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Christmas on Celluloid


Evidently this is the 25th anniversary of the release of the first “Home Alone” movie.

No way does it seem that long. Until, that is, you take a look at a recent picture of Macauley Culkin.
You’ve seem pictures of beautiful little Hollywood child stars growing fine line up to be ugly.ducklings.
The older version of the young Culkin looks as if he's a stand-in for one of the characters in “The Walking Dead.” Such a sin!
I don’t know if making disparaging remarks of someone of your own gender is frowned upon. If it is, I apologize. But the truth is, he ain’t pretty and that's a fact. He's got to be in his middle 30s by now, but that’s no excuse. I know several people in that age group. You don’t look half that bad. A few, anyway.
I caught “Home Alone” while channel-flipping late last night.
The story of an eight-year-old boy being mistakenly left home at Christmas by his parents when they leave to holiday in Paris is as delightful as it was a place quarter century ago. Young Culkin is marvellous, and Joe Pesci is his usual irrepressible self.
I mention this movie because it is one of the most entertaining Christmas movies ever made. Here we are at the beginning of the Christmas holiday season with the kids home soon, to get your way, much as you love them, and you need something to fill all their time, apart from the ever present violent and bloodthirsty video games.
Nothing like a good movie in tune with the spirit of the season for the family to sit down and enjoy together.
You know, I accordingly have a couple ideas for good Christmas viewing (no! not “Bad Santa,” unless you promise not to be within 100 feet of any child below 21 until January 15).
There are many Christmas movies on the go, most of them really mean tearjerkers. That’s OK. Christmas by its very nature appeals more to the heart than to the mind if Christmas is for children, that might certainly explain why.
When I was a boy, I remember on several different occasions my father abandoning his sermon notes for Christmas Day and instead reading a Christmas story to his congregation. The story was called “Why the Chimes Rang.” It made a tremendous impression on me and I remember how much I used to look forward to hearing it.
The story was written by a man named Raymond MacDonald Alden around 1900.
It tells the story of the great cathedral in a “far-off land where few people have ever gone” in which there was a magical set of beautiful Christmas chimes.
Each year the rich and the great would lay their gifts to the Christ child on the altar at Christmas Eve.
The greatest gift of all would cause the chimes to ring. A young boy, Pedro, and his “Little Brother” set out to see the Christmas Eve service and hear the chimes ring..
As a 10-year-old boy I was very much affected by the story and the lesson it taught about who is greatest has stayed with me ever since.
If the movie is not readily available, an alternative idea might be to download the story and do a reading on Christmas Eve. We always do “The Night before Christmas” just before everyone goes to bed. Been doing that for more than 50 years. Try the movie the same night or another night.
“The Little Match Girl” isn't exactly a Christmas story. It is essentially a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson about a little girl who sells matches on the streets of New York in the early 20th century.
It’s appropriate for Christmas in that the gap between those who have of those who have a great deal is painfully obvious.
If you have a copious amount of Kleenex on hand and you like the extreme tearjerker stuff, you’d really enjoy it.
I like movies that teach us something about ourselves and about each other and about what's really important.
That's the basic message of Christmas, is it not?

No way does it seem that long. Until, that is, you take a look at a recent picture of Macauley Culkin.
You’ve seem pictures of beautiful little Hollywood child stars growing fine line up to be ugly.ducklings.
The older version of the young Culkin looks as if he's a stand-in for one of the characters in “The Walking Dead.” Such a sin!
I don’t know if making disparaging remarks of someone of your own gender is frowned upon. If it is, I apologize. But the truth is, he ain’t pretty and that's a fact. He's got to be in his middle 30s by now, but that’s no excuse. I know several people in that age group. You don’t look half that bad. A few, anyway.
I caught “Home Alone” while channel-flipping late last night.
The story of an eight-year-old boy being mistakenly left home at Christmas by his parents when they leave to holiday in Paris is as delightful as it was a place quarter century ago. Young Culkin is marvellous, and Joe Pesci is his usual irrepressible self.
I mention this movie because it is one of the most entertaining Christmas movies ever made. Here we are at the beginning of the Christmas holiday season with the kids home soon, to get your way, much as you love them, and you need something to fill all their time, apart from the ever present violent and bloodthirsty video games.
Nothing like a good movie in tune with the spirit of the season for the family to sit down and enjoy together.
You know, I accordingly have a couple ideas for good Christmas viewing (no! not “Bad Santa,” unless you promise not to be within 100 feet of any child below 21 until January 15).
There are many Christmas movies on the go, most of them really mean tearjerkers. That’s OK. Christmas by its very nature appeals more to the heart than to the mind if Christmas is for children, that might certainly explain why.
When I was a boy, I remember on several different occasions my father abandoning his sermon notes for Christmas Day and instead reading a Christmas story to his congregation. The story was called “Why the Chimes Rang.” It made a tremendous impression on me and I remember how much I used to look forward to hearing it.
The story was written by a man named Raymond MacDonald Alden around 1900.
It tells the story of the great cathedral in a “far-off land where few people have ever gone” in which there was a magical set of beautiful Christmas chimes.
Each year the rich and the great would lay their gifts to the Christ child on the altar at Christmas Eve.
The greatest gift of all would cause the chimes to ring. A young boy, Pedro, and his “Little Brother” set out to see the Christmas Eve service and hear the chimes ring..
As a 10-year-old boy I was very much affected by the story and the lesson it taught about who is greatest has stayed with me ever since.
If the movie is not readily available, an alternative idea might be to download the story and do a reading on Christmas Eve. We always do “The Night before Christmas” just before everyone goes to bed. Been doing that for more than 50 years. Try the movie the same night or another night.
“The Little Match Girl” isn't exactly a Christmas story. It is essentially a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson about a little girl who sells matches on the streets of New York in the early 20th century.
It’s appropriate for Christmas in that the gap between those who have of those who have a great deal is painfully obvious.
If you have a copious amount of Kleenex on hand and you like the extreme tearjerker stuff, you’d really enjoy it.
I like movies that teach us something about ourselves and about each other and about what's really important.
That's the basic message of Christmas, is it not?

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