The cultural significance of Christmas movies


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Who doesn’t love Christmas? The smell of peppermint, the gifts, the family time, it’s all worth it. There have been many Christmas films produced over the years and the ones of note for the purposes of this article are “Elf,” “Home Alone,” “The Grinch” and “Love, Actually.”

The cultural significance of the films mentioned above evoke nostalgia in many of us who would watch these while sitting around the TV or fireplace in our homes. It reminds one of coziness and family time.

“Elf” is the quintessential film of Will Ferrell’s career, Buddy the Elf being a notable character for many of us. A human who grew up as an elf is as fascinating of a story as a boy who grew up with wolves and as we all know, the film ends very happily.

But what is the cultural significance of “Elf?” It shows that family is what you make of it, but it also highlights the importance of birth parents. It is a comedy and Will Ferrell is at the center of it, known as a comedic genius. One is fascinated with the storyline and also with the characterization of Buddy the Elf.

“Home Alone” is another Christmas movie that you may have watched a few times, maybe even more than that. A boy is home alone and gets into lots of antics on his own. Why do we all love this film? It might be because it’s a classic, or we are all so accustomed to seeing the film be replayed in our family homes.

The film evokes such happiness in all of us and we are always grateful to see Macaulay Culkin on the screen each year we tune in.

“The Grinch,” the Jim Carrey version that is, is on the verge of a Christmas horror movie with the crude main character who acts like a scrooge and looks freakish with his greenish skin. While we all may have watched it as children, even into adulthood, the film fascinates us with the character being relatable based on his anti-social behavior and his honesty.

Whoville is a part of the central plot, becoming important as a joking point because of the way the characters look. We love watching “The Grinch” at Christmas because we are able to relate with the main character and enjoy the festive season while being reminded that not everyone views the holiday equally, but also, the height of the holiday cheer is clear through the film as “The Grinch” realizes Christmas is not terrible at the end.

Moving on to “Love, Actually,” it is a favorite with a lot of us. We thoroughly enjoy seeing Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Kiera Knightley and Emma Thompson alongside others that make the ensemble cast what it is. The film is all about love at Christmas, and it has become a classic for many of us, but why has it become a classic? Why does anything become a classic?

One of the conclusions that could be made is that these stories evoke rich “feelings” in each of us and we cannot help but enjoy these films that make our hearts feel warm. That seems to be the height of cultural significance.