And finally, we are slowly approaching the “gates” of the new 2021 (I think if we could, we will run into them like an angry cowboy entering a saloon), Christmas trees start to “sprout” everywhere, children are waiting for Santa Claus, we are starting to hear Christmas bells and New Year’s songs, but the reality, unfortunately, is that most people walk with “little clouds” over their heads, understandably given the situation. But let’s not go down that path (because it’s the easiest way) but try to rise above it all … forgive me, I mispronounced “Do or do not, there is no try” as Yoda would say.

I want to share with you a few Christmas movies that will brighten up your December nights (bells in the background). I’m sure we can all agree that, no matter what time you turn on your TV and start changing the channels (or Netflix), you will find one of those “You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” (Hallmark) low budget Christmas movies or “lemonades” (like I prefer to call them) that if you give them a chance you’ll feel literal physical pain. For your own good, change the channel.

Hollywood has stopped producing good Christmas movies (this may apply to all others genres), their whole industry has become copy-paste-remake, but luckily we have older Christmas movies that are still finding their way to every new generation, especially this period, to which I personally return with particular pleasure.

I’ll start with the well-known Christmas classics “Home Alone” (1990) and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” (1992). We simply cannot ignore the ingenious ideas of the mischievous Kevin. Interestingly, they had a lot of problems during production and no one believed that it would become one of the most watched Christmas movies. Today it is enough to hear the first few note of the well-known introductory theme from the great John Williams and you immediately find yourself in the McCallister family home.

We continue with the 1954 musical “White Christmas” with the amazing Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen. It was filmed after the success of the eponymous song, which originally appeared in another amazing musical “Holiday Inn” with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. If there’s one thing Americans can do, it’s musicals, believe me, you won’t go wrong.

Next is the well-known “A Christmas Carol” or the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the rich miser who is visited by the three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. An adaptation of the timeless classic of Charles Dickens and a story we should all be reminded of often. There are many movie versions, my recommendation is the one from 1951, you could also watch “Scrooged” from 1988 with Bill Murray, and I would also recommend “The Man Who Invented Christmas” where you can get a little glimpse into Charles Dickens writing process of his genius work.

We are slowly approaching the New Year with another classic called “A Miracle on 34th Street“. Whether you will watch the original 1947 version or the wonderful 1994 remake with my favorite Santa Claus, Richard Attenborough, you will not go wrong. They both carry a special magical vibe, and they make you believe in the old bearded man that Haddon Sunbloom painted red.

On this point I must mention the surprise from Netflix, the animated film from 2019 “Klaus“. If you are nostalgic for that old 2D look of animated movies like me then you will definitely fall in love with this one. I would say that it is especially important to see it now because the current atmosphere is like in the gray, dark Smeerenburg and we should all definitely find the “postman” in us. The film gives an original and unprecedented picture of Santa Claus because in this origin story he is the most humane and realistic ever. Brilliant perspective.

And the most important night is here, December 31, and you know what they say, the Christmas star that goes on the top of the Christmas tree is left for last. Once you stuff yourselves with Olivier salad and kifli and with all your existence and heart wish to “obliviate” this horrible year for which we were all very optimistic (I think it was something about that twenty twenty thing) and wish this pandemic situation to be over as soon as possible and we can have our normal life back, sit comfortably in front of the TV, hug your parents, husband / wife, boyfriend / girlfriend, children, friend…. and play the most wonderful and hopeful movie that ever existed “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946). This movie would brighten even the darkest day, would bring back the smile to the saddest man, would bring back hope to the most unfortunate. The leading role is played by the actor with a soft soul and the most tender voice, the one and only James Steward, who will share with you a beautiful reminder.

I know we forget quickly but this movie will show you that we are all people with emotions, that we all sometimes get overwhelmed and we do not know how to deal with things, or we cannot find a solution to a problem, but it will also remind you that we are all here with a purpose, a mission and if we want and believe we can be truly happy. Nietzsche would not agree with me at all, but without hope we already given up.

So my advice is, look deep down inside yourselves, find that happy, pure child you all have in you, believe in Santa Claus, be someone’s Santa Claus, help someone, smile for no reason, give love and if you are still reading have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

For Camera Obscura Hub,

Elena Krstevska,

Film enthusiast

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