The festive five

Sofie Kennedy, Feature Editor

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If you aren’t feeling festive this holiday season, cozying up by the fire and watching holiday movies is sure to get you in the spirit. Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are all celebrated this December among many different people with various traditions, decor and movies.  Let’s now take a look at some of the films that make this time of year so special.

The Black Candle

Released in 2008, this inspirational documentary shines light on the obstacles and victories of African American culture using Kwanzaa as a way to celebrate their achievements. Kwanzaa’s seven principles- self-determination, purpose, cooperative collective work and responsibility, economics, unity, creativity and faith are highlighted in the film. This documentary was directed by award-winning author and filmmaker M.K. Asant and narrated by world renowned poet Maya Angelou. The cast includes NFL star Jim Brown, Hip Hop icon Chuck D and Kwanzaa’s founder Dr. Maulana Karenga among others.

Elf

Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel and other favorites star in Elf, an American Christmas comedy. After living in the North Pole his whole life, Elf spreads happiness to the grinches of New York through jokes and ignorance as he travels to New York City to meet his biological father for the first time. The film was released in 2003, and earned 220.4 million dollars worldwide. Elf has gone on to win the Golden Trailer Award for best comedy.

Almost Christmas

After the death of their mother, a patriarch struggles to get his dysfunctional family to gather for Christmas. The importance of family is revealed as the Meyer family struggles to live peacefully under the same roof. The movie is a Christmas comedy-drama written and directed by David E. Talbert. The film stars Danny Glover, Kimberly Elise, Gabrielle Union and others. Released in 2016, Almost Christmas made 42.5 million dollars.

Eight Crazy Nights

Adam Sandler co-wrote and starred in Eight Crazy Nights, an adult animated holiday musical drama film. The story is unlike most holiday films, as it is about Hanukkah. The film stars Davey Stone, a 33-year-old alcoholic criminal who hates the holidays. Davey is arrested once again, but this time the community comes together to try and help him enjoy the holiday season. The plot is told through song and animations. The film received a Kids’ Choice Awards for Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie.

A Christmas Story

Released in 1983, A Christmas Story follows a nine-year-old boy, Ralphie Parker, from the 1940s as he tries to convince his parents and neighborhood that a BB gun is the perfect Christmas gift. Ralphie, played by Peter Billings, struggles through the holiday season as he tries to avoid a school bully… and frozen poles. The film is classified as a Christmas comedy and was directed by Bob Clark. It won the Academy of Canadian Cinema Award, the Television Award for Best Screenplay and the Genie Award for Best Achievement in Direction.