Holiday classics usher in new year

Connor KocklerColumn, Opinion, Print Editions, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print Sauk Rapids - Rice, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

I can’t believe it. Once again we are in a new year; 365 days have unfortunately gone by so fast. Now is the time I have to transition to writing 2018 as the date on papers and documents, even when I was just getting used to switching to 2017 from 2016. Christmas is over, to return in another year that might just go as fast as this one.

As I have discussed before, the holiday season is one of my favorite times in large part due to the atmosphere of giving and togetherness it provides. This is accomplished through decorations, snow on the ground, music. But there’s something that also really gets me into the mood of the season, and that’s holiday movies.

There are certain movies saved only for Christmas and New Year’s among my relatives because for our family they bring a more special significance then. It all seems so much more relatable when the weather outside mirrors the television screen, and the characters work to put up the Christmas tree and make the most of the season.

As soon as Thanksgiving blows through, my mother likes to turn the television over to 25 Days of Christmas on the Hallmark channels. Although I find these movies a little sappy, it’s encouraging there are networks that devote their time to provide entertainment with a lot of holiday values and spin on the airways. I’ve seen enough cheesy romances to guess the plot a mile away, and seen many a Scrooge-like character turned into a Christmas-lover by their caring neighbors, but I think people keep coming back to these themes because they say something about what this time of year is supposed to be about.

A film that usually gets pulled out at the family gatherings is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Despite its 1980s release, it maintains a lot of relevancy and odd situations that make for laughs even in our changed times. Finding the perfect Christmas tree, dealing with unexpected family situations and just general shenanigans are a start. The Griswold family reminds us our sometimes-stressful holiday experiences could certainly be getting a lot more out of hand.

Building into that theme is one of my personal favorites, Home Alone 2. Though I am also a fan of the first Home Alone movie, its sequel catches more of the Christmas spirit and sees Kevin McCallister up to his old antics, not just to torment the idiotic bad guys, but to protect and help those less fortunate than himself. Without getting too far into the plot, a young kid realizes the true meaning of Christmas, as we all hope to do as well.

Finally, I will end with a favorite of my grandmother’s, and a truly classic tale of the holiday spirit. This, of course, is White Christmas. It has everything you could ask for from a great Christmas movie – wonderful music, scenery, romance and one of the most heart-touching tributes I know in a movie. After World War II is over, two soldiers who have made it as successful entertainers find partners and run into their old commanding officer from the conflict. The rest is history, and if you’ve never seen it before, I encourage you to watch it.

So as we start off in the new year, let’s all be sure to hold the lessons of the past holiday season with us, start our New Year’s resolutions off right and work toward making the world better one kind act at a time. Whether it’s with our favorite films, songs or holiday activities, there are many things that can remind us of what really is important. This January, we can use the holidays and its values to get a good start on the new year.

Connor Kockler is a Sauk Rapids-Rice High School student. He enjoys writing, politics and news, among other interests.

Author: Connor Kockler

Kockler enjoys extensive reading, especially biographies and historical novels, and he has always had an almost inborn knack for writing well. He also enjoys following the political scene, nationally and internationally. In school, his favorite subjects are social studies and language. Two of his other hobbies are golfing and bicycling.

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