“Just once I’d like to spend Christmas listening to carols instead of bongos!” Not me! Therefore I suggest you abandon those old saws and try a few new Holiday traditions, or at least films. Our go-to is “Bell, Book and Candle “(1958). Sure we all love the fact that Kim Novak dies twice in Vertigo, but here she’s snow white, witchy, and well-dressed – a perfect campy sultriness, a thoroughly modern Christmas witch. That’s her line above, spoken in a Manhattan cavern club, listening to her onscreen brother, Jack Lemon, bongo banging away.
Another favorite, crafted about 10 years earlier, when most of the earth was homeless, is “It Happened on Fifth Avenue” (1947). This odd and charming film showcases a gaggle of bums (uh, homeless people) who annually take over mansions in NYC when the wealthy owners vacation in Palm Beach.
So this year when the wealthiest man on earth (the pope) sermonizes about the greed of the super rich, and the leader of the free world (the dope) is home alone in his mansion, why not earthly magic and humanism?