Favorite Childhood Movies Edition

With an 8-year-old and 4-year-old, one of my favorite aspects of motherhood is re-living the best parts of my childhood. I have so many fond memories of watching movies with my family, like Stand By Me.

And Ari, in particular, is old enough to enjoy it, too.

Most recently, we were replacing our lost Elf — a favorite holiday movie we admittedly watch even when it’s not Christmas! — and I spotted Stand By Me. I will forever associate this movie with my sister Nidia and my cousins Vanessa and Thalia as we watched it repeatedly in the summer of 1990 in Ohio.  The movie came out in 1986.

This past Friday, Ari and I watched it and he loved it. He loved it so much that he told Jude about it, and then the boys watched it again later in the weekend. I could see the draw for little boys: the camaraderie between the four boys, the barfing story, the train-chasing scenes — and my boys’ favorite — the leach-on-Gordy’s-testicals scene. “He had a leach on his balls!” one of the boys said.

I forgot how many potty words were in the movie so I let the boys know it was not nice to say any of those words outside of our living room. :)

I, of course, teared up when River Phoenix’s character, Chris Chambers, dies as an adult. I was also sad about River Phoenix, in general, and did tell the boys that he was a famous actor who died young.

Other favorite childhood movies I have introduced my kids to: the original Karate Kid, all the Muppet movies, Heidi — loved the book! — with Shirley Temple, and all the Christmas movies: A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation.

What are some of your favorite childhood movies that you have shared with your children? Happy Thanksgiving, all!  

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Midday Coffee Break

What’s up?

Here is where I am at in the countdown until Christmas:

Shopping….Check.
Christmas cards filled out….Check.
Christmas cards sent….Check.
Gifts wrapped….Check.
Gifts sent….Check.
Pack for the Trip….Almost.
Throw away perishable food items….Check.
Stock MotherTalkers story queue….Check.

We leave today for El Salvador to visit my mother-in-law and will be returning on Monday, January 4. I will be back into the groove, hopefully, by Tuesday, January 5. In the meantime, our MotherTalkers extraordinaire Gloria and Erika will be updating the site every day. If you must reach your MT moderators, please e-mail them at gloria at mothertalkers dot com or erika at mothertalkers dot com.

“See” you in the new year! Please have a safe, restful and fun holiday. XO, Elisa

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Late-Night Liberty: Christmas Movies Edition

Due to a technical snafu, this story did not post on time. But here it is! -Elisa

Recently, Ari brought a smile to my face as he recounted one of his favorite Christmas movies. “Mami, do you remember the movie when the little boy had his tongue cut out because it stuck on a pole during a snowstorm?”

(Speaking of, there was an actual Associated Press story yesterday about kids who have had their tongues stuck on poles and removed by firefighters a la Christmas Story.)

I corrected him that the boy’s tongue was gently removed by the firefighters — not actually cut out! But yes, I, too, love A Christmas Story. Like Christmas music — which I am blissfully eating up right now — I love Christmas movies. I own a bunch: Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story and Elf just to name a few. It has become a ritual in our family to watch a Christmas movie on Christmas Eve in either Spanish or with Spanish subtitles so everyone in the family can understand. What fun.

I recently checked out this list of favorite Christmas movies by someone at Open Salon. I have seen 8 of the 10 movies. I had never heard of Miracle on 34th Street or Christmas in Connecticut. I will have to check them out!

Do you like Christmas movies? What are your favorites? Of course this is an open thread, so feel free to discuss what you would like!

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Monday Open Thread

We are in the holiday season, which means commercialization of all kinds, including Hollywood movies.

Yesterday Ari, Amy’s son Jude and I watched Alvin and the Chipmunks with David Cross and Jason Lee. Sure it was a stinker that earned a 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but the joy on the boys’ faces was priceless. They were hypnotized by the movie and Ari was even bobbing his head to the music. He insisted we stay in the theater until the music stopped playing and the screen went black.  

From the adult point of view, between hearing the high-pitched voices of the chipmunks and then the boys’ non-stop banter in the car, I wanted to run screaming. But there were plenty of flopping around and fart jokes to maintain their interest. I would say it is money well spent if you and your four-year-old are looking for something to do on a cold Sunday afternoon.

Seriously, I do love Christmas movies and it is a yearly ritual in my house to watch Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation. Its theme is so accessible that all generations in my family eat it up. What are your favorite holiday movies, MotherTalkers? How about family holiday rituals?

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