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The Meandering Truth of a Christmas Movie


It is suggested that there are only a couple of stories; ‘a stranger comes to town’ or ‘a hero goes on a journey’.

Great Christmas movies seem to be a bit of both, and they amplify the emotional content of these stories; they have less concern about the audience ability to suspend reality, and they can be unashamedly ‘gushy’. We are taken on an emotionally liberating rollercoaster that takes us from “Bah Humbug” or ‘same old same old’ to “Merry Christmas Everyone!’ and ‘I love you’.

But we can’t get into a joyous state without working our way through some tension. We have listed our favourite Christmas Movies below and created a map of their emotional journey:

Favourite Christmas movies

It’s a Wonderful Life

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

George is suicidal
Clarence gets the job of saving him
Clarence reviews his life
Clarence jumps in and George saves him
George wishes he had never been born
Clarence grants his wish
Clarence gets his wings

Miracle on 42nd Street

A lawyer and a little girl must prove that a man claiming to be Santa Claus is the real thing.

Santa takes a job in a toy store
Susan tells Santa her Christmas wishes
Santa gets taunted and then arrested
Everyone believes in Santa
Santa is not real
Santa is real!
Susan gets all of her wishes


After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.

Buddy grows up as an elf
Buddy finds out he is not an elf
Buddy travels to New York
Buddy finds his dad and is rejected
Buddy decorates the grotto for Santa
Buddy helps Santa by making people believe
Buddy’ dad publishes a book

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser's redemption on Christmas Eve.

Scrooge is miserly and mean
Jacob Marley Visits
The Ghost of Christmas Past
The Ghost of Christmas Present
The Ghost of Christmas yet to come
Scrooge Realises he is alive
Scrooge changes his ways forever!

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

On the outskirts of Whoville, there lives a green, revenge-seeking Grinch who plans on ruining the Christmas holiday for all of the citizens of the town.

The Grinch is annoyed by the happy Whos of Whoville
The Grinch steals Christmas
The Grinch Gets stuck on the mountain
The Whos discover Christmas stolen
The Whos are happy regardless
The Grinch’s heart swells
The Grinch joins the people for Christmas

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