Written by Laura Foti
In these slightly less than predictable times, one thing that remains true and will never waiver is the nostalgia and feel good vibes that a Christmas movie provides. They’re really “the gift that keeps on giving” and prove themselves more of a staple than a stuffed turkey. This year in particular, what better excuse to curl up inside with a hot cocao in your pjs and reading socks (which are a great great idea if you’re stumped, and should be a staple in keeping with the theme) and add to your Christmas flick list?
Perhaps this year may seem less conventional than years past, so why not roll with the punches and contemplate some movie choices you’ve never considered? Maybe this is an opportunity to take the snowy road less travelled and could be an occasion to create some new movie essentials for you and your loved ones to enjoy.
With that in mind I decided to go rogue rather than entertain the “customary”, and found some options that CPL has to offer that could end up making your Christmas “list” for years beyond this one!
First things first, I went to my trusted source that I’ve come to rely on more than Netflix these days and that’s our Hoopla app. This is a great resource for borrowing movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks and even comics. I came across the movie Christmas In the City and decided to give it a try. In this film you’ll join a mother and daughter on their move to the big city, where Christmas is far different than the ones they’re accustomed to. While the Mom takes on a job at a department store, it’s pretty clear to both of them that the city lacks the Christmas spirit and it’s cute to join them in their adventure to try to keep this from happening. The typical role of Scrooge in the movie is well-played by Ashanti (R&B artist from the 90s) and her crafty ways of trying to sabotage the Christmas traditions makes this an inviting and interesting watch. Sadly, Ashanti doesn’t perform, however, the soundtrack and performances of holiday songs in the movie make up for it…a very enjoyable and easy watch.
Then I decided to see what I could find on our Kanopy app. This is a go-to for those who enjoy classic cinema, indie films, documentaries and festival award-winning films. Rather than watch the traditional Nutcracker, I opted for a documentary on a behind the scenes look at timeless ballet. Getting to the Nutcracker follows the comings and goings of a dance studio, and documents all the behind the scenes ins and outs of what goes into the whole production of this classic recital. Many angles are explored from the props, to music, to the decision-making process of how to cast and for what role. Young dancers and their families are documented and give their accounts of what this ballet means to them and the amount of pressure involved in the casting and performance. Gives the viewer a whole new appreciation for this age-old tradition.
Last, and certainly not least, I perused our vast collection of multi-media in one of our CPL locations and decided on a Christmas DVD comedy called The Night Before. To put it mildly, of all three choices it doesn’t get less traditional than this choice! If you’ve overdone it on the fruit cake this season, fear no longer, an ab workout is an added bonus this flick offers. I won’t spoil it, that would be a travesty, but three friends take their Christmas Eve adventure to a whole new level that makes the Griswold’s going to cut a tree down pale in comparison. This comedy does not disappoint and the lengths their characters go to make their last annual tradition as memorable as possible get increasingly more and more shocking as the Eve unfolds. Certainly not a pick for the faint of heart, and I’d suggest not having the kiddos around for this one, but for some intense laughter and shock value I highly recommend giving it a try.
There you have it folks! Whether you decide to stick with the traditional route this year, or choose the less conventional route, I hope that one thing remains unwavering, and that’s an enjoyable holiday with good company, good flicks, and good vibes all around. Season’s Greetings to all from all of us at CPL!