‘Home Alone’ on a ‘White Christmas’: festive films teachers, students ‘Love Actually’

Megan Peng '25, Lifestyles Staff

As we near the end of the year, everything begins to take on the themes of the holidays — decorations, carols, and the cold weather – all hint that Christmas is arriving soon. Students and teachers enjoy their favorite holiday movies and films.

“Home Alone” is considered a classic. Its comedic script and scenarios make it a popular selection.

“I really enjoyed the first “Home Alone” movie,” said math teacher Ben Russell. “It was a fun movie to watch as a kid, and I liked the thrill of being home by yourself and having some slaps of humor and nonsense traps.” 

For a majority of people, watching old Christmas movies and films brings the feeling of nostalgia. 

“”Home Alone” holds a very nostalgic place in my heart, and it has a lot of entertaining and funny moments, ” said Jacob Perkins ‘25. “Some of it was also set where I used to live. I used to go to my Boy Scouts meeting in the same church that was in the movie, which was also pretty cool.”

Some students have a more varied taste. Although Violet Weizer ‘25 is Jewish, she still enjoys watching many Christmas movies that she finds entertaining.

“One of my favorites is the original “Home Alone”, and I really enjoyElf”, and watching “The Nutcracker” ballet dance, so I also have a DVD of that,” said Weizer. “Even though I’m a Jew, I really like Christmas movies, and they’re well done and there aren’t really any movies about Hanukkah that are interesting to watch for me. My favorite season is winter, so I like movies that are set in a winter-wonderland-like place.”

On the other hand, Hannah Berhringer ‘25, who is also Jewish, doesn’t have any interest in watching Christmas movies because they are not culturally relevant to her.

”At least for me, watching Chritsmas movies isn’t as relevant because I don’t celebrate Christmas even though it has, in the United States, really boosted capitalism,” said Berhringer. “Here, Christmas is more about buying gifts instead of celebrating tradition. Although people probably watch Christmas movies for nostalgia, it’s not really a thing I do or plan to do in the future.”

Some movies such as “White Christmas” have been adapted into musicals.

“”White Christmas” has a lot of sentimental value,” said drama teacher Katie McBride. “I watched the movie with my mom growing up, and I loved the old fashioned feeling and singing the song in my high school musical. The dance numbers are also out-of-this-world good.” 

For Noelle Pacifici ‘24, the memories formed from watching these movies with loved ones can persist after they have passed. 

“My favorite Christmas movie is “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”,” said Pacifici. “I grew up watching it on television with my family.  I always used to watch it with my grandparents, so now that they’re gone, I feel like it has a lot more meaning.”

Yearly tradition of watching holiday movies with family and friends creates common memories. 

“My favorite Christmas movie is “Daddy’s Home 2”. It’s a Christmas movie, but no one really thinks of it as a Christmas movie until you watch it,” said Sahana Patel ‘24. “Every Christmas time I watch it with my cousins, and we crack up every time we watch it. “

Some holiday movies also show representation of the LGBTQ+ community.

“My favorite is called “Home for the Holidays”,” said English teacher Kelly Williams. “I watched it for the first time in 1995, and then I tried to watch it almost every year.  It was one of the only movies that showed a gay character, and showed him positively as a person who was welcomed by his family. I was in college at that time, and that idea was really uncommon in that era.”

English teacher Mark Randolph has a more philosophical interpretation of his favorite holiday movies.

“I do watch “Love Actually” every year,” said Randolph. “The idea that love actually is all around us–gets me right in the old ticker. Emma Thompson’s performance is heartbreaking, and she’s just brilliant, and Hugh Grant is hilarious. But I have to admit also, there’s a rascally part of me that likes “Four Christmases” with Vince Vaugn and Reese Witherspoon. I think it’s absolutely hilarious.”

Even as a child, Randolph deeply analyzed his favorite Christmas movies.

“When I was a kid, I liked “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”,” said Randolph. “I always wondered—I mean, there are a lot of really mean reindeer, and I’m not quite sure if Santa doesn’t bear some of the responsibility for the values of his reindeer. Plus, I’m not sure that the “Abominable Snowman” was created particularly fairly, but I still liked it when I was a kid.”