Jingle jams

Christmas classics and festive frivolity


Photo courtesy of History.com via Google Images. A photo of four stockings over a lit Christmas fireplace.

Derek Viator, Author


The year ends with arguably the most festive holiday season. Christmas, celebrated by all walks of life, brings forth holiday cheer like no other. Movies, memories, and music are brought back from Christmas’ past. Hours of digital snow and childlike wonder fill the screens of televisions and theatres. Fun and festive memories from previous years are laughed at and remembered of fondly. Music, from classics to new names, encapsulate the spirit of the holidays.

There are many movies that are played over and over again during the return of the snowy season. Some loved and others that cause significant controversy. A few big names that come to most people’s minds are Polar Express, How the Grinch stole Christmas, and Die Hard. Polar Express follows a child on their journey to the North Pole after taking a ride on the Polar Express train. This classic tale begets emotions of childlike wonder and speechless suspense. The Grinch is a story of an adopted Who (the fictional people from Whoville in the story) who was exiled from Whoville and stole Christmas because he hates Christmas. This story of self-love and acceptance teaches children about how to treat others who are different with respect and love. Die Hard, the action movie directed by John McTiernan, is the most controversial Christmas topic at most homes during this time of year and always sees screen time at homes around the world.

The argument of whether this truly is a Christmas movie comes up all the time and no one really knows the answer but both main actors, Bruce Willis and Steven E. de Souza, disagree on the labeling. Willis, who plays the main protagonist John McClane, says “ ‘Die Hard’ is not a Christmas movie,” according to the Washington Post. De Souza, who plays the main antagonist in the movie, believes that “If ‘Die Hard’ is not a Christmas movie, then ‘White Christmas’ is not a Christmas movie.” However anyone feels about Die Hard it is played during Christmas time every year.

This time of year is full of fond memories. The excitement of Christmas morning rouses all; waking up and dashing to the tree hoping for that cool toy from the television. Reminiscing on those fun times can bring a resurgence of excitement for the upcoming wintry holiday.

Many people’s prized recollection is when they are hovering around a computer screen, “My favorite Christmas memory is sitting with my cousin and watching the NORAD Santa tracker and watching Santa go across the other side of the world and getting really excited for him to come to my house,” explains Senior Christina Taylor. The NORAD Santa Tracker began in 1948 on Christmas eve. According to legend a Sears store based in Colorado put up a hotline saying that kids could call and find out where Santa was at that moment. A child incorrectly put in the number and called CONAD, the Colorado Springs’ Continental Air Defense Command. At first, the Crew Commander who was on duty, Colonel Harry Shoup, dismissed the child. Later he realized this could be an opportunity for a positive press interaction and told the Associated Press that the CONAD, Army, Navy, and Marine air forces would continue to track this “unidentified sleigh, powered by eight reindeer.” This cute story started a yearly tradition that has made memories for kids all around the world just like Christina.

The jingling of jingle bells and the humming of hymns are a telling sign of the coming Christmas season. Some prefer the more classic hits such as Mariah Carey and her world renowned Christmas pop album from 1994 while others adore Michael Buble’s 2011 Christmas album. This is easily represented by their recurring climb every year to the upper echelons of Billboard’s Top 100.

Senior DJ Vang says her favorite Christmas song is the classic, It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” which has been remade many times but is most well known by Johnny Mathis and Michael Buble. Honorable mention has to include Jingle Bells, the well known song with the famous line, “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!” These songs are carefully crafted to produce elation and Christmas joy.

All of these great forms of media, from movies to music, are designed to bring excitement to all from young to old. This time of year is a time of appreciation and sharing, giving gifts to friends and family. The time is almost upon us; grab coco, mittens, and join your family by the fireplace for the wintry occasion.