As much as we don’t want to admit it, a lot of Christmas has to do with gift giving and receiving; there’s no escaping it. And unless your some sort of hairless Magi, getting the perfect (or less-than-perfect) gift can really decide how your Christmas wound up. Of course, it’s the thought that counts, but as we’ll see, sometimes the thought is part of the problem. Here’s our picks for the BEST MOVIE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS. Be sure to vote in the poll below and decide which one is the best.
Dan’s Pick – The VCR from Scrooged
Scrooged is a modern take on the Christmas classic A Christmas Carol, with Bill Murray playing Frank, this version’s Scrooge. He pinches pennies, is cruel to his employees, and of course hates Christmas. He has a brother (who is his actual brother in life) who he never really cares to see during the holidays or any time it seems.
He tells his secretary to send his brother bath towels as a Christmas present, but she accidentally sends him a a brand new VCR. When Frank finds out he is furious with his secretary and says he’s going to fire her, but seeing his brother happy starts the transformation of Frank.
The VCR symbolizes that Frank still cares about him and that his brothers refusal to give up on him is well placed. His unwavering love for his older brother is finally shown to Frank while visiting him with the ghost of Christmas present. Even when Frank admits at the end that the VCR is a mistake, his brother doesn’t care because it was the thought that counts.
Mark’s Pick – The Joni Mitchell CD from Love, Actually
Sometimes in movies an object or moment is more important because of what it isn’t instead of what it is. When a character is expecting one thing, and they get blindsided by something else; the repercussions are a lot deeper than the object or moment itself. This phenomenon in film is why I have chosen the Joni Mitchell CD from Love Actually as my No. 1 present in a movie. The CD itself isn’t the reason I chose it, but what it represented for Emma Thompson’s character.
Love Actually is an ensemble movie that interweaves eight stories in the way only a movie can. My choice focuses on the Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman piece of the film. Their section revolves around Rickman’s character being seduced by his 20-something secretary. From their first moment together, we immediately know where this story will be going, but we constantly cheer for Rickman to avoid temptation. Just as we think he’s hit his lowest point, Thompson’s character finds a gold necklace in a square shaped box inside his coat pocket. For once, it looks like the husband has been able to resist the flirtations of a younger woman.
We fast-forward to Christmas Eve where Rickman and Thompson’s family have begun their tradition of opening one present before going to the Christmas Pageant. Thompson immediately goes for the square box that she had seen the necklace in earlier, and quickly tears the wrapping paper off, but instead of the necklace she finds a Joni Mitchell CD inside; she begins to cry. Rickman, who has no idea his wife has seen the necklace, is really proud that his gift has moved her emotionally. Thompson’s character excuses herself and goes to their bedroom to listen to a song.
The quiet scene is one of the most powerful in the film. While listening to a very emotional Mitchell song, you can almost see her thinking of what this gift means and how she should react to it. This moment — and the one later in the auditorium— is the reason I chose this gift for this list. The fact that this one gift could have ramifications that could potentially destroy a family makes it one of the most powerful I’ve seen in a Christmas film. Since this is a Christmas movie, it doesn’t end with a divorce, but the scar left by the CD is still present even in the movie’s happy epilogue.
While it may not be the best in terms of sentimental value or something that is remembered forever (Red Rider BB Gun), it is one of the few times when a small object could cause a catastrophic situation, and that makes it just as important.
Anthony’s Pick – The Weenie Whistle from The Santa Clause
Surprisingly, none of us picked a single present from A Christmas Story. Not only is the Red Rider BB Gun a good entry, so is that nightmare bunny costume. Or that badass zeppelin that Randy gets that no one seems to ever mention.
I specifically went with tangible gifts, so that eliminated things like “faith” or “getting divorced parents back together” or “some crippled kid not dying of consumption”, so there’s only one choice: the Weenie Whistle.
Neil is such a wet blanket through the whole movie, right down to his ridiculous Cosby sweaters. But give him the chance to blow on a tiny piece of plastic, and he’s a big kid. The Weenie Whistle gives Neil the ability to believe in Santa again and for such an insignificant piece of marketing for hot dogs, that carries a lot of weight.
Which Christmas gift from the movies do you think is the best? VOTE in the poll below or comment with your answer.