Here’s yet another melancholy Christmas song that loses a lot when it’s wrested from its context in the film, White Christmas (1954). The first rendition of the song in that movie takes place as part of a Christmas celebration in France in 1944, as the gathered troops wonder when (or if) they’ll ever again take part in family holiday celebrations. Much like Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), it’s really a three-hanky operation (and right at the start of the movie!), not at all a happy, light, and cheery little number.
We missed seeing White Christmas again last weekend, but today we’ll make it to the showing of A Christmas Story at our local retro-movie house. Bring the whole family, patronize the bar, and tip your servers generously!
I particularly enjoy the scenes in Ralphie’s school and among his peers there. Although I think I went to elementary schools at least 30 years later, there are remarkable continuities about the sociology and dynamics of third grade, from the 1940s to the 1970s and even into the 2010s. (Ralphie would never be terrorized by Scott Farkus today–he’d be delivered to school in an SUV or a minivan with heated seats instead of walking to school. But then, he’d never have the opportunity to take revenge on Farkus either.)