I posted this a few years ago. It’s time to repeat it.

Growing up, my father insisted on a family tradition. Every year, my siblings and I were forced to watch “Miracle on 34th Street” on Christmas day. Not just any version, the old black and white version with Natalie Wood. Every Christmas. By the time I was 18 years old, my brother and I would roll our eyes and make a face every time we were forced to watch it.

Then, I had children of my own. The tradition lived on with my own kids.

The day eventually came when dad passed away. My kids are grown and have lives and families of their own. I still watch that movie every Christmas, and it brings back memories of childhood days spent with my family: the one I had as a child, and the one I had as a young parent.

Suddenly, that tradition didn’t seem so senseless. Dad would have been 82 years old this week had he not passed away 19 years ago. I still miss him, but he still gives me a Christmas gift every year when I watch that movie.

Cherish the senseless traditions. They become some of the best memories you will ever have. 

Categories: Me


Boneman · December 4, 2023 at 5:51 am

Nice. We had traditions. Alas, those are no longer logistically possible as the people are no longer with us, but our own traditions… the movies, Christmas Vacation, Polar Express… very important.

WDS · December 4, 2023 at 8:51 am

We had a family tradition as well, watching the original “A Christmas Carol” with Alastair Sim.
One year, my elementary school even put it on as a play before Christmas. The kids that were in it all worked hard to learn their lines,entrance & exit cues including me, I played the solicitor trying to get a pound or two from Scrooge. Good times.

D · December 4, 2023 at 10:24 am

My mom forced us to sit on the hide-a-bed in the living room every Thanksgiving and watch The Wizard of Oz. To this day, I hate that movie. I can’t stand watching it.

So we started our own family tradition. Every November 5th we watch “V for Vendetta”. The kids love it. The boys all dress up in nice clothes and and wear the Guy Fawkes mask. My daughter wears a “Plague doctor’s mask”.

My mom showed up once. She spent the entire movie loudly exclaiming that John Hurt was obviously a stand-in for Trump and “thank god” that Biden saved us from this dystopian hell and also loudly “cringing” every time someone got shot, stabbed, or beat down.

Obviously she lacks the emotional intelligence to understand the point of the movie. But I don’t expect much from someone who forces their kids to watch The Wizard of Oz because there’s “no violence in it or any of the old movies”.

    Divemedic · December 4, 2023 at 10:43 am

    It would be tough for any character in V For Vendetta to be a stand in for Trump, since the movie was made in 2006, and was based on a story that was written and published in 1982.

      D · December 4, 2023 at 11:29 am

      Don’t let facts stand in the way of being a crazy liberal. 😉

      I guess people see what they’ve been programmed to see.

      Not sure how I managed to deprogram myself in a family where pretty much everyone is a liberal and most of them work for public schools.

SiG · December 4, 2023 at 10:33 am

One of those sweet lessons of life.

My dad worked nights, I assume for a shift differential, so we didn’t see each other much. He worked in the post office, and Thanksgiving to New Years was working tons of overtime. While we watched the 1930s Christmas Carol and Mr. Magoo’s version every year, dad was at work.

It’s a borderline freakout that I’m now older than dad was when he passed away.

RandyGC · December 4, 2023 at 10:44 am

Darlin’ Daughter and I started our tradition this past Friday night (pizza and movie night). I’m grateful that at 25 she still wants to do this.

Last Friday it was “Donovan’s Reef”

In the queue: “Miracle of 34th Street” (same version as you mentioned, the ONLY version), “Scrooged”, and “Die Hard”, because it’s not Christmas until Hans Gruber falls from the Nakatomi Tower

County Cork · December 4, 2023 at 1:28 pm

George C. Scott as Patton and Where Eagles Dare in the winter and of course The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.
Love that HUGE American flag in Patton and badazz speech, Trump should do this.
We are going to grease the treads of our tanks with their guts!

    WDS · December 5, 2023 at 9:05 am

    These days, I’d also recommend watching “Seven Days in May”, “The Bedford Incident” and “Dr. Strangelove” as well.

CelticGirl424 · December 4, 2023 at 3:55 pm

My favorite Christmas movie!
Happy Heavenly Birthday to your Dad.
I’m sure he’s proud of you.

Danny · December 4, 2023 at 7:02 pm

My wife insists on watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” every year. Drives me right up the wall 😀

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