It’s that time of year. Time for us to visit family, give presents, and eat till we can’t eat anymore. But we’re not the only ones, many of our favorite characters also get to celebrate the holidays. We put the call out to the Swoon Staff to send us their favorite holiday scenes:
-When asked about holiday scenes, my mind automatically goes straight to HARRY POTTER. Maybe it’s the conditioning from ABC showing the movies over and over again every holiday season, or it could be the fact that every book has a Christmas scene in the middle of it, but, whatever the reason, my favorite scene is easily the Yule ball from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I just love how completely gobsmacked Ron is when Hermione dresses up. –Holly W
-My mind goes right to How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Max dressed as a reindeer, huffing up a mountain in their scheme to steal the presents. It’s such a sad scene for what the Grinch is making his poor little pup do, but at the same time you have to give the pair bonus points—that’s one extravagant plot to steal the gifts! We read the book (and watched the animated movie) every year when I was growing up, and I even had a little stuffed Max doll of my own. –Kelly M
-I love the Christmas scene that opens Little Women. Alcott expertly uses the holiday to introduce and showcase her characters. The way each of the four sisters responds to the prospect of a wartime Christmas without any presents says so much about each of them. Of course, the resourceful girls rally in the true spirit of the day to make presents for dear Marmee and donate their Christmas breakfast to a poor family. After that opening, who doesn’t want to be part of the March family? And in the brilliant 1994 film version, Jo gets her first glimpse of Laurie while singing the carol “Here We Come A-wassailing.” The way she boldly nods to him—I swoon every time! –Kate J.
-The opening scene of A CHRISTMAS STORY is one of my all-time favorite Christmas scenes! I’ve even watched the opening credits of the re-run following the one I just watched (because it re-runs 24 hours Christmas day), just to see and hear that scene where Ralphie and his friends gaze longingly inside the store window of a decked out toy shop. In the background, trumpets blare the iconic Christmas tune, “Good King Wenceslas.”; The boys practically salivate as trains roll by on tracks that encircle the entire window display, hopping puppets clang their tambourines and bang on tiny drums, and of course, the mother of all toys–of all time!—the infamous Red Ryder BB Gun stands inconspicuously in the corner of the display. Poor Ralphie constantly encounters naysaying adults (who just don’t understand) throughout the movie, who cruelly repeat the words, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Santa Claus even chants the phrase to the beleaguered kid in a hilarious mall scene. This movie may not be a romance story per se, but the love Ralphie demonstrates for that gun could beat that on most TV soap operas today–even Telemundo! (And I think he secretly had a thing for his homeroom teacher, too. C’mon! All that angst has gotta come from somewhere, right?) –Tamarra H
-For many years I read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson each holiday season. If you’ve ever read it, you know that every scene is a keeper, but my favorite by far takes place at the end book, during the titular pageant. Dingy little Gladys Herdman, wearing angel wings and dirty sneakers, bellowing “HEY! UNTO YOU A CHILD IS BORN!” never fails to make me laugh. –Katie F.
-There’s nothing like winter in New York City! The lights in the streets, the elaborate displays in shop windows, and the ice skating rinks in Bryant and Central Parks make me feel so festive! Kay Thompson’s ELOISE AT CHRISTMASTIME never fails to get me in the holiday spirit.It makes me want to skitter off to shop for gifts and eat holiday fudge until I’m full, full, full! P.S. The movie adaptation with Julie Andrews is rawwwwther good, too! –Ellen C.
-In 1970, Earl Hamner, Jr. published his memoirs of growing up during the depression in the rural Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It was written as an adult title, but quickly became a children’s classic after Hollywood turned his book, THE HOMECOMING: A NOVEL ABOUT SPENCER’S MOUNTAIN into the blockbuster TV series called THE WALTONS. The TV movie, THE HOMECOMING, which became the weekly series THE WALTONS, features memorable scenes of the whole family, during a 24 hour period during a frigid Christmas Eve, waiting up for John Walton, the head of the family to arrive home from a job. The anxiety and stress and uncertainly of his arrival home by foot, since all transportation systems have shut down (this is circa 1933!) is made worse by early radio reports of a bus going off the road in the snow and one man pronounced dead. Without any form of modern communication in the old Walton farmhouse, the family stays strong through their faith, their unity and the belief in John Walton’s determination to make it home. To me, it’s the quintessential, old fashioned representation of what Christmas used to be before the “religious celebration’ was overtaken by the commercial, out of control buying spree it has become. –Stuart M
No matter what you’re celebrating, we wish you the best.