One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is to watch Christmas movies; I love letting go of the holiday hustle and bustle and taking time to really enjoy this happy season.
Of course, I watch all the classics that are shown every year. “Miracle on 34th Street,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” are some of my favorites, but I also have a few favorites that might not be as familiar.
These movies star great actors in some of their lesser-known, but wonderful, roles.
“Christmas in Connecticut” stars Barbara Stanwyck as journalist Elizabeth Lane, one of the country’s most famous food writers. In her columns, she describes herself as a hard-working farm woman, taking care of her children and being an excellent cook.
But this is all lies. In reality, she is an unmarried New Yorker who can’t even boil an egg. The recipes come from her good friend, Felix. The owner of the magazine she works for has decided that a heroic sailor will spend his Christmas on “her” farm. Miss Lane knows that her career is over if the truth comes out, but what can she do? “Christmas in Connecticut” is classic screwball entertainment of the best kind.
Sweet and funny, “The Shop Around the Corner” is a snapshot of a bygone world, where young men were apprenticed to shop owners and took years just to become clerks, and people went to specialty shops to buy Christmas presents on Christmas Eve. Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan star in this charming tale of two young shop employees at a Budapest gift shop who can barely stand one another — without realizing that they are falling in love through the mail as each other’s anonymous pen pal. The romantic complications are ironed out touchingly on Christmas Eve.
“We’re No Angels” is the story of three convicts — Joseph, Albert and Jules — who escape from prison on Devil’s Island in French Guiana just before Christmas and arrive at a nearby French colonial town intending to hide out among the free colonists until their ship leaves the next day. In need of clothing and money, the trio make plans to rob milliner Leo G. Carroll and his family. The three escapees, played by Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov and Aldo Ray, are deflected from their larcenous intent when they grow fond of Carroll, his wife, and their daughter.
So, when you’re ready to take a break from all the shopping, wrapping, cooking and other holiday madness, stop by the Westerly Public Library and check out one of these films or one of your own Christmas favorites!
1. “Sycamore Row” by John Grisham
2. “Takedown Twenty” by Janet Evanovich
3. “Cross my Heart” by James Patterson
4. “Gone” by James Patterson
5. “W is for Wasted” by Sue Grafton
6. “Never Go Back” by Lee Child
7. “The Lowland” by Jhumpa Lahiri
8. “The Husband’s Secret” by Liane Moriarty
9. “The Longest Ride” by Nicholas Sparks
10. “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith
1. “The Heat”
2. “Game of Thrones, Season 3”
3. “Homeland, Season 2”
4. “Man of Steel”
5. “Monsters University”
6. “White House Down”
7. “Now You See Me”
8. “Red 2”
9. “The Way, Way Back”
10. “We’re the Millers”
TUESDAY — 1 p.m., the weekly Tuesday film will be shown in the Auditorium.
TUESDAY EVENING — 6 p.m., the weekly Chess Club meets! All ages and experience levels are welcome.
WEDNESDAY — 2-6 p.m., individuals from HealthSourceRI will be on hand to assist people in applying over the Internet for affordable health insurance.
WEDNESDAY EVENING — 5 p.m., Hoxie Gallery art opening featuring Providence artist Ida Schmulowitz, who paints large landscapes in oil. 6 p.m., an educational presentation to learn how HealthSource RI will allow all Rhode Island residents to shop for affordable coverage options, enable individuals and families to receive tax credits to help pay for insurance, and will connect Rhode Islanders who qualify to low-cost or no-cost insurance options.
The Holiday Book Sale begins Wednesday and will run through Saturday. The schedule is Wednesday, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (On Saturday, books will sell for $10/bag from 1-3:30 p.m. Also, as in past years, an auction will be held Saturday at noon. Auction items will be on display throughout the sale.
Nina Wright is the reference librarian at the Westerly Public Library.