Naughty or nice? Christmas on the big screen

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas is only four days away! Are you full of holiday cheer or feeling more like Scrooge this year? Either way, head to the library and check out a Christmas movie or two to get in the holiday spirit. Here are a few of my favorites that are a bit non-traditional.

“Gremlins” is a classic that I hadn’t seen since I was a kid and honestly wasn’t that excited about watching again. But I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! The perfect amount of comedy and “horror” with an amazing musical score that I promptly downloaded onto my Kindle and have been annoying my family with ever since. And frankly, I’m shocked it’s only rated PG – that scene with the blender is a bit morbid!

From what I’ve heard from other people, you either love or hate the 2003 movie “Love Actually.” I love it and watch it every year! There are ten different love stories that play out over the five weeks before Christmas, and not all of them are romantic. One of my favorites is Billy Mack, the aging rock star, who realizes that his manager is the love of his life (in a platonic way). Another storyline involves Sarah, whose story ends up being that she loves her mentally ill brother and taking care of him is the most important part of her life. The stories are all touching, and many are hilarious. The soundtrack is great as well – check out the songs “Christmas is All Around” and the cover of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Krampus” came out just last year. I saw it in theaters then and watched it on DVD earlier this week and it was still highly entertaining the second time around. Like “Gremlins,” “Krampus” is a horror comedy that is fun and slightly twisted. The Krampus creature is meant to be a dark mirror of Saint Nicholas and terrorizes those who have lost their Christmas spirit. The movie revolves around a dysfunctional extended family who are spending the holidays together. When one of the kids, Max, gets teased by his cousin for still writing a letter to Santa Claus, he rips it up and throws it out the window. Then his whole family feels the wrath of Krampus. If anyone else watches this, please tell me your take on the ending. It is certainly left open to interpretation!

I always make fun of my husband because one of his favorite holiday films is an ABC Family movie called “12 Dates of Christmas.” Kate (played by Amy Smart) finds herself reliving Christmas Eve, where she goes on a blind date with Miles (played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar, a.k.a. Zack Morris from “Saved by the Bell”), over and over again. She has – you guessed it – 12 dates to get it right! It’s a cute romcom that’s worth a watch if that’s your cup of tea.

The library is open all day today and tomorrow until 8 p.m. so come check out some great Christmas films and some books to keep you entertained over the holiday weekend. And of course, you should come to Tryon Theatre tonight at 7 p.m. to see “Elf” on the big screen! Polk County Public Library is sponsoring this free event and providing hot chocolate and cookies to attendees. Come join us, and be sure to bring nonperishable food items to donate to Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry.

Jen Pace Dickenson is the Youth Services Librarian at Polk County Public Library. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call (828) 894-8721.