Modern holiday movies haven't overtaken classics

Viewers have lots of choices for Christmas entertainment

Elf may be a new Christmas movie tradition, but It’s A Wonderful Life hasn’t gone out of style for Leah Prescott and her family.


“I love the old Christmas movies,” Prescott said.

Prescott said she and her two daughters watch a long list of Christmas movies each year, but old classics like It’s A Wonderful Life and White Christmas remain at the top of her list.

“They have a lot more to do with the true meaning of Christmas and have more substance,” she said. “It’s not just about humor.”

Newer holiday films such as Elf and The Santa Clause still have a place in the Prescott household, though.

“It’s fun to watch those with the kids, and they’re funny any time of the year,” she said. “I do try to hold back and wait to watch them until after Thanksgiving, though.”

Jamal Langford, 19, says he watches the holiday movies with the most entertainment value because his 9-year-old sister likes to chat.

Elf is really funny,” he said. “I can watch it with my little sister and she doesn’t talk the whole time.”

He said he would rather skip the films that he used to watch as a kid, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

“Seeing them once is enough,” Langford said.

Tracy Wilkinson and her husband, John, think the difference depends on whether the whole family watches together.

“If everyone is going to sit down together, we are going to watch an oldie,” she said. “But if the kids are on their own, there is no way they are turning on a black-and-white film. In fact, they usually roll their eyes when we watch them together.”

Wilkinson said she believes her kids will appreciate the classics when they get older. She thinks when they have kids, they will be watching the same movies with their families.

“Scrooge has such an important lesson,” she said. “It’s worth discussing as a family.”

Davie Shull makes sure his 7-year-old sees them all.

“I can’t really do A Wonderful Life,” he said. “But Rudolph and Frosty are good, so we watch those.”

Summer Moore contributed to this article.


Many holiday shows air several times. Check network Web sites for more listings.

• A Charlie Brown Christmas: 8 p.m. Monday, 8 p.m. Dec. 15 on ABC

• Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: 8 p.m. Saturday on CBS

• How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated): 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on Cartoon Network; 8 p.m. Dec. 24 on ABC

• It’s a Wonderful Life: 8 p.m. Dec. 24 on NBC

• White Christmas: 8 p.m. Dec. 12, 8 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. Dec. 13, 8 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. Dec. 14, 2:45 p.m. Dec. 22 on AMC

• The Polar Express: 8:30 p.m. Monday, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, 9 p.m. Dec. 20, 5 p.m. Dec. 21 on ABC Family

• Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: 8 p.m. Dec. 13, 8 p.m. Dec. 23 on ABC Family

• Miracle on 34th Street: 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Dec. 15 on AMC; 8 p.m. Dec. 24 on TCM

• Frosty the Snowman: 8 p.m. Friday on CBS

• Frosty Returns: 8:30 p.m. Friday on CBS

• The Santa Clause: 8 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Dec. 21, 5 p.m. Dec. 22 on ABC Family

• Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys: 7 p.m. Monday, 1:30 p.m. Dec. 24 on ABC Family

• ’Twas the Night Before Christmas: 6 p.m. Tuesday, 11 a.m. Dec. 24 on ABC Family

• I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown: 8 p.m. Dec. 12, 9 p.m. Dec. 22 on ABC

• Scrooge: 10:15 p.m. Dec. 19, 6 p.m. Dec. 23 on TCM

• National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: 9 p.m. Wednesday, 10 p.m. Saturday, 9 p.m. Dec. 12, 9 p.m. Dec. 22, 6 p.m. Dec. 23 on ABC Family

• A Christmas Story: 9 p.m. Tuesday on TCM and 8 p.m. Dec. 24 on TBS, repeats for 24 hours

• Elf: 6 p.m. Friday on SyFy; 10 p.m. Saturday, 9 p.m. Dec. 16, 9 p.m. Dec. 21 on USA

• Fred Claus: 8 p.m. Saturday, 9 p.m. Dec. 16 on TNT

• A Christmas Carol: 8 p.m. Dec. 19, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Dec. 21, 9 p.m. Dec. 23 on AMC