Tag Archive: elf

Watching a Christmas Movie?

by Karyn Bowman

So what makes a good Christmas movie?

This time of year we all talk about what we like or don’t like in a Christmas movie. But it comes down to a few factors, two actually.

Redemption and Reconciliation.

After much thought and deliberation, it seems true that the best movies in this genre are all about the redemption of a lost soul or the reconciliation of a relationship whether it is between lovers or among family members.

Do I need to bring in a case in point?

Bruce Willis going through a window in "Die Hard." Image from IMDb.com

Bruce Willis going through a window in “Die Hard.” Image from IMDb.com

How about Die Hard? In this movie the good guy, that’s Bruce Willis, is visiting his wife and children in California. He is a New York City police office unwilling to move to California but he still loves his wife. So he comes to visit at her Christmas office party.

To say things go horrible wrong as terrorists invade the party would be an understatement. But with a few smart moves and a partnership with a Los Angeles police officer, McClain is able to save his wife and most of her co-workers. In the end, there is a satisfying reconciliation between the couple.

If you need more, there is always A Christmas Carol. Ebenezer find redemption from being a miser who cares about no one to a man who keeps the spirit of Christmas in his heart all year-long. Granted, he needs the help of four different ghosts and to see what lies ahead in the future if he does nothing. We stick around for the journey because we love the destination of Redemption.

What other movies can we label this way?

Poster image from IMDb.com

Poster image from IMDb.com

Elf   – Reconciliation and Redemption

It’s a Wonderful Life   –   Redemption

A Charlie Brown Christmas  – Redemption

A Christmas Story   –   Redemption

The Holiday  –  Redemption

Love Actually  –  Redemption and Reconciliation

The Cheaters  –  Redemption

Bad Santa  –   Redemption

The Santa Clause   –  Redemption

Miracle on 34th Street   – Redemption and Reconciliation

Any Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie  –  Redemption and Reconciliation

We could go on and on like this. The truth is if movie makers could figure out the perfect Christmas movie we would have more of them that are great. But perhaps we must remember Bette Davis who once shamed a reporter who tried to say there were many great movies in the vaults. She responded by saying that about 5 – 10 great movies were made on any given year but the rest were crap.

Christmas movies get us in the heart whether it is about a reindeer, a journey to the north pole, or an old man who says he is Santa when logic tells you there is no way that man could be Santa. I love watching them and know I will be doing a lot of that this weekend.

So what about your favorite Christmas movie? Is it about reconciliation or redemption?


Family Movie Night


by Karyn Bowman


This week is Thanksgiving.


Image by Jzlomek

At the quiet moments we are trying to remember why we are thankful. We are happy for having a job, having a roof over our head and the ability to put on this meal. We are thankful for healthy kids and good enough health for ourselves.


All of us have friends and relatives going through rough patches – lost jobs or serious health issues. My cousins are mourning the loss of their mother just two Thanksgivings ago. I pray for their hearts to be healed even though I can’t imagine losing my mother yet.


In the hustle and bustle of this holiday, there is cooking to be done and favorite dishes to get on the table. Green bean casserole, mashed sweet potatoes, mince meat pie, and pumpkin pie. And don’t forget the whipped cream. Some of you may enjoy the tussle of Black Friday shopping or giving a local business some money on Small Business Saturday.


There is no doubt this will be one busy week.


It is also the beginning of the holiday season, the ramp up to Christmas and all that goes with it. Band concerts, holiday plays, parties, sports tournaments.


So what do you do to relax?


When it comes to family watching movies together, it can be tricky. Our whole immediate family loves Kung Fu Panda. Perhaps it is because we like Jack Black but this movie is really fun. My dad is not a big fan and has said “I am not watching a Panda movie.” Fair enough, I say.


Finding that middle ground movie can be difficult. My dad likes movies with chase scenes and explosion that I do not appreciate for their language content. Perhaps that is why some holiday movies surpass all of that. They allow all family members to have something everyone can relate to without being too objectionable.



Poster image from IMDb.com

Movies such as Miracle on 34th Street and What a Wonderful Life are heart warming movies that everyone could watch although I do not think many kids are really interested in the latter movie.


That is when you bring out movies such as Elf in which Will Ferrell plays a man who was a foundling that found its way into Santa’s bag and the North Pole. Once he becomes a super-sized adult, Santa lets Buddy the elf know his true heritage and sends him on his way to New York City to find his father.


It is a magical movie with a great chase scene and some great comedic moments. Most of it is pretty safe for kids. But here is hoping they do not ask you to decorate the house as fast as Buddy can.


Poster image from IMDb.com

There is one movie I would suggest for the weekend is The Nativity Story starring Kasha Castle-Hughes as Mary, the mother of Jesus. Many people will recount how Christ is being taken out of Christmas but how are they keeping him there? I find that when I watch this movie about Mary and her life in the months before the baby Jesus is born, I gain greater understanding of both Mary and Joseph.


The movie allows us to better appreciate the times in which Mary and Joseph were living as well as how the dangers of their trip to Bethlehem. Director Catherine Hardwicke put together a rich movie filled with the sights and sounds of the era that recounts a story many of know by heart in parts. The other parts, she has brought to life so that we can imagine these miracles once more.



Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.