By Emily Temple (Whetstone Staff Writer)
John Wolgamot waits until December 22 to begin watching Christmas movies.
“I won’t watch them before that, because it kills it for me,” the Wesley senior said.
Most students lack this resolve, but still have a policy of saving Christmas movies for one month of the year.
Christmas movies are a unique genre built around a single time of year, and the tradition of watching them is deeply personal to students.
“I watch them when they come on the television in December,” sophomore Emily Bentz said. “As soon as December hits, it’s OK to listen to Christmas music and do Christmas things, for me.”
Senior Chantz McKeller echoed Bentz.
“Right after Thanksgiving they start coming on TV a little more, getting everybody into the Christmas spirit,” he said.
“My family used to watch A Christmas Story every Christmas Eve,” Wolgamot said.
Other students confirm that family is a major element of enjoying favorite Christmas movies.
“My favorite is The Polar Express, mainly because my nephew loves it,” McKeller said. “Since he was born I’m no longer the baby, so Christmas is for him.”
Some students have a clear preference in Christmas movies based on not only their family, but the age of the film.
“The classics are more interesting to me,” sophomore Yasmine Johnson said. “The newer ones aren’t really about Christmas to me, so it’s a different feeling.”
“For me, it’s the nostalgia,” Wolgamot said. “It’s that feeling, ‘I remember watching this as a kid!’ and it brings back the whole memory of Christmas.”
In spite of preferences, most students can appreciate films from any decade; Johnson prefers Jim Carrey’s Grinch to the original animation, and one of Wolgamot’s favorite Christmas movies is the relatively recent Elf.
Common mentions as favorites include the Rankin/Bass stop-motion Christmas specials Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Year Without a Santa Claus, though the latter is more commonly known as “the one with Heat Miser and Snow Miser.” Also popular are The Polar Express, A Christmas Story, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Although the Christmas movies Wesley students prefer vary, there is little variation in the enjoyment of them.
“They’re fun, and not too serious,” Wolgamot said. “In a really childlike kind of way, it gets you into the Christmas spirit.”