Our Favorite Christmas Movies: #1 Elf
Over the last few weeks, we’ve counted down our favorite Christmas movies:
#5 “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with Georgia Small
#4 “A Christmas Story” with Eric Neubauer
#3 “A Muppet Christmas Carol” with Michael Flickinger
#2 “Christmas Vacation” with Chris Larson
This week, Molly Wren shares why she (and 46% of the Wonder Voyage staff that was polled) has “Elf” at the top of their Christmas movie watch list.
Why Molly Says “Elf” is #1
When I was a kid, we didn’t watch a lot of television. The Wonderful World of Disney, Jacques Cousteau, and after-school specials were pretty much what was allowed. And, of course, Christmas specials. When Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and A Charlie Brown Christmas came on, we not only got to watch them, but we also got to eat in front of the TV!
Rudolph was always my favorite. That red-nosed reindeer reminded me a lot of myself. The kid that never really fit in, but still longed for community. He ventured out, did some brave and scary things, and eventually found community AND saved Christmas. He could only do that by just being Rudolph. That resonated with me. It was my yearly reminder that it was ok for me not to fit. It was best for me to be me. It reminded me that hope is a good thing.
When the movie Elf was released in 2003, I didn’t see it on the big screen. It wasn’t even on my radar. But when it showed up on cable during the holidays a couple of years later, I watched it in pieces here and there. When my friends started quoting it, I decided to watch the whole thing at once. I was pretty much hooked after that. These days, no matter the season, if Elf is on, I’m watching it.
When one of my friends asked me why I liked it so much, I realized that it is because Elf is the new version of Rudolf. He doesn’t fit in. He embarks on a journey of self-discovery. He finds community. AND he saves Christmas. He does all of that purely by being Buddy. His childlike wonder as he discovers New York city – all the sights the sounds, the smells – reminds me of how I felt when I first went there. It is my reminder that hope is a good thing, and it’s best for me to be me.
After graduating with a dual degree in History and Sociology, Molly became a youth minister in the Episcopal Church. She joined the staff of WV in 2003. As Voyage Coordinator, she adds the nuts and bolts to our itineraries. She is dedicated to bringing the gospel to life through pilgrimage. As an encounter expert, Molly can find the story of God anywhere and everywhere.