Every December there are certain movies and television specials that let us all know the holidays are upon us. Movies such as A Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, Elf, The Santa Clause, Home Alone, Die Hard, and It’s A Wonderful Life tug at our heartstrings, while classic television specials such as A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and Frosty the Snowman bring the Christmas cheer along with a healthy dose of nostalgia. For as long as I can remember, this was the epitome of watching television in December. While there is a certain comfort to routine, there’s only so many times you can watch two bumbling thieves be mutilated by a small child, and every year, the repetition eventually drives me to abandon television altogether. That is, with one exception: White Christmas.
Released in 1954, White Christmas is a classic musical film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen, and I have been in love with this film since I was a small child. It was the only film my grandparents owned that I enjoyed watching as a kid, and for years, every family dinner would invariably end with me glued to the television watching White Christmas, regardless of whether or not it was actually Christmastime. At first, I was too young to even understand the plot; I was simply fascinated by the musical numbers, but as I grew older, I came to love this story of two army buddies who become famous entertainers, and then use their clout to help their former commanding officer when his business is in danger, all while falling in love with two beautiful sisters. The film boasts over a dozen spectacular musical sequences, incredible singing and dancing from its leading ladies, plenty of laughs courtesy of the hilarious Danny Kaye, and Bing Crosby’s gorgeous rendition of the classic song, “White Christmas”. It’s a film with enough heart to melt even the sourest of Grinches.
Every year White Christmas airs on television repeatedly, and every year it severely impacts my productivity, because if I happen to come across it, I have to sit and watch it through to the very end. Not that I’m complaining, because I don’t think I could ever tire of this classic film from the Golden Age of Hollywood. It is simply too special and too close to my heart to ever wear out its welcome.
To whomever is reading this, wherever you are in the world, I hope that you are having a wonderful holiday season. Thank you for reading my musings on art and culture; I promise much more to come in 2014, but for now, I hope you are enjoying time with family and friends and eating lots of great food. For me, the fireplace is on and the television beckons. A certain movie is about to start.