Scene Stealers: Christmas Edition

For such a festive and family-oriented holiday, Christmas is a major setting for so many genres. From B+ horror movies with murderous snowman to wholesome cartoons and adult-situated comedies, there is perhaps no season of the year that has so many memorable tv specials and movies. There are so many movies out there or centered around the holiday, it's hard to pick favorites. Typically, my family tries to gather in the living as much as possible to hit all the ones we can remember to watch. I thought it'd be fun with this edition of Scene Stealers to share some of my most preferred scenes. What are your favorite Christmas scenes?

To almost entirely contradict the introduction to this post, I'm not a big fan of Love, Actually - actually. Though it does explore the many different facets of love especially during the holidays, there are a lot of questionable scenes and character actions that doesn't necessarily make it a classic for me. Except for the kids, and some scenes of like Hugh Grant dancing, there aren't many couples to root for. But, this scene with Mark (Andrew Lincoln) sharing his feelings for Juliet (Keira Knightley) is really quite swoon-worthy.

Oh, everyone dreams a dysfunction-less family Christmas? And, Poor Clark Griswald in Christmas Vacation. That does not work out in his favor at all. Finally, after several days of dealing with argumentative parents and in-laws, 25,000 twinkle lights failing to illuminate, his redneck, crazy cousin showing up with his family in a camper, and not getting his holiday bonus, he just loses it. As much love is spread during the holidays, sometimes you just need to freak out.

Perhaps one of the most famous tales is the one of Ebeneezer Scrooge; a miserly rich grouch who infinitely overtaxes the poor until he is visited by ghosts of the Christmas past, present, and future. As far back as 1908, Hollywood has made countless versions of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. My favorite rendition is the 1970 installment starring Albert Finney, who was only in his thirties at the time and had make-up intricately applied to make him look older.

One of my favorite aspects of the movie is the score composed by Leslie Bricusse, and arranged and conducted by Ian Fraser. Not only is it original and inventive, but almost quite addictive. My favorite scene is Thank You Very Much. During his trip with the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, Scrooge believes the town is cheering his great work as a man when in actuality they are raving about the new-found freedom of his death. The jocularity is simply off the charts. I love the simple yet impactful actions by Anton Rodgers as Tom Jenkins like tapping on the coffin as it goes by. This song is reprised later on when Scrooge finally realizes his wrongdoings. What a parallel!

There aren't a lot of Christmas recitals in cinema that go off without a hitch. Mean Girls is a perfect example. The social structure of the Plastics starts to crumble at a high school winter dance when a saucy rendition of Jingle Bell Rock goes entirely wrong. One of the great reasons this scene is marked a favorite because of the obvious point of over-sexualization screenwriter Tina Fey was trying to make. And, also so many high school students do their own version of this funny scene for their own talent shows and Christmas parties.

Based off of the short stories and anecdotes by Jean Shepherd, A Christmas Story is absolutely a classic. Young Ralphie only wants one thing for Christmas: a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and "this thing which tells time". The only problem is that every adult in his life believes he'll shoot his eye out.

Watching this movie on TBS for twenty-four hours straight (or at least having it on as background noise) is one of my family's top X-mas traditions. Going to school with Ralphie's friends, taking on the local alleyway bully, and trying ever which way to get this air rifle are some unforgettable moments. My favorite is when Ralphie's father wins a major award from a contest: a plastic lamp of a hustler's leg. Ralphie's pubescent excitement, his father's confused jubilation and his mother's intense disapproval is priceless.

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