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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Call Me Scrooge

Ok, I’ll admit it. I may need a visit from the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Actually, that’s not true if their main purpose is to turn a raisin of a weasel into a legitimate human being. But if they’re also supposed to make people like Christmas movies, then they should fly in and take the guest room. They’ve got their work cut out for them.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the Christmas holiday. It’s a time for family, celebration, and for us, has strong religious implications. In fact, we just had a Christmas baby. Our very own Christmas angel, Gabriel.

But Christmas movies. And they’re on an endless loop not for a couple days. Not even a week. Now it’s like two months. Soon we’ll be counting down to Christmas on ABC Family starting in September.

I was going to review some movies in the spirit of the season, but it’s impossible. I don’t know enough adjectives to write multiple reviews of the exact same movie with different actors and slightly different plot points.

There’s only been one good Christmas movie in the past twenty years – Elf. Everything else is straight up cheese and a complete waste of time. Don’t try to convince me otherwise. I unknowingly married the president of Santa’s fan club. I’ve been tortured with pieces of all of them for several years now. I lose complete control of the TV and DVR for the entire month of December.

That may be harsh. Maybe it’s my scrooginess whining in generalities. Maybe it’s from too much cable guide scrolling on the upstairs TV looking for ANYTHING other than titles like Christmas in Handcuffs, 25 Dates for Christmas, A Career Woman Thinks She Has It All Until It’s Christmas And She’s Alone And Realizes There’s So Much More To Life (Oh, And The Humble Plumber Is Totally Hot And Shows Her The Real Meaning Of Christmas).

Ok, so those may not be actual titles, but you’re nodding because you know exactly what I’m talking about and they very well could be. Those are the ones that ruin the genre for jaded skeptics like me. There may still be good ones out there, but I will miss them because I’ll be darned if I spend two hours of my precious little free time watching a waitress plot with her friends to trick the cute bartender into posing under the mistletoe only to find out in the end that she only had to ask. See, he liked her too.

Wait… no! No! Scrooge would have fired her butt in the opening scene for sexual harassment, lack of productivity, and creating a disruptive work environment. As he should have. I can’t argue with that.

My equally skeptical college roommate and I had a phrase for this phenomenon of Hollywood and cable assuming the laws of physics and the universe no longer apply from December 1 to December 25 (and that their audience suddenly loses 20 IQ points). We called it “Christmas Magic” and wryly applied the label to every unlikely event that occurred during the season. From an unexpected good grade on an exam to a flirty glance from the crush of the week, we would toss “Christmas Magic” as loosely as the season seemed to demand.

So here’s my review of every Christmas movie except Elf: Don’t. Watch Elf instead. After that, go buy Switchfoot’s latest album “Vice Verses.” It’s a better use of your time and money. Oh, and it’s a gift that will keep on giving long after December 25. Now that’s Christmas magic.

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