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Christmas Movie Battles: “Everything is Hunky Dunky”

It was a Dostoevsky character who said that God and the devil are fighting over beauty and “the battlefield is the heart of man.” My updated version: that husbands and wives are fighting for their marriages, and the battlefield is the Netflix queue.

By the time we’ve been married 50 years, Israel and I will have hammered out our ultimate Christmas movie list, and the order in which films must be watched will be well established. I got in some trouble this December for making us watch Love Actually too early. (You want to save the best ones for closer to Christmas.)

My victory this year: Israel took me to see White Christmas The Musical at the Kennedy Center. That’s love. (It’s a musical. “That means that the performers will periodically dance about and burst into song.” Name that movie.) White Christmas is one of my favorite movies, so even though the dancing and costumes in this performance were a lot of fun, it’s impossible to live up to Bing and Danny. I could watch the movie over and over. In order to sustain the yearly tradition for the other half of this marriage, though, we may have to create a White Christmas drinking game: take a sip when Danny Kaye rubs his arm. When a new number begins. And whenever the general enters the scene. Why? Because he’s the man.

Israel’s victory: tonight, at the pinnacle of our Christmas movie season, we’ll have a screening of It’s A Wonderful Life.  I’ll admit that this one is not at the top of my list—a little too much of a downer (especially compared to the singing, dancing, and glorious technicolor of White Christmas!)

But I always loved it when George and Mary fall in the pool, and when he offers to lasso the moon for her. Sigh.


So, in a Christmas movie ultimate smackdown battle royale, which do you think would come out on top? White Christmas or It’s A Wonderful Life?

Other observations so far this season:

The plots of way too many made-for-TV movies have to do with creating a fake engagement or fake boyfriend to bring home to your family for the holidays. I can think of three that we encountered this year, so I’m sure there are many more. (And during the rest of the year you can watch Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence’s classic My Fake Fiance.) Lesson: if you’re looking for love, just get yourself into a situation where you need to lie to your family and hire a boyfriend. It’s highly likely that you will hate the person in the beginning, but hilarity and bonding will ensue, and you may just find that what you’ve been looking for all along is right under your nose!

But seriously. Don’t miss Christmas in Connecticut and Uncle Felix saying, “Everything is hunky dunky!”


I’m officially a fan of this one, and I love Barbara Stanwyck’s voice.

We hope things are hunky dunky for you, and that your encounter with Santa goes better than this:

santa 1 santa 2 santa 3

These pictures simultaneously slay me and crack me up. Don’t tell me I’m a bad mother. It was less than five seconds. (Pics by Shannon. Thanks!)

P.S. Christmas movie reviews from years past.


2 thoughts on “Christmas Movie Battles: “Everything is Hunky Dunky”

  1. Adding to the conversation: my dad (who doesn’t comment) didn’t tell me I was a bad mother re: Santa Claus, but did point out that if Mary Tobin was allowed to watch TV she would have recognized him.

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