In 2015, I started to remake classic Christmas movie posters into my annual Christmas cards. We had just moved to Connecticut several months before so it was no coincidence that I started with Christmas in Connecticut, one of my favorite holiday films. It is a funny and romantic holiday movie and it always made me nostalgic for the holidays at home every time I watched it when I was living out the of state. I adore autumn in New England, but I especially love Christmastime in this part of the United States. Perhaps it is the rich local history, the historic downtowns and quaint shops, the coziness of a fireside, or sleigh bells in the snow. It is no mistake that some of my favorite classic Christmas films take place in our little Eastern corner of the country. If you are looking for a great holiday film or a local Christmas classic, I have a list of suggestions for you.
- Christmas in Connecticut (1945) -This romantic comedy is about a journalist that is way over her head this holiday season. Her readers think that she is a married homemaker with a baby living on a farm in Connecticut, when in reality she is a single woman living in the big city. When her boss invites himself and a guest to her farm for the holidays, Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyck) and her friends come up with a ridiculous scheme and a rushed marriage to save her career. She wasn’t expecting to fall in love with her surprise guest, Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan), but worse yet is he thinks that she is married!
- White Christmas (1954, Vermont) -White Christmas is perhaps one of the most famous classic holiday films. This one also features Bing Crosby as well as Vera Ellen, Rosemary Clooney, and Danny Kaye. Two veterans who are now in a double act on the stage, unexpectedly take a trip to Vermont where they run into their old army general. To save his Inn they throw a surprise show and the musical numbers are not ones you will easily forget. “White Christmas” may be the most famous of the songs from this movie, but I really love the “sisters” number. It makes me laugh every time.
- Holiday Inn (1942, Connecticut) -This Irvin Berlin holiday classic features both Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. A showman decides to exchange the stage for a quiet home in the countryside of Connecticut and buys an Inn. The music in this movie is fantastic, however, there is one scene to beware of: a musical number featuring white actors in black-face makeup. I cringe every time I see that racists scene appear. I think of it as an unfortunate learning tool from historic American cinema and enjoy the rest of the musical numbers. This is the film that inspired White Christmas.
- Little Women (1949, Massachusetts) -This film, based on the famous Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name, features the five March sisters and their mother, Marmie, as their father is away fighting the civil war. The movie takes place in Concord, Massachusetts and although it is not strictly a holiday film, most of the famous scenes take place around Christmas time.
- The Grinch That Stole Christmas (1966) -Technically this story takes place in Whoville, but Dr. Seuss was living in Massachusetts when he wrote it so I say it counts. In any case, the true meaning of Christmas is clear when you see the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes that day.
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