Tune into Christmas shows

Elsewhere in today’s newspaper (the Television page), you will find a story about the proliferation of TV movies having a Christmas theme. My wife enjoys many of these holiday movies, and I’m getting into them more because, honestly, I love anything to do with Christmas.

Most of these holiday movies are on the feel-good channels (Hallmark, Lifetime, UP TV), but occasionally they show up on the networks and especially on Turner Classic Movies, where the focus is on quality, usually black-and-white, films from the past.

Last Sunday, for example, exhausted from our Thanksgiving trip to the home of one of our kids, we stayed in, in pajama pants, in easy chairs, in proximity to the coffee pot, incapacitated. We watched movies that day and into the night because to have moved beyond the remote control would have been painful.

Now, if you haven’t seen these movies, let me describe one and, in doing so, describe all of them. First, the world being what it has sunk to, they aren’t actually Christmas movies, but “holiday” movies. Even though they deal with Christmastime, there is no Jesus, no church services, no prayers. The only

“miracle” is that such impossibly beautiful men and women have not yet found the loves of their lives, their “soulmates.” (I need to go wash out my brain for

even thinking such a lame term.)

Without the manger scene – thank God for A Charlie Brown Christmas for including the appropriate passage from Luke 2 – the only subjects left to tackle are meeting Mr./Miss Right, encountering Santa Claus in disguise, shopping for gifts, decorating the apartment and learning life lessons.

It’s often difficult to decipher the plot of any one movie because, the whole time the beautiful people are talking, they are drowned out by an overbearing musical score. Mostly, it’s loud piano, with loud jingle bells and loud harps mixed in. I’ve never understood why the characters don’t get equal billing with the score, but TV people know much more than I.

These movies already are in constant rotation on the romance channels, but as Christmas nears, we can expect TCM to fill its hours with valued – in other words, “old” – films such as Miracle on 34th Street (the original 1947 version starring a young Natalie Wood), Christmas in Connecticut (starring Barbara Stanwyck), A Christmas Carol (various versions, all good, and sometimes named Scrooge), Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story and, of course, It’s a Wonderful Life.

None of these deals with the first Christmas, either, but they stress its meaning and have classic lines: “Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to.” “Merry Christmas, you wonderful old building and loan!” “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”

Keep your television on this Christmas, but beware of BB guns.

Reach Glynn Moore at glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.

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