Special Feature: Christmas Movies and Books

How many of you watch Christmas movies as one of your holiday traditions? I know the Christmas movie is a staple in my house.

Usually the two favorite Christmas movies are White Christmas and Christmas Vacation….two very different classics!

Would any of you be surprised that many Christmas movies are based on books? I think a lot of you would be surprised to find out just how many Christmas classics came from books!

My guest writer Spencer Blohm wrote this fantastic article for us today about your favorite holiday films and the books that inspired them….please welcome Spencer to The Lit Bitch!

Books can convey many meanings, and when a story carries a strong, intriguing message, it’s often turned into a movie to share the story to a larger audience. This is especially true of books that carry morally strong themes revolving around the holiday season. Not all of the stories invoke religious themes, but they do resonate with the same tropes of goodwill and acceptance of others. Here are just a few of the books that have been turned into beloved holiday films.

The Gift of Love: A young woman, who was raised in a loving, but poverty-stricken home ends up living with her grandparents. Her grandparents arrange her marriage to a wealthy man. She falls in love with another, who happens to be poor, and  admirably chooses love over wealth. When the holidays come around, the couple make some surprising and moving sacrifices in order to buy the other a wonderful gift. The movie, expanded from the original short story, starred Marie Osmond, and was produced by the Osmond family.

Olive, the Other Reindeer: A Jack Russell Terrier named Olive hears a radio announcement regarding one of Santa’s reindeer being injured, and misinterprets the classic Christmas lyrics “all of the other reindeer” for “Olive, the other reindeer.” Olive, now believing she herself is a reindeer, sets off to help Santa and encounters many adventures and perils along the way. When she finally reaches Santa, she earns herself a place with Santa’s sled crew. There are many recognizable actors’ voices in this movie to delight parents watching with their kids, including Drew Barrymore, Tim Meadows, and Joe Pantoliano.

The Christmas Box: A young family becomes caretakers for an elderly lady. They enjoy their time with her, caring for both her and her lovely home. While there, the father of the family is led by an angel to the attic, where he discovers a beautiful old music box that holds letters from many years ago. The elderly lady’s health takes a turn for the worse, and while she is in the hospital, the truth comes out as to who the letters were written to. The film (free to stream on IMDB) stars Richard Thomas and Maureen O’Hara.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: Even though this story is at times humorous, it carries a sweet and sentimental message. The story follows six children that are known for being ruffians and bullies. When they learn the church in town is having a Christmas pageant, they steal the places of the main characters. Even though the pageant is a bit unruly, the children help the entire community take a look at the true meaning of Christmas. The film was a made for TV adaption.

Papa’s Angels: A 12-year-old mountaineer tells the story of her family, who has lost their mother. Since she died, their father has become a bitter shell of a man. He decides the family will not celebrate Christmas, and the four children go about turning their father into the loving man they once knew. The movie stars Scott Pakula as the father, and is told in a wonderful manner. The film was nominated for the Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Movies of the Week/Mini-Series.

A Dog Named Christmas: A young, developmentally challenged man whose love for animals causes many issues between him and his father. The young man insists on bringing home a dog, which he names Christmas. The young man then uses his persuasions to find homes for numerous dogs in the town’s “Adopt a Dog for Christmas” program. A Dog Named Christmas points out how family, love and giving are vital, even to animals, during the holiday season. The movie stars Noel Fisher, Linda Emond, and Bruce Greenwood, and is available to stream on Direct TV.

The Nine Lives of Christmas: A cat has made a deal with higher powers in order to earn his ninth life on Earth. To keep his final life, he must help two people find each other and fall in love. The cat’s chance comes when he is purchased and brought home for Christmas by a young bachelor. Unfortunately, the man is a firefighter and a ladies’ man, and the woman he should be with is impossibly shy. It takes quite a bit of work on the cat’s part to get these two to see they’re destined for with each other. The film stars Kimberly Sustad and Brandon Routh.

As you can see, the message of love, family, and giving can be carried in many forms (and even multiple species!). The holiday season is the most popular time in the world to enjoy classic, feel-good, films which have something for everyone – young and old, in every story.

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