Childhood Memories: Those Once A Year Movies

Remember all those movies that only came on once a year when we were kids? The first one that always pops into my head is The Wizard of Oz. We would wait in anticipation for weeks when we knew it was going to come on on a random Friday night. My mom made popcorn, let us pull out our sleeping bags in front of the TV, and I was usually asleep before the movie was even over since for some reason I remember it started at 9 PM and went until 11 PM. But that could just be me making a good story better.

If you wanted to see Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West and Toto or the Wizard, you had to wait for that once-a-year showing. There was no taping or DVRing back then…and by the time that VCRs came around, I wasn’t interested in The Wizard of Oz anymore because I was too old and too cool to watch it.

But now? That movie is childhood. That movie, along with others, shaped my childhood and created lasting memories.

Because not only did we wait to watch The Wizard of Oz every year, we also waited to watch Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas every single holiday season. And if we missed it? It was like missing Christmas all together.

So most of you can probably relate to this. Which is why I was expecting so much more from the Grinch this year.

Tonight, I had scheduled How The Grinch Stole Christmas to tape on the DVR. Jason was working, so I told Ethan and the girls that we’d pop popcorn, make chocolate milk, and snuggle under a bunch of blankies and watch it. Things went just as planned…kind of.

Because let’s face it: the girls are two and have no idea who the Grinch is, what Christmas is, or why they should be excited about it. Tater went to sleep before it even started. There was popcorn…being thrown all over and the popcorn bowl fought over. The girls wouldn’t sit still and JUST ENJOY THE MOVIE DAMMIT. The dogs were running around on the floor beneath us begging for stray pieces of flying popcorn the girls were sure to send their way. It was chaos, not fun. Or was it?

As I thought about what was going on, I’m pretty sure it was probably exactly how movie time went at our house when we were kids. I can’t imagine me and my two sisters and two brothers all sitting quietly just watching a movie for an entire half hour. I’m sure there was fighting. I’m sure there was talking. I’m sure there was chaos, and all I remember is that we enjoyed it.

Ethan, Lila and Mia…you guys will someday look back at the traditions I’m trying to create for you all, traditions that me and your dad and your aunts and uncles had when we were kids, and you will embrace them. You will remember the anticipation, the fun, the snuggling, the family time. Because I guarantee you that after this holiday season? I’ll be deleting Rudolph, Frosty, and the Grinch from the DVR, and you’ll have to wait until next Christmas to see them again.

And as a side note, I can’t wait for Ethan to be old enough to enjoy A Christmas Story. Because really, who wouldn’t want to have that leg lamp in their living room, eat duck at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas night, and get a Red Rider BB Gun for Christmas? This is quite possibly the best Christmas movie. EVER.

And remember, I wrote a post about all the ways kids can contact Santa (via video, letters, and more!), so check it out if you haven’t already!


  1. Alex is all over the Charlie Bown Christmas special. I showed it to him in desparation Tthanksgiving, and the next day he asked for it and watched it all over again. Maybe the twins would dig that? Mrs. Wonder recently posted..SomebodyMy Profile
  2. I remember that as a kid I would eagerly await all those East German, Russian and Czech fairy tails that would be screen over the Christmas period. They were the business when it came to Christmas TV. Can't stand the bleedin' things now. How things change! Symdaddy recently posted..Welcome Slovenia!My Profile
  3. I agree that Christmas Story might be the best Christmas movie ever! DH doesn't want to overload on the Christmas movies just yet so he's only allowing one per weekend until December and then it's free game! Barbara recently posted..Thanksgiving a la francaiseMy Profile
  4. GrandeMocha says:
    I tried explaining how we were excited about Christmas specials coming on and we only had 5 channels to my son. He doesn't get it. Can't comprehend. He only knows dvd & dvr.
  5. It's a tradition to watch those shows/movies here, too. There's usually more talking than watching. As much as I love Christmas Story, it's played 24 hours straight on Christmas Eve. I haven't seen it all the way through in years! My absolute favorite Christmas movie is Wonderful Life. Evonne recently posted..ThankfulMy Profile
  6. Love those movies! You're correct when you say it's just not Christmas without them. LoL Cindi recently posted..(Still You) On the InsideMy Profile
  7. the year I was finally pregnant with the boys, I went ahead, tempted fate and bought all those movies on DVD in those crazy expensive SETS, we have every single Christmas movie (Including Nestor the long eared Christmas donkey which is my favorite) and I waited...I waited quite frankly for this year...when I saw the look of magic in their eyes as they watched Rudolph and Santa Claus is Coming to Town on Friday and Saturday while I put up the tree. I know exactly how you just wouldn't be Christmas without those movies...they are what shaped my whole childhood. :) Kir recently posted..Little Pim and the Amazing GiveawayMy Profile
  8. LOL! I needed that bit of laughter and giggles! Plus, all very good movies. I love I have kids and have the excuse to watch em. Plus, BONUS A Christmas Story is great comic relief! Paulette recently posted..Breaking TabooMy Profile
  9. This is so funny because I was just talking to my kids the other day about how lucky they are that they can watch these movies any time they want. They were shocked that my sister and I could only see these movies once a year! And I had to laugh about the experience you had with your kids, only because mine are the same way. I DVR'd The Grinch too and they watched it for 7 minutes, maybe 8 and then they were kicking one another, trying to throw the cats at each other. I found myself screaming, "Why can't we just watch this freakin' cartoon and enjoy the holiday season together with everyone getting along for more than 5 minutes??" Our day will come soon when our kids relish these moments for what they are...the cozy, loving traditions we're trying to create. It just has to...but if not, there's always the future grandchildren, right?
  10. We also have been watching holiday movies with the twins already.....because we own so many of them that if we don't start now, we'll never get through them! HA! I love this tradition already, although I did comment to my husband that as much as I love watching these movies with the twins (who do sit still for the most part, they just ask questions the ENTIRE TIME), I almost want to re-watch all of them with just Tim and I. Because it's different. :) Catherine recently posted..Med-sin too!My Profile
  11. I remember when I was so excited for Sophie to watch Rudolph when she was old enough too. She was bored to tears. It is so hokey compared to today's technology. It's so funny what we remember it to be. Poppy recently posted..I Like DickMy Profile
  12. Our kid is just 2, so we don't watch holiday movies yet! But growing up, it was always The Sound of Music :)) My husband and I like to watch movies after the kid has gone off to bed, and we enjoy romcom Christmas faves like Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping and Serendipity. :)) Stopping by from Daily Buzz Moms; looks like we're on today's top 9 together. Have a happy Friday! Martine | Work at Home Mom Writer recently posted..Are you having a merry little Christmas? {Roundup and Links}My Profile
  13. Love it! Nothing ever really goes as we plan! Some day they'll appreciate the Grinch! Jen recently posted..Kitchen Counter Confidential - Diva EditionMy Profile


  1. Dainty Mom says:
    What are your family Christmas traditions?... I have many fond memories of Christmas as a child. My parents always made sure it was a meaningful season, and not just about the gifts or wish lists. Yes, we made our Christmas lists to Santa; until one Christmas, when my younger brother mused, ......