My top 10 favorites:
- Miracle on 34th Street - Yes, I know it's not actually a Christmas movie, but it does show that not all important things can be seen and proved to the skeptical. Some things you just have to take on faith. Besides, the main character, Natalie Woods, looks just like my daughter did when she was that age.
- It's a Wonderful Life - not a bright movie, quite dark in many places. It exults the ordinary life, and what it can mean to others. Note that George didn't always have a wonderful attitude. He was bitter about spending the war at home. He couldn't stand to spend time with Sam Wainwright, as his friend's success provoked his envy. He could be a cranky old cuss. His wife, on the other hand, was a great example of the old-fashioned wife - patient, caring, cajoling him into a better frame of mind.
- Going My Way - a great depiction of a priest's life, and his approach to pastoral work.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas - the old version, with Boris Karloff's voice, is absolutely wonderful. Children love the evil in the Grinch, marveling at his awfulness. I think children recognize that they have a little Grinch in themselves, a yearning for all they can grab. Acquisitiveness and a desire to punish those who seem to have what they have not is something they understand.
- The Bishop's Wife - much better than "The Preacher's Wife", and more theologically sound. Loretta Young is a better wife, more innocent about Dudley's interest in her, and more involved in her child, regardless of the household help. Besides, Cary Grant is much sexier.
- The Three Godfathers - John plays an outlaw who gets saddled with the baby of a dead Mexican woman. He and his 2 partners, who are running from the law, care for the baby while on the lam. Shows the power of redemption and salvation. Both funny and tender, a seldom seen John Ford film.