Monday, December 21, 2009

Five fascinating and festive documentaries

At the risk of offending non-Santa followers, we did a little scrounging and came up with some Christmas documentaries worth watching. We had to sift through layers and layers of rather dull films, said a few 'bah humbugs' along the way, and ultimately came up with the top five you see below. They are in no particular order and we are always willing to listen when we've left off a film or two, so see what made the cut and write us back if you disagree!

A Hollywood Christmas – Ever wondered why Christmas films were so popular? I mean what’s the deal with Hollywood’s obsession of capturing the ‘meaning of Christmas’? Well hold onto your doubts because this is the documentary for you. Though 15 years old and obviously a little dated, this is a great resource to introduce you to the wide world of Christmas filmmaking.

Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas – Yes, Christmas is chock full of traditions, from carols to decorated trees, but where did these rituals come from? Well you asked, and the History Channel answered. This enlightening program looks at the origins of the Western world's most popular Christmas traditions: whether it’s the significance of December 25th and its relationship to winter solstice or the enchanting legend of Santa Claus or even Prince Albert's unveiling of the Christmas tree in 1841. This documentary has all the festive facts you could possible want.

Road Trip for Ralphie
– Everyone loves A Christmas Story almost as much as they love it’s a wonderful life. Of course, there are those crazy people who love it a little too much: this is their story. If you can endure the constant “I’m 8 years old and I just opened the best Christmas present ever” expressions that are plastered on these two road trippers, then you’ll be able to see and appreciate this modern classic from a different perspective.

Rock and a Heart Place – for over 15 years, Tim McLoone has organized holiday music events in soup kitchens, homeless shelters and nursing homes, but shortly after the September 11th tragedy of 2001, he ambitiously arranged for 400 New Jersey musicians to perform 50 shows in 30 days. So sit back and relax as this inspirational documentary follows McLoone and his team as they face the daunting task of setting up shows and traveling 5,000 miles to pull off their "Holiday Express."

10,000 points of light – a little known Christmas documentary with a cult like following (seriously, they’re on Facebook!). This 25 minute film follows a southern family in suburbia that takes their light (and Elvis) displays seriously presenting the public with a odd, bright display for all to see. Good luck finding it though, this documentary is about as rare as they come.

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