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Christmas Movies, Again

 

Mom is getting VERY tired of Christmas movies. I try to tell her that it’s either a Christmas movie or another two hours of watching the news, or, we can watch repeats of Law & Order for the tenth time each. She acts like I’m purposely making her suffer through Twee Season (see what I did there? Twee for Tree?), and blocking all of the sensible shows from the TV.

This is not my fault. Actually, there have been more than a few Christmas movies this season that I had to stop watching early on. Usually I like the sugary sweet love stories, and the magical touches that make everything turn out alright, but sometimes the acting is too unbelievable, even for me.

butterfy-with-hair-stand-up

“Am I sugary sweet, Mommy?”

Poor Mom is stuck, because she doesn’t like the too sweet movies, and she doesn’t like the edge-of-your-seat-the-world-is-ending movies (or news), and there’s not much left in between right now.

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“The world is ending, Grandma!”

This is the time of year when I wish I could forget the plot lines of all of the shows I love, and then I could watch the repeats for hours on end, in pure bliss. But, damn it, my memory is too good. If I try to watch the reruns, I get impatient with my favorite characters for making the same mistakes they made the last time I watched this damn episode.

And I still haven’t given in and joined Netflix, or whatever it is you do with Netflix or Hulu or Amazon. I still borrow DVD’s from the library when I want to catch up on episodes of Miss Marple or Foyle’s War (not kidding).

It helps to have something relaxing on TV while I’m doing my schoolwork at the computer, because if I paid too much attention to the darkness and despair we read and write about in my social work classes, my head would explode. Instead, I listen to Christmas movie dialogue, and reach down to scratch Butterfly’s head, and look over at Cricket’s enigmatic face every once in a while, for reassurance that we haven’t all gone to hell in a handbasket.

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Ideally, all Christmas movies would star Jimmy Stewart, or Tom Hanks, and be directed by Frank Capra or Nora Ephron, and I could just relax my critical mind and let them take me on a floating journey. I could listen to Louis Armstrong singing about a wonderful world, and watch snow fall on the screen, while I sit in my warm, cozy living room, and believe, for a few hours, that everything will be okay.

 

Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?

cricket-in-snow-2

“Yeah!!!!!!!!!”

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About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

104 responses »

  1. I can sympathize , throw football in the boat and that’s my choices. Tide just sleeps in his new bed. It looks really comfy, it took him awhile to go in there., he preferred the sofa pillows. 🙂

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  2. ramblingsofaperforatedmind

    Just give in and get Netflix…..

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  3. Since we only have an antenna for our T.V. we’re stuck watching whichever of the 4 stations we can get to come in (more or less). This means we’re usually stuck with ION. Now I like the shows that Ion has on usually but they’re all reruns (so, like you I want to holler at the characters, “Didn’t you learn anything the LAST time you were in this episode?” And right now it’s ALL Christmas movies all weekend. I want to climb a clock tower with a rifle and shoot everyone who looks even moderately cheerful.

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  4. I stay away from TV, Rachel. Not a darn good thing on it so I stay on the computer, read or paint. My husband alerts me if something earthshattering is on the tube. And sometimes I pretend I don’t hear…but that’s between you and me. And Cricket and Butterfly. That last photo is such a winner! Run, Cricket, run! ❤

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  5. i love christmas movies!

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  6. sweet pictures or Cricket and Butterfly 😉

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  7. I can truly empathize with you on this. If I watch one more Hallmark Christmas movie I may become diabetic. They are all written by someone who doesn’t know any more than one dead horse plot.

    I agree that Foyles War is wonderful television. I would recommend “Mozart in the jungle. ”

    Enjoy

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  8. I just wish we’d get some snow down here ☃🌨🌬

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  9. I don’t watch TV at all. I do Netflex, Prime and Youtube. I love Murder She Wrote. I know all the dialogue by heart. 🙂 The Christmas shows are a bit much—but I like Christmas!

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  10. I am a library person too. I just watched Genius. It’s a great movie, neither Christmas nor the end of the world. Just plain old drama. I also like a Christmas movie called The Holiday. Btw, I’m also a Foyle’ War fan. 🙂

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  11. Netflix is good, but Acorn is a great streaming service. It’s pretty much a British Netflix with all kinds of great mysteries and comedies from the UK. Canada, Australia and NZ. They’re not overacted or doomsday-ish. I know what you mean about the overly sappy holiday movies. Some of the Hallmark ones are especially saccharine imo. And i have completely blocked out news shows until after Christmas. My blood pressure and sadness level were too high for my comfort. Take great care. xx

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  12. Thanks Rachel you just made me even happier I haven’t had a TV since 1984. If you’re a Foyle’s War fan (me too) marple25mary’s suggestion of Acorn would probly work for you. When I’m writing on the laptop I use YouTube,I listen to music or Librivox recordings and radio programs. When I was a kid my grandmother found a radio staion that rebroadcast the old radio programs and I spent many happy Saturday afternoons listening to them with her while baking and prepping for Sunday dinner. That shot of running Cricket just went to the top of my all time favorites. Love it.

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  13. Lol, I love your dog, and Christmas movies! 🙂

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  14. Rachel, you have captured my emotions perfectly. It is wonderful to not feel alone. Thank you.

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  15. I’m not much of a TV watcher but there are still a few Christmas movies I can tolerate each year. The Ref, with Denis Leary and Kevin Spacey is one of my favorites, probably because it’s cynical and snarky, kind of like me. 🙂 I’ll take humor over sappy and sweet any day. Is that terrible?

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  16. That would be a wonderful thing. And add ice cream 🙂

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  17. Luckily Australian doesn’t go too overboard with Christmas movies. There are no Christmas movies on this afternoon, and only one channel is showing any tonight. Another channel has the Christmas Carols in the Domain in Sydney. One series, ‘Call the Midwife’, has a Christmas special.

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  18. Have you tried downloading any old time radio programs. Most have Christmas specials. A little Dragnet Christmas (The Big Jesus – I think it’s called) or a little Yours Truly Johnny Dollar. There are at least 50 over at greatdetectives.net. Just search Christmas. Variety is the spice of life. With cute ears like that, Cricket should be able to listen anywhere in the house.

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  19. I like the hallmark movie channel ones, but they do get a little sappy sometimes….I look for the story, but probably my favorite Christmas movie is Love, Actually. I have yet to watch it this year, I may settle in with dear James and a semi-secret fantasy quilt and watch that tomorrow night. Join me;-) if it’s on….it’s not entirely sappy, I promise;-).

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  20. I agree with you Rachel, there is not a lot worth watching — AND I have Netflix. I grew up with Fort Apachie, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Horse Soldiers, It’s A Wonderful life, and the Wizard of Oz. There were also live variety Shows. Today I sometimes feel like Batman’s Joker “Why so Serious?” There’s not even a decent James Bond movie.

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  21. It’s much the same in the UK. We make some good TV, but rarely for Christmas. Sugary sweet or “celebrities” doing nothing interesting. Veteran comedy (some good, but jokes get less funny by repeating). As for disaster films and books, the problem is, you actually know the world will NOT end. Just one or two really good old films will get an airing: I could watch the original “The Magnificent Seven” any number of times, or from the UK stable, “Chariots of Fire” or “Local Hero”. But thought-provoking films like “Secrets and Lies”? Not at Christmas.

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  22. I totally agree with your take on TV and it isn’t just the states or the UK it’s more or less everywhere and that is coming from someone who used to make TV, it’s why I moved on to movies, but then most of what is out there is not wonderful either sadly.

    Foyles War is brilliant, have you seen Land Girls? I liked that and not just because my daughter Jo starred in it! I promise.

    To be honest we actually don’t watch TV, we don’t have Netflix, Sky or any other subscription service and the local TV is in Czech, a language that I have been unable to fathom in the decade plus I have lived here.

    However when working in LA or back when I lived in London I didn’t watch it either, just not engaged I suppose.

    I wanted to wish you a very Happy Christmas and thank you for a very entertaining blog which I always look forward to reading.

    Purrs,

    The Cat

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    • The Land Girls was great! Go Jo!!!!!!!

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      • Thanks, I’m so glad you liked Land Girls. I don’t know if you recall but in one episode Jo gets married, well in real life she dated and now lives with the actor she married, Liam Boyle and they are very happy.

        I know Jo is my daughter, but she is a really accomplished and talented actress. When she was 16 she was the young Estella in Great Expectations which feature of the Christmas programme for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon. She was amazing and the reviews were brilliant.

        Bless her she lived for three months alone in a cottage (supplied by the theatre) opposite the theatre, Sian Phillips was next door, she played Miss Haversham and was exceptional.

        Next year Jo stars in a British movie entitled Monochrome which has been sometime the making, hopefully it will be worth the wait.

        Happy Holidays,

        Purrs,

        The Cat

      • I’m looking forward to seeing the movie!!!!

  23. Come on over to the dark side…Netflix is the is answer 😉

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  24. I miss having cable and spending Sundays on the couch with sappy Christmas movies. However, I am so very happy with my Netflix addiction. It really is so much fun.

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  25. I have resorted to watching home buying shows where I can predict two certainties. “This will have to be totally gutted”; and “this closet won’t fit my clothes!” Pretty crazy and good for a laugh.🤣

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  26. I hear you Rachel! With what we are paying for cable, you would think we could find something to watch!!!! UGGGGHHHHHH!

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  27. I’m with you. I really sort of loathe the “Christmas” films where boy meets girl (substitute man and woman for some of them) and initially hate each other and then of course fall in love just in time for Christmas. There’s usually an overly cute kid or an old codger to sweeten things (as if they needed it) or a cat or dog. Bleah. A group I belong to that critiques films and talks about shows has a couple of members who are so happy this kind of stuff is on the TV and plan to watch all of them if possible. I get a cavity just reading the introduction. And FYI Netflix has succumbed to the sugar too. I logged in last night to watch something (anything to pass some time) and found most of the films offered were either geared to children or were these type of sugary sweet love story Christmas films. I’m diabetic for heaven’s sake!!! Netflix is the cheapest of the options for non-advertising filled viewing (which even satellite TV is now inundated with unless you want to pay exorbitant fees and watch the same five or six films over and over and over..). At $8 a month it’s not bad. And there is a large variety offered…I’m partial to the English (BBC) type programs (like Miss Marple and Poirot and the like)..so I usually find one of those and have a good evening.

    I love the photos of Butterfly and Cricket, they are so darling!! ❤

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  28. The female peep is on the Hallmark channel constantly. How can the rest of us know? The music is the same for all of them.

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  29. I’ve finally stopped watching Home Alone 1 & 2 for the 87th time and turned to music instead. If only I had a fireplace to hear seasonal crackling sounds rather than the current holiday TV drivel.

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  30. You always get such great expressive pictures of butterfly and cricket! Netflix is a great choice to watch what you choose. Unfortunately, I am prone to binge watch entire seasons of my favorite shows. But it’s much better than then same old reruns. Can’t beat it at $25 a month.

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  31. Because of the always adventurous Pretty, Casa de Canterbury has had Netflix for the past year. I can now highly recommend it for the BBC and PBS series that have a gazillion episodes which I think Cricket and Butterfly and your mother might enjoy…you’ll be too busy studying to notice what’s on anyway!!

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  32. I’m such a sourpuss that I hate anything “heartwarming”, so Xmas is not the time for me to be watching TV. I suffer enough when the annual Xmas carols family show is held over the road from my house, and the throbbing baritone and fake-sweet soprano draw every ounce of gloop out of the lyrics. Bah, humbug!

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  33. The last photo of one of the dogs tearing through the snow is absolutely terrific.

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  34. My fav movies: Love Actually, Elf, Family Stone, While You Were Sleeping, The Family Man. I was also thinking about National Lampoon’s not too long ago, for some easy humor.

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  35. Love the pic of doggies ears flopping as running!!!

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  36. I like feel-good movies this time of year, too, which is why I completely confounded myself by watching “Before the Flood” while wrapping Christmas presents. It’s a great documentary but is the opposite of warm and comforting.

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  37. Mumsy says she agrees with you on the movies. She has not been able to watch anything on TV or Netflix because there is just nothing good or interesting that she has not already seen many, many times. You two sweeties just look adorable in all the pictures. That last picture is super amazing…what a terrific shot. We hope all of you have a Very Merry Christmas. Hugs and nose kisses Chancy, Pooh and Mumsy

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  38. Love this post and love Christmas movies!

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  39. Oh that last picture is the BEST!!!!! So fun! So full of JOY!

    We have gotten rid of cable/network TV. We have Netfilx, Hulu, Amazon, CBS Access, and we watch NBC for free. It is so much nicer. We can watch our shows when we want to. There is always something (for me anyway) on Netflix to watch. The only problem with Netflix original series’ is, they come out a season (or so) at a time. I burn through them, then I have to wait a year to see the next season. Unlike you, I forget, so I have to watch the first season again so I can remember what happened.

    I think it might depend on what your profile is on Netflix, because I have not seen many, if any sugar sweet movies on Netflix, as Embeecee has mentioned. In fact I see quite the opposite. Could just be the stuff we watch so they show us different choices. I haven’t watch a Christmas movie yet. In fact, I can’t even think of what a “Christmas movie” is. Oh wait, that one where “you’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” And The Holiday. I want to watch that one. I think I’ll pop in the DVD tonight.

    Only a couple of more weeks. Hopefully you and your mom can make it!

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  40. The Christmas movies started early so by now pretty sick of them to. Jimmy Stewart well that is a different story I adored all his movies. What an amazing man one of the best on all aspects.

    Enjoy your Christmas and Cricket is not far wrong it is good to be outside. As long as the weather isn’t wet and windy.
    Hugs Sheila

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  41. I find I enjoy listening to sitcom and Little House on the Prairie reruns I have seen several times. Maybe it’s comforting, in this uncertain world, to know exactly what is going to happen to my television friends and that (mostly) everything works out in the end.

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  42. I just went to the library yesterday and they were playing “White Christmas.” Not really my favorite, plot-wise, but somehow cozy and comforting to hear. My penultimate favorite–“It’s a Wonderful Life.” I cry every. single. time.

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  43. I have been watching netflix smoulchy Christmas stories so not much better really

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  44. Super cute. Love your photos! 🙂

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  45. I’m a DVD person, too. The problem this year is having an eleven-year-old girl who thinks All I Want For Christmas Is You is a great classic song that should be listened to over and over and over. I’m glad Christmas is over. I like regular times of year so much better. I had to endure a holiday concert where the highlight was a song about reindeer not being good ice skaters. I wanted to die.

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  46. The season does bring along all the mushy Christmas movies! I do tend to loke them the best one is The Family Stone, Amazon Prime is being cheap about them then I watch ION tv and there are repeated. Grest post ! Happy New Year!

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  47. Love the post. I have to admit I was addicted to the hallmark movie channel during the holidays, sweet Christmas story after sweet story. I guess I needed the distraction, some times are like that right?. Happy New Year to you and yours. g.

    Reply

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