I’m going to cut down on the length for this one, as I realize I have this tendency to write Finnegan’s Wake in blog format. This is simply a list of good Christmas books and Movies that I think every one should check out. I have purposefully made it more obscure than most Christmas lists, which have all the usual books and movies listed on them that you’ve already seen a million times.
In terms of books and stories:
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens: Enough has already been said about this one. I included it because, although not very unknown, I feel not many people read the original.
A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas: Great short story from a guy who was known primarily as a poet; autobiographical sketch is a more accurate word.
The Ledge, Lawrence Sargent Hall: This is a very unheardof story that can be found in the massive collection The Best American Short Stories of The Century, edited by John Updike. This is a tragic piece of work, so don’t expect holiday cheer, exactly.
The Nutcracker, E.T.A. Hoffman: The original story is fairly interesting. You can see the temptation to make it in to some kind of spectacle like a ballet, for example.
Lastly, for the books, is one that I wrote a post about earlier this semester:
Sir Gawain and The Green Knight: Only debatably a Christmas story, I suppose. But I consider it one. It’s story is framed by the holiday season, and it’s intense Christianity (okay, Paganism) is the focal reason I would call it ‘christmas-y’
In terms of Movies:
Fanny and Alexander, dir: Ingmar Bergman: You may not have heard of this film, and if you have, it’s probably been in a context other than “Christmas Story.” But I do see this as, broadly, a holiday movie, albeit a very unusual one. It’s also very long.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: I am something of a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I’ll admit it here, but nowhere else. That show’s outrageous send-up of this obscure, horrible movie from the red-scare days of the 50’s is the most lighthearted fun I can think of.
Okay everybody, happy holidays.