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A Holiday Review

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A Charlie Brown Christmas

by Sam Goetze

“A Charlie Brown Christmas,” directed by Bill Melendez, is the ultimate holiday movie classic that embodies the true meaning of Christmas. The heartwarming and comedic story is told through simple cartoons and composer Vince Guaraldi’s lively jazz music. Although the slow-paced plot may not attract viewers who don’t appreciate the classic characters and music, the 1965 tale is a timeless piece that has become an annual viewing tradition for many families.

Viewers should be aware that the focus of this movie is not on the magic of Santa Clause, but rather the spirit of the holidays and religious values related to Christmas. References to Santa and presents are replaced by the religious history and New Testament quotes.

That being said, people from all religious backgrounds can enjoy “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” especially if it is an annual tradition of spending time with family and being reminded of what the holidays are truly about.

In this endearing story, Charlie Brown is upset by how commercialized Christmas is becoming, but he cheers up when Lucy asks him to direct the Christmas play. When he is sent out to pick up an aluminum Christmas tree for the playset, he instead comes back with a sad, scrawny fir tree that is mocked by the other kids.

It’s not until Linus gives a speech about the true meaning of Christmas that the other kids realize their fault and decorate the little tree for Charlie Brown. While the aluminum tree represents the commercialism of the holidays, the iconic scrawny fir tree has become a symbol of the true holiday spirit. The tale reminds viewers that the holidays should be about spreading joy, not materialism.

This Charlie Brown special has a profound message that sets it apart from the usual holiday movies, which are enjoyable but engrossed in commercialism. The iconic images, meaningful story, beloved characters and Vince Guaraldi’s classic musical score make “A Charlie Brown Christmas” a heartwarming movie with a timeless message that everyone ought to be reminded of during the holiday season.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

by Jocelyn Ayenew

Revisiting the classic Christmas special, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” every year is a tradition in many households and brings back nostalgic memories of our childhoods, reminding us how enchanting the holiday season can be.

Directed by the iconic animator Chuck Jones, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” is a short animated film that was released in 1966, based off the children’s book of the same title by Dr. Seuss. The Grinch is the bitter main character who is determined to ruin Christmas for everyone in the town of Whoville. His hate for the holiday becomes the main conflict driving the plot.

For kids who have grown up watching this short every holiday season, the film is full of many positive messages and themes that can be impactful. The Grinch begins as a vindictive creature who uses his dog and disguises to raid the homes of families in Whoville, but with a literal growth of heart, the dynamic Grinch learns the true meaning of the Christmas spirit and that replaces his hate with love.

The town of Whoville demonstrates a sense of community and solidarity, especially when all the Whos’ gifts are gone and decorations destroyed. Despite this, they still come together to sing and hold hands.

During this time of year, our culture takes pride in our physical things, whereas the Whos clearly don’t care about their gifts, but rather being around people they care about. This not only is strong usage of symbolism and metaphors, but also another powerful lesson for children watching.

In 1968, the soundtrack even received a Grammy Award for Best Album for Children, bringing holiday songs that will fill homes for generations. The soundtrack even includes a personal favorite and a timeless holiday song, “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” The catchy tune combined with the rhymes of outdated words is different from other Christmas songs and puts it at the top of many holiday playlists.

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About the Writers
Jocelyn Ayenew, Reporter

Jocelyn Ayenew is currently in her senior year at Inglemoor and this is her first year with Nordic News as a reporter. She is excited to get to report...

Sam Goetze, Photo Editor

Senior Sam Goetze is the Photo Editor of Nordic News for the 2018-2019 school year. Her goal is to improve the quality and creativity of the photos that...

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A Holiday Review