors, though, aim their movies specifically at adults rather than at families, as was the case in previous decades.

An article by Fatherly, titled “The Reason Nobody is Making Good Christmas Movies Anymore,” discovered that directors tend to either create a Christmas movie with an unorthodox genre or lose the essence of Christmas spirit all together.

One person who does prefer the cheesy style of Hallmark movies is theology teacher Kellie Fitzpatrick. Although they are predictable, she loves how “they are overall wholesome and good-hearted, and you know that the person is going to end up happy.”

Nowadays, holiday films, which audiences can watch on places like the Hallmark channel or Netflix, have turned into either R-rated comedies or cheesy rom-coms.

On the bright side, even though movies like Love Actually, A Bad Moms Christmas, and Office Christmas Party don’t suit kids, some parents cherish the chance to enjoy a movie on their own.

Despite significant differences in each period’s styles, many decades have produced timeless and rewatchable classics.

The beauty of Christmas movies is that, with different genres from every decade, there is sure to be a favorite for everyone.

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