It’s a Wonderful Life: Never Underestimate the Power of Tribes

One of the most memorable Christmas movies of all time is Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring the incomparable Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. It’s the ultimate feel-good movie, perfect for anyone who’s ever wondered if their life holds meaning. [Read more…]

Elf: Enthusiasm is Contagious

Take a six-foot tall adopted elf named Buddy (played by Will Ferrell) who wants to find his birth father, make that father the prickly James Caan, and throw them together in the midst of New York City and see what happens. Buddy wants a warm and cuddly family reunion; his father Walter wants nothing more than to make this newfound son disappear, preferably with a pair of cement boots on him. [Read more…]

The Little Drummer Boy: All Gifts are to be Honored

Even if you haven’t seen the animated special, you’ve probably heard the story or the song. But here’s a recap if you’re unaware: The three Wise Men and the shepherds are heading to see the Baby Jesus, and the little drummer boy comes along for the ride. He is embarrassed when he has no gift to offer the newborn Savior. [Read more…]

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: There’s Someone for Everyone

If you haven’t seen the original animated Grinch movie from 1966, you’ve likely seen the Jim Carrey version from 2000. But if you missed that one, too, here’s the recap: Green Grinch hates Christmas and hates the Whos, the sweet and lovable inhabitants of Whoville, who adore the holiday – but who have lost sight of the true meaning. So Grinch, accompanied by his long-suffering canine companion, Max, steals all their presents and decorations so he can extract his revenge. [Read more…]

Jingle All the Way: Serendipity Happens

Way back before Arnold was Governor of California, he starred in a Christmas caper called “Jingle All the Way.” As workaholic Howard Langston, Arnie races all over town on Christmas Eve, in search of the blockbuster toy “Turbo Man,” which he promised his wife he’d pick up months before. Since it’s the only present on their son’s Christmas list, the need is dire. [Read more…]

Christmas With the Kranks: Respond to Market Demands

“Christmas With the Kranks” is a slapstick comedy based on a book called “Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham. The upshot is that the protagonists, Luther and Nora Krank (played by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis), want to “skip” Christmas because their daughter is spending Christmas overseas in the Peace Corps. They plan to take all the money they save and go on a cruise. It’s a great plan, only they run into a few problems. [Read more…]