When I set out to make this list of movies I felt had to be watched at least once during the holiday season, I knew there would be many I'd have to leave out due to space and time. I also knew there would be some I'd end up leaving out simply because they slipped off my radar for a second. And admittedly today's pick almost ended up as that latter case. Unfortunately, when I sat down to write this list, I couldn't remember much about this next movie, except that it starred Thora Birch and had a gag with a little while mouse. I couldn't even remember the name of the movie (ironic considering it shares the name with one of my favorite holiday songs ever!), but I remembered seeing it in theaters as a kid.
I dug a little deeper to learn that All I Want For Christmas was in fact released in theaters in 1991 and told the tale of a young brother (Ethan Embry, then billed as Ethan Randall) and sister duo who decided that what they really wanted for their holidays was for their parents to get back together. Set in New York (which should explain the rodent ;) ), the kids utilize the power of Santa-- oh, okay, and some clever schemes of their own-- to go about getting exactly what they want.
To some, it may be just another in a very long line of kids taking on impossible tasks and managing to succeed due to the magic of the Christmas season. To others who may have had some similar personal experiences, though, All I Want For Christmas is as heartwrenching as it is heart-warming. There are some very real and very serious themes underlying the holiday backdrop, after all. And watching it now and as an adult, one can't help but marvel at the stellar supporting cast assembled in this often passed-over film: Renee Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Leslie Nielsen, Kevin Nealon, Andrea Martin, and Jamey Sheridan all looking bright-eyed and rosy-cheeked-- preserved not by the art of celluloid but by the spirit of the holidays!