There are holiday movies -- White Christmas, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Love Actually. There are unconventional holiday movies like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang that true film fans dust off and play right alongside Bing Crosby. And then there are the movies that have absolutely nothing to do with the holiday season, but have powerful memories of the holly and the ivy. This is where you can tell me (and the world of Cinematical readers) just what they are.

Confused? Well, I'll give you mine. The biggest one for me is The Lord of The Rings series. It has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, but if you can think back to the early years of the '00s, December was when the deluge of advertising began. They all had release dates of the third weekend in December, and the thrill just carried on through into New Year's no matter what else hit theaters.

On a personal level, they were wrapped up within my college office's holiday party which I distinctly remember wrapped a little early in 2003 so I could go home and make my pre-booked The Return of the King ticket. They probably also quit early because I was running a hideously high fever, but was determined to still see the movie. (The result was that I have no memory of that first showing, except my hysterical sobbing by the end.) I also remember that Lord of the Rings gifts were a constant thing under the tree following 2001. If no one knew what to get me, they could buy me a hobbit or Aragorn poster and I'd be happy.



I never actually watched the Lord of the Rings movies at Christmas, but whenever the holidays roll around, I want to -- or I feel like it should be 2001 all over again and I'm just now heading to the theater to see it. (This is what they call "the onset of middle age," I suppose.)

A similar feeling is associated with Harry Potter, which have long ceased to hit theaters around the holidays. (Actually, Deathly Hallows will be released in November which I think brings it all full circle.) There are always Christmas scenes in Potter which helps justify the feelings a little bit, but it's really more of an association by memory. Again, part of it is personal for me because I worked at a Barnes and Noble during the initial "So, I'm looking for this series called Larry Porter ...?" days. We could not keep Books 1-3 on the shelf during Christmas 1999, and there was no merchandising to keep the fans sated. The holiday rush had a nice, fannish edge as small fans would find me slicing open the endless boxes, and replenishing our pathetic displays, and strike up little conversations. Had I read them, even though I was a grown-up? Who was my favorite character? Who did I think would die in the upcoming Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? (J.K. Rowling, if you only knew what trembling chins accompanied their "I just hope it's not Ron!", you may never have teased them in such a way!)

There's other films that give me a rather jolly feeling, and ones strong enough to almost make them feel out of place whenever I watch them at other points of the year. But these two are the strongest for me. What about you?