I'd like to thank you for re-reading some of the "Best of Life After Television" conversations we've had over the past few years.
Some unexpected eye problems made me wish for good sight for Christmas to round out this less-than-ideal year of 2020. But when I've finished the third of three surgeries in about a month, I'm anticipating having 20/30 vision in both eyes.
That's quite a change from being "legally blind" (my definition) and only being able to make out the shapes of objects in my field of view.
As my surgeon/ophthalmologist put it, "You couldn't even see to take care of yourself." Hey ... that's preaching to the choir. Thanks to Paula, I'm making it through.
Normal vision is something I will never take for granted again.
Having some of my vision restored (thanks to a pair of reading glasses from the drug store) made for a perfect match for this week's conversation where I've compiled a short list of several of my favorite Christmas movies.
Take a look and see how they match up with your favorites.
ELF — You can't help but smile through this 2003 holiday film that stars Will Ferrell as Buddy the elf who, as a small child, was magically transported to the North Pole where he grew up as a one of Santa's elves.
The film is the perfect blend of family comedy and mayhem when Buddy sets out to New York City to find his real father. It's one of the best Christmas films to watch with the whole family.
A CHRISTMAS STORY —This delightful holiday classic follows the Christmas wish of young Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) who wants — more than anything — to get a Red Ryder air rifle.
There is a typical bullying scenario which adds a darkly humorous side to this holiday perennial. (I remember it was the favorite of WSFA-TV's weatherman Rich Thomas)
WHITE CRISTMAS — Where do I begin to sing the praises of this 1954 movie? At our house, it's not Christmas without Paula and me watching this film!
From its set design, to the costumes, to its all star cast, it epitomizes this mid-century classic. By the way, the great song "White Christmas," written by Irving Berlin, did not come from this film.
It was from the movie "Holiday Inn," which was released in 1942 and starred Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.
NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION — Talk about wacky holiday films ... this one takes the cake. I won't go so far as to call it a classic ... but it's one funny film — to my way of thinking.
It's the third in a series of National Lampoon films about the Griswold family. This time, Clark Griswold goes all out to have the very best Christmas possible with a little help from his cousin Eddie played by Randy Quaid. The scene with the squirrel in the Christmas tree is worth the price of admission.
HOME ALONE — What can I say that hasn't already been said about this movie?
I laughed until I cried at the sight gags thanks to Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci (one of my favorite comedic actors) and Daniel Stern.
This 1990 release is built around an 8-year-old accidentally getting left behind when his over-sized family flies off to Paris.
He takes on two con men who were trying to rob his home in what turns out to be a series of hilarious gags that go on and on. It IS a classic for any time of the year.
And last but not least ...
CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT — This is a personal favorite of the Howell family ... especially my wife, Paula.
It stars Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan (you may have to look him up) and Sydney Greenstreet.
The plot and subplots involve Morgan as a returning war hero who becomes involved with Stanwyck's character in a comedic "who's on first" kind of plot. ou might want to track this one down and give it a try.
P.S. The sets are gorgeous, too.
I hope you and yours enjoy the Christmas movies we've listed.
Merry Christmas, too!