From Page to Screen: Holiday Films

It’s officially time to cozy up with a fluffy blanket and steaming mug to watch your favorite holiday movie. Whether you’re sipping cocoa, tea, or traditional wassail, chances are you have a favorite festive flick that you watch on a yearly basis. Are you a member of the Griswold family? Or do you like hanging out with Buddy the Elf? Perhaps you’d rather spend time with Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun.

Before you start your holiday movie marathon, experience one of your favorite holiday stories in a new way! Pick up one of the books that served as the inspiration behind the movies of the season.

In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd

In God We Trust disproves the adage “You can never go back.” Bending the ear of Flick, his childhood-buddy-turned-bartender, Shepherd recalls passionately his genuine Red Ryder BB gun, confesses adolescent failure in the arms of Junie Jo Prewitt, and relives a story of man against fish that not even Hemingway could rival. From pop art to the World’s Fair, Shepherd’s subjects speak with a universal irony and are deeply and unabashedly grounded in American Midwestern life, together rendering a wonderfully nostalgic impression of a more innocent era when life was good, fun was clean, and station wagons roamed the earth.

This book is the inspiration behind the movie A Christmas Story.

The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern

Unable at first to find a publisher for his evocative tale about a man named George Pratt who ponders suicide until he receives an opportunity to see what the world would be like without him, Stern ultimately published the story in a small pamphlet and sent it out as his 1943 Christmas card. One of those 200 cards found its way into the hands of Frank Capra, who shared it with Jimmy Stewart, and the film that resulted became the holiday tradition we cherish today.

This book is the inspiration behind the movie It’s A Wonderful Life.

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on Hemlock Street without a rooftop Frosty, they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash, they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences–and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined.

This book is the inspiration behind the movie Christmas with the Kranks.

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci

Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington to Los Angeles in time for Christmas. Forced to travel by train, he begins a journey of rude awakenings, thrilling adventures, and holiday magic. He has no idea that the locomotives pulling him across America will actually take him into the rugged terrain of his own heart, as he rediscovers people’s essential goodness and someone very special he believed he had lost.

This book is the inspiration behind the movie The Christmas Train.

A Dog Named Christmas by Greg Kincaid

When Todd McCray hears that a local animal shelter is seeking temporary homes for its dogs during the days leading to Christmas, he knows exactly what he wants for the holidays. His father objects, but Todd’s persistence quickly wins out. Soon the McCrays are the short-term foster family for a lovable pooch the young man names Christmas.

This book is the inspiration behind the movie A Dog Named Christmas.

Happy holidays!

-Melinda

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