Amused for the holidays: Laugh at the classics
Ah, Christmas time. The time for carols, presents and family. Just kidding, nobody spends time with their family anymore. So if you’re anything like me, you spend the holidays alone, watching Christmas movies and wondering what you’re doing with your life. I recently went back and screened a few “holiday classics,” and they are a little different than I remember.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which first aired on television in 1964, is probably the No. 1 Christmas program of all time. It’s got everything: a cranky Santa, inept elves, misfit toys, a snow monster, neglect … wait a minute. That doesn’t seem right. Well, if that doesn’t sound right to you, you’re wrong, because this movie is full of it. Rudolph’s own father, Donner, doesn’t accept Rudolph until his red-nosed deformities are hidden. Everyone else neglects and bullies him, even the fat man himself, Santa Claus. Rudolph is only accepted when his deformities can be used for personal gain. Weird.
Frosty the Snowman (1969, animated) is another gem of a Christmas story. It’s the story of a working-class magician getting his dreams crushed by a bunch of bratty kids. Again, if that doesn’t seem right to you, you’re wrong. Professor Hinkle, a striving magician, took time out of his busy schedule to do a show for a bunch of ungrateful children. When he throws his hat away in a moment of anger due to the laughing of the children, they then take his hat without asking.
The children then discover the hat is actually magic by placing it on a snowman they built, which they named Frosty, who then comes to life, which makes Professor Hinkle rightfully want his hat back to succeed in the one field he is passionate about. By the end of this movie, Santa Claus tells Hinkle he is wrong for wanting his property back, and he forces Hinkle to go home if he wants a new hat for Christmas. Nice one, Santa.
This movie also shows lack of adult supervision. When the children build Frosty, they give him a wooden pipe. If Frosty was built at an elementary school, where did they get access to a pipe? Have you ever wondered how Santa came to be? Yeah, me neither. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970) tells that story anyway. This movie really shows how inconsiderate Kris Kringle is. He just rolls into town clad in ridiculous clothes with illegal goods (toys) and acts like he owns the place. He disrupts the town’s hard work with said illegal goods, tries to manipulate the mayor into breaking his own law and resists arrest. Kris Kringle … is a criminal!
He continues to commit crimes in the small town, breaking into homes and stuffing illegal items into people’s drying clothes without their knowledge. His adoptive mother disowns him when she finds out he’s a criminal, forcing him to change his name to protect her family. He then runs away to the North Pole to hide from the law, continuing his life of crime. This is how the Santa we all know and love came to be. Hurray?
These are just a few of the Christmas classics I enjoy every year, and even though they are a bit dated, they will always hold a special place in my heart. Getting into the Christmas spirit is really hard these days, but coming together with the people you love to make fun of old Christmas movies might help you get there. I hope all of you have a great holiday season.
Isaiah Delgado-Flores is a junior at Pojoaque Valley High School. Contact him at email@example.com.