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Entertainment

Classic Christmas Characters That Activate Your Holiday Spirit

As final exams come to an end, I am ready to fully immerse myself into the holiday season. In my opinion, Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year. Spending time with loved ones, being surrounded by twinkling lights, and snacking on holiday treats are activities that I hold near to my heart. I start shuffling my festive playlist right as Mariah Carey starts to defrost. However, I cannot forget one of the best aspects of Christmas: the movies. Nothing is better than drinking hot chocolate by the fire as you watch your favorite Christmas movies. There are cheesy Hallmark movies and new Netflix originals, but nothing beats the classics.

When reflecting on my love for Christmas movies, I have multiple reasons. It could be the fictional worlds that transport me into heartfelt plot lines, or the happy endings that inspire hope. A big part of it is the protagonists that allow me to connect with them and be a part of their journeys. Therefore, here are some of my favorite Christmas characters that are guaranteed to spread some joy and activate your holiday spirit.

Kevin McCallister from Home Alone (1990)

When it comes to iconic Christmas movies, Home Alone tops the list. If you disagree, then you should watch it again. Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) manages to be witty and hilarious throughout the movie despite two men attempting to rob his house. As he fights back, the chaos that ensues is peak entertainment, yet heartwarming. Leaving an eight-year-old home alone during the holidays is awful parenting, but Kevin made it look so fun that I was convinced, as a child, that I could take on two burglars too. There were high expectations for a sequel and Home 2: Lost in New York (1992) did not disappoint. Dare I say it is just as good, if not better than the original. Kevin and his shenanigans are a must-watch every year for me because of the carefree and lighthearted atmosphere he creates. However, please don’t speak of the third movie. We pretend that it doesn’t exist.

Charlie Brown from A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

No matter how old I get, A Charlie Brown Christmas fills me with so much nostalgia and brings out my inner child. This animated short is timeless. Growing up, I always saw Snoopy as the star, but we can learn a lot from Charlie Brown. Many, including myself, can relate to the fact that he is struggling. We’ve all been there, and this is why it is easy to empathize with him. Charlie does make questionable decisions and is often ridiculed for it. I’m sure most of us wouldn’t have ever picked the sad, neglected Christmas tree that he did. However, he emphasizes that Christmas isn’t only about commercialized products that many of us get wrapped up in. I believe we can all see some of ourselves in him because we can all be blockheads sometimes.

Cindy Lou Who from How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

We all know a Grinch, or perhaps you are one. They can be mean-spirited or grumpy, but deep down they are still lovable, especially once given a chance. In spite of being a minor character, Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) is the true heroine of the movie. She’s sophisticated, brave, open-hearted, and has a fantastic hairstyle. Many of us can’t say we would go out of our way to befriend a beast that we caught trying to steal our presents. Yet, this six-year-old is the active catalyst that helps the Grinch’s character develop from attempting to ruin everyone’s Christmas, to his heart growing three sizes. Her actions show us how to care more for each other instead of presents. We all deserve a ride-or-die friend like Cindy.

Rudolph from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

We all know the story as the classic song tells. To some, Rudolph may be an overrated character, but I believe that he deserved the hype that he gets. He teaches valuable lessons, such as that everyone has something to offer and never to judge those who deviate from norms or societal standards. In the end, Rudolph was the one who saved Christmas by guiding the sleigh. Despite the previous bullying, he was overjoyed and ready to lead them. This is a prime lesson on how to flex on your haters. They say “the best revenge is success,” so the next time I am underestimated, I’ll be sure to remember this story. Rudolph is the hero we need but not the one we deserve.

Personally, these characters and their stories can instantly get me in the spirit of Christmas. I encourage everyone to watch their own favorite Christmas movies this holiday season. We need the laughter and positivity that characters like these can offer us more than ever. Happy Holidays!

Kayla Atkinson

UC Irvine '23

Hello everyone! My name is Kayla Atkinson and I am psychology and sociology double major. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, binging Netflix and reading a good book. I hope you enjoy my work!
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