EntertainmentMoviesThe best stories about Christmas, in novels and movies

The best stories about Christmas, in novels and movies

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During these weeks, everything is impregnated and decorated with the Christmas spirit: the streets and the bright lights, the pine trees, the nativity scenes, the Roscones de Reyes, the Santa Claus sweaters, the Christmas carols, the movies. It’s what it takes.

Yes indeed. This year 2020 the parties are going to be a little different from other previous years, for obvious reasons. The pandemic forces extreme precautions and limit the number of guests.

However, despite this, it seems that the good intentions are still there, as perennial at this time. But what relationship do they have and since when with Christmas? Because it is understandable that it has not always been like this.

Today we propose to shed a little light on this issue and we are going to learn about the Christmas stories that have most influenced our culture.

But alternatives

Although, if you are one of the people who do not like Christmas or its history, we remind you that on the Movistar+ content platform you can find movies and fiction in 4K. From the Joker , whose actor (Joaquin Phoenix) was awarded best performance at the last Oscars, to major productions like Parasites , Once Upon a Time in Hollywood , Little Women or Abominable and prestigious series like Outlander , The Good Doctor or Look What You’ve Done , among many.

The gifts in The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (1816)

The cultural legacy points to the three Magi from the East, who traveled to the manger where Jesus was born guided by a star. And there, according to tradition, they offered their well-known gold, incense and myrrh to the newborn. Other sources, on the other hand, suggest that this custom is even earlier and that gifts were already being exchanged in Rome.

However, we will track more modern documents. One of the fables that best illustrates this is that of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King , a German tale that was published in 1816 by Ernst Theodor Amatheus Hoffman.

The plot is childish and fantastic, although it immerses us in a typical atmosphere of these dates. Its protagonist is a girl, Marie, who receives some gifts for Christmas. Among them, she is particularly enthusiastic about one toy: a large wooden nutcracker. Marie plays with him and, letting her imagination run wild, she recreates a world in which the doll is a prince who fights against mice. Above all, against the fierce mouse queen.

His cultural legacy

His fame was not sudden and a good part of it came with the musical adaptation made by the Russian composer Tchaikovsky in 1892, in turn based on an adaptation by the writer Alejandro Dumas. Tchaikovsky turned the work into a famous ballet piece, one of the most important in history. At Movistar+ you can enjoy a 2016 staging at the National Theater in Prague.

The cinema has also wanted to portray this Christmas icon. The films released in 1993 and 2010 are well-known, but we suggest a more recent one: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018), which you have available on Disney+ and Netflix.

If what you want is to read the story and you are a Movistar+ customer, you can enjoy it on the Nubico digital reading platform. With a monthly subscription, you can access a catalog with more than 60,000 books and 80 different magazines.

On the figure of Papa Noel en Visita de San Nicolas (1823)

Just a few years later, in 1823, the French writer Clement Moore published a poem centering on Saint Nicholas of Bari, a bishop who lived in fourth-century Turkey.

The figure of this saint now belongs to the field of the legendary. He is based on Santa Claus -or Santa Claus-, the man in red who travels around the world delivering gifts at Christmas.

It is believed that the origin of the myth is due to the fact that on the night of December 24, he delivered several bags of money to three poor women who were going to marry men they did not want.

Moore gave notoriety to his figure, stating that he traveled in a sleigh pulled by reindeer to distribute gifts. A fantastic Christmas story that gave a lot of play, above all, due to the transformation of the benevolent attitude of Saint Nicholas into the old man in white long, chubby and funny that we know now.

From the first sketches to the present

The first to capture it graphically was the cartoonist Thomas Nast in 1868, drawing Santa Claus with some soldiers in the American Civil War, while he distributed gifts to them. Years later he added other of the current attributes, such as the red color of the robe (image on the left), and later it was Coca Cola, the soft drink company, which used his image and completed it.

The cinema, of course, has not hesitated to use Santa Claus. To cite a few examples: Klaus (2019) or The Christmas Chronicles (2018), both on Netflix. Also, the classic De ilusion también se vive (1947) or the most comical Go Santa Claus (1994) and its sequel Santa Claus 2 (2004), available on Disney+.

And I couldn’t miss The Grinch (2000) in this compilation… The green creature that wants to steal gifts is also already a classic. His figure is that of an antagonist to Santa Claus. The novel was published in 1957 and several tapes have been made since then. The most emblematic, from 2000, you can see it on Netflix.

Generosity, meals and gatherings in A Christmas Carol (1843)

We continue with another of the most popular Christmas stories of all time: A Christmas Carol , by Charles Dickens. Its importance is such that it is considered that many of the contemporary Christmas traditions, such as meals and social celebrations, are due to it. Also the famous expression “Merry Christmas!” (Merry Christmas) that surely you say and listen now.

It is a fable that places us in London, in the middle of the 19th century, in the Victorian era.

It puts us in the shoes of Ebenezer Scrooge, a rich old man who despises Christmas and who, suddenly, unusual supernatural events happen to him, forcing him to reflect on his way of life, greed and materialism. Undoubtedly, an original critique of consumerism and selfishness into which we all inadvertently fall and which take us away from what is truly important.

On the screen

The fiction has been interpreted many times, both in theaters and in the cinema, with more than 30 adaptations, which is said soon. Among them, for example, we find this cartoon version (2009) -the most important in recent years- or Mickey Mouse (1999), both on Disney+.

Are you looking for something different? The movie The Ghosts of My Ex-Girlfriends (2009) adapts the plot into a very entertaining romantic comedy.

So if you ever wonder why so much encouragement of empathy and good intentions on these dates, you know where to consult.

Your reading

In digital format, you have it available in Nubico. Also, now, from the online reading platform you have free access to audiobooks.

Within the Living App you can find five audiobooks that will allow you to discover different stories.

The Gift of the Magi (1905)

At the beginning of the 20th century, William Sydney Porterde, known as O.Henry, published a short story focused on gifts.

Its protagonists are a very poor married couple, who plan to give each other something special for Christmas. The striking thing about the story is that no one has too many resources for it and they will end up using all their creativity.

At a time when consumerism and material gifts are so culturally important, this narrative conveys the simple message that love is essential and what we should pay more attention to.

More imagination and magic in Letters from Santa Claus (1920-1943)

If Christmas stories stand out for something, it is because of the color and joy they give off, despite being starred, in most cases, by helpless or unfortunate characters. Of course, these characters usually find comfort in their problems at Christmas. And they do it like magic. Because this time has something magical, right?

Among so much fantasy and illusion, the contribution of probably the best fantasy writer in history could not be missing. Or, of course, one of the pioneers: JRR Tolkien, also author of The Hobbit and the magnificent saga of The Lord of the Rings.

Tolkien wrote Letters from Santa Claus , a series of adventures starring Santa Claus himself, told in the first person, in which we can see his most personal life. He lives at the North Pole, surrounded by his pet, a gigantic polar bear, his eight reindeer and a bunch of the most diverse creatures that leave more than one person intrigued, and not just children: red gnomes, dolls of snow, cave bears and elves. 

The most interesting thing about this story is that he did not write it as another novel, to publish it. In fact, he did not get to do it and it was his daughter-in-law who was in charge of collecting all the pieces and publishing them in 1976. Tolkien wrote the letters to entertain his children when they were little. It began when the eldest was three years old and ended in 1943, when the youngest was 14.

Meeting the author

If you are interested in knowing something more about this author, in Nubico you have a good collection of his works. In this novel that we propose below, we move to the First World War to meet the young Tolkien. During the conflict many of his close friends died and he was quite affected by it all. So much so that many of his fictions are warlike; although, yes, they have an ending that, far from being tragic, is hopeful.

Enjoy your favorite content on Movistar+ through voice

Would you like to discover new movies? You can use your voice to interact through voice with Aura, Movistar’s virtual assistant.

If you have the Movistar+ application downloaded on your phone, access it and at the bottom, click on the blue icon where you will see a microphone. Then say “ I want to watch an action movie ” or “ Find Tim Burton movies”.

On the other hand, if you prefer to use the Movistar+ Voice Command, all you have to do is press the “Aura button”. You can ask him to recommend content by actor, by genre, by channel or directly by saying the title: “Search for the series  El Embarcadero.”

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