Joyful Learning with Christmas Movies

Welcome to day 3 of my series, Life Learning Through Christmas,  as part of iHN’s  5 Days of Christmas hop. Today is all about Christmas Movies.

I’m sure every family has their “must watch” Christmas favorites and ours, without a doubt, would be . . . . . .

A Christmas Story

Yes, I’m sure this is at the top of many peoples list, but it really is great. I’m not sure a month goes by that we don’t make some reference to this movie. My kids love it, my husband loves it, and I love it, we’re all happy.
What is it about this movie that just makes me smile? I’m not quite sure, but it does.

So how could a silly Christmas movie contribute to life learning? First, the setting is interesting for kids. No TV, only radio. The cars, the house, the magazines, the toys are all nothing like we have today.  Second, it also shows that no matter the time, people are the same. A kid in the 1940’s, even though he has no TV or computer, is pretty much just like them.

So for the die-hard fan, here are some silly gifts. I must have the fragile t-shirt!

 

If you’re a die-hard fan, you can even tour Raphie’s house in Cleveland!

It’s a Wonderful Life

Strangely, I don’t think I saw this movie until I was an adult, but it has become a Christmas favorite. Don’t we all see ourselves just a little bit in George Bailey?

However, to prove that we’re learning all the time, I just learned that when this film was released it was considered communist propaganda. Wow, that could lead to some very interesting conversations about economics, government, propaganda, and financial institutions.

Miracle on 34th Street

Certainly a classic, Miracle on 34th Street is synonymous with Christmas. I don’t want to see remakes or colorized versions, just the original black and white, please.

To add to the interesting Christmas trivia, did you know that Miracle on 34th Street was released in May and the fact that it was a Christmas movie was kept hush?

Why? Profit.

Movie executives were concerned their profit wouldn’t be high enough if the movie was confined to the niche Christmas market. Instead, they concealed that the movie was set during Christmas and had a summer release.

They obviously did something right, because the movie won three Oscars and was an instant classic.

White Christmas

Another movie I can’t believe I didn’t see until just a few years ago.  I actually ended up owning this movie because it came with It’s  a Wonderful Life when I bought it at Costco. The girls and I really liked it and have watched it multiple times.


It’s a musical, has Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and it’s set at Christmas, what’s not to love? The song White Christmas remains one of the best selling songs ever recorded.

The most interesting thing about this movie is that the music was written by Irving Berlin. Berlin came to American from Siberia in 1893 at only 5 years old. His family left Russia to escape Jewish persecution. He was a completely self-taught musician who by the 1920’s was one of the most successful American songwriters.

Berlin is the composer of “God Bless America,” “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better,” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” as well as many more.

These first two books are available for pre-order as they won’t be out until 2018, but the last is a Michael Hague illustrated version of White Christmas.

Here’s Irving Berlis singing “God Bless American” on The Ed Sullivan Show.

There’s also an Irving Berlin Songbook on Amazon Prime Music.

It All Counts

So even if you just want to spend some time this Christmas watching movies, there is always something interesting to discover.

Check out my other Life Learning Through Christmas Posts

Life Learning through Christmas Literature

Life Learning Through Christmas History

Art and Handicrafts Through Christmas

Exploring Science and Nature through Christmas

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Joyful Learning with Christmas Movies

 

5 Days of Christmas

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