Christmas Movies: Home Alone vs. White Christmas

Katie and I were talking about our favorite Christmas movies during a shopping jaunt yesterday. Everybody knows WHITE CHRISTMAS is my favorite. I’ve got my very own DVD of it, and every year, I sit in bed, propped up on pillows and watch it. Sometimes Katie will relent and watch it with me. I love the vintage costumes–Vera Ellen’s wasp waist–she reminds me of one of those tiny dancers on top of a music box. Rosemary Clooney in that dramatic black velvet gown in the “Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me” number. Love it all. Perhaps my love for it comes from the fact that I grew up in St. Petersburg, FL and never saw real snow until I was 14 or 15, or perhaps because the movie was released the year I was born, 1954. I love that movie so much, when I wrote MIDNIGHT CLEAR, a Christmas mystery under my real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck, I had a costumer friend make me a copy of the red satin Mrs. Santa outfit Rosemary wears in the movie finale. Katie, on the other hand, is a stalwart HOME ALONE(1990) fan. I was telling her about how I watched it Thanksgiving night, while Mr.Mary Kay dozed on the sofa, and how I was laughing out loud when Kevin clonks old Harry and Marv with everything from paint buckets to a steam iron. (Speaking of the old Mister, he has his own touching holiday ritual–watching DIE HARD and sipping bourbon on the sofa Christmas Eve, while I frantically race around trying to remember where the hell I hid all the stocking presents) Katie and I agreed that we loved the Home Alone house as much as the movie. And reminded each other that we’d actually seen the real house years ago, when the kids were little, on a trip to visit family in Chicago. I was doing a book signing at a store in Winnetka, and the store owner told me where the actual house was. We drove over, and the kids oohed and ahhed at the sight of so much magical mayhem. Katie hedged her bets by saying she also loves LOVE ACTUALLY, and can never get enough of watching THE REF. The Ref is a little too dark and cynical for a cornball like me. I’m still kickin‘ it old school. I like to reach waaaay back in the movie vault for goodies like THE BISHOPS WIFE (1943) with the gorgeous Loretta Young, David Niven and Cary Grant, or the original movie that provided the spin-off for White Christmas, 1942s’ HOLIDAY INN. I also adore the vintage screwball antics in CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1942) with Barbara Stanwyk as a magazine writer posing as an expert homemaker. Another Christmas movie I love is DESK SET (1957) with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy–and the always reliable Gig Young and Joan Blondell. In the movie, Katharine is the head of a network research department, and Tracy is the computer whiz threatening to make her department obsolete with the introduction of a room-size computer called “Enerac”.

And the movie my kids agree we all love is CHRISTMAS STORY, released in 1983. Roaming around the internet, I found Moviefone’s list of 25 top Christmas movies of all time. I don’t know that I agree with their choices, but maybe you’ll find some you’d forgotten about. Or maybe you’ll share some of your favorites.

12 thoughts on “Christmas Movies: Home Alone vs. White Christmas”

  1. MK I too am a lover of White Christmas. Then my next favorite is Christmas in Conneticut the one with Barbara Stanwyk then the original Holiday Inn. Yeah I’m a big sap.

  2. White Christmas is my all time favorite. But for pure laugh out loud is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. My Husband is Clark Griswall. Massive Christmas lights everywhere and YES he has fallen off the roof. He is ok. Watch out if your standing still outside he wraps lights around you.. We have it all….

  3. You’re stealing my thunder! I was just thinking about blogging about something along these lines. My ab-fab of late is LOVE ACTUALLY. I must admit I’m partial to THE REF (my big dark side), but love the old school ones as well!


  4. As much as I adore “White Christmas”, my all time favorite Christmas movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Something about it just brightens up each and every day I watch it!

    Now I am off to Netflix to request “Christmas in Connecticut” – a brand new one to me. Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas!

  5. So glad you mentioned Love Actually ’cause I’ve even encountered men who like it! So nice to share a movie. You and Katie would be both touched and humored to review the bonus material in Love Actually where the director’s piece covers some of the story lines they had to trim as the movie was originally over three hours long. Also love that movie because it includes music from a woman, Eva Cassidy, who died much too young but has some stirring arrangements of many classic songs, Fields of Gold, Over the Rainbow, etc. Check her out on itunes, espcially the album “Songbird”. None the less, I still can’t channel surf past the classics like Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life.

  6. I love your books and blogs. I can’t wait for the next new book from you. I love Mircle on 34th Street and Santa Claus The Movie with Dudley Moore.

    Lynda Dockery

  7. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York City is my favorite…and Eloise at Chistmastime…but I am going to check out some of the other ones you mentioned.

  8. I’ve never been a Tim Allen fan, but for some reason The Santa Clause is my current favorite holiday movie. (Maybe it’s because of the faith little Charlie has in his Dad. Or maybe it’s because The Drifters’ version of the song “White Christmas” is in the soundtrack. Gotta love it.)

    I was at an RWA chapter meeting some years ago, and they were looking for an example of a “bad” romance–where a simple misunderstanding could keep a couple apart. I immediately volunteered White Christmas. Not one woman in that room had ever noticed how incredibly shallow Rosemary Clooney’s character was to believe the worst of her man.

    That said, it doesn’t stop me from loving the movie (and, much to my husband’s chagrin–reciting the dialog. Yes, I’ve seen it THAT many times). My favorite scene is in the club car and the “Snow” song. (Much as I despise snow–and here I live in Western New York–and, oh, coincidentally–it’s snowing.)

  9. Love Actually is one of my favorites. I love Hugh Grant. Miracle on 34th street, also. Eloise at Christmastime. I didn’t realize that Eloise is the oldest daughter on Medium until a coupie of weeks ago. My daughter is a huge fan of The Christmas Story. She watched a marathon of it last year. We were sick of it. Anyway, Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  10. ~A Christmas Story is my absolute favorite. One of the bright spots of my year is when TBS shows it for 24 hours….
    ~Die Hard is another alternative. ~Love, Actually. Love the soundtrack.
    ~Elf is climbing the charts of my top five.

  11. I am little late, but Home Alone is my all-time favorite movie – not just at Christmas! I watch it year-round, much to my husband’s dismay.

  12. Sorry for the late post, but I’ve just discovered your wonderful blog and I’m catching up.
    I, too, love White Christmas. I get goosebumps every time they open up that big barn door at the end, and you can see all the falling snow. And I love that inn! Don’t you wish it really existed?
    I’ve always said Vera Ellen has the body that Barbie doll was based on. She’s a freak of nature. But she’s not perfect. Have you ever listened to the DVD commentary done by Rosemary Clooney? I love Rosemary, but she gets a little snide about Vera’s singing voice. Evidently it was dubbed by another singer for every song except the repeated “Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow…” harmonies, and Vera Ellen always sang it out of tune.
    Other Christmas movies? A Christmas Story is hysterical. Miracle on 34th Street makes me cry. And what about An Affair To Remember? After her accident and their tragic misunderstanding, they are reunited at Christmas.
    Love your writing!

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