Rita’s choices for Christmas viewing are all about 1940s and 50s nostalgia. Take a step back to a simpler time before the words “video game” and “internet” were invented.

white christmasWhite ChristmasBing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen.

After leaving the Army after W.W.II, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis team up to become a top song-and-dance act. Davis plays matchmaker and introduces Wallace to a pair of beautiful sisters (Betty and Judy) who also have a song-and-dance act. When Betty and Judy travel to a Vermont lodge to perform a Christmas show, Wallace and Davis follow, only to find their former commander, General Waverly, is the lodge owner. A series of romantic mix-ups ensue as the performers try to help the General. I love the singing and dancing and the romantic mixups of the 1954 movie.

ralphieChristmas Story Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon

This vignette-laden, nostalgic view of Christmastime in 1940s Indiana follows nine-year-old Ralphie, who desperately wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas–and is waging an all-out campaign to… This vignette-laden, nostalgic view of Christmastime in 1940s Indiana follows nine-year-old Ralphie, who desperately wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas–and is waging an all-out campaign to convince his reluctant parents that the toy will be safe in his hands. By turns warped and winsome, the comedy follows Ralphie as he prepares for the big day with his rather idiosyncratic family. Based on the novel by humorist Jean Shepherd (who also narrates the film), A Christmas Story gained popularity long after its theatrical run, through frequent holiday broadcasts that turned its schoolyard “triple-dog” dares, family neuroses, and childhood indignities into a Yuletide tradition. I love this movie as it reminds me of my early life in Davenport. In the 1960’s we were still double dog daring, going to see Santa Claus at Petersen Harned Von Maur and wishing for the perfect Christmas gift. Mine was a Tiny Tears Doll.

My new Christmas tradition is to watch all the Christmas movies broadcast on ABC Family Channel’s “25 days of Christmas” Some of these are the hokest Christmas movies ever, but it does get you in the mood.