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Christmas Documentaries About the Holiday Season

Published by Etha Nyberg

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This holiday season, why not pick up a documentary when you are tired of the usual holiday fluff? There are some interesting ones to choose from.

Christmas Documentaries About the Spirit of the Holidays

  • I Love a 1970s Christmas (2000) – This 60-minute documentary shows us what Christmas in the 1970s in Britain was like. (Not Rated)
  • I’m a Santa, Get Me Out of Here (2008) – A 32-year-old man with a political science degree has spent every Christmas for the last decade playing Santa during the holidays. This 30-minute documentary details the trials and tribulations of this department store Santa and his take on the holidays. (Not Rated)
  • Rock and a Heart Place – (2006) – One gloomy Christmas, a man named Chris volunteered to feed the homeless and immediately realized something was missing – music. Chris formed Holiday Express, nearly 400 musicians and volunteers who bring Christmas cheer to soup kitchens and nursing homes. With 50 shows in 30 days, Holiday Express is getting back to the true meaning of Christmas. (Not Rated)

Christmas Documentaries that Deal with History

  • The Christmas Truce (2002) – This 50-minute documentary tells the story of the Christmas Day truce between British and German forces in No Man’s Land during World War I. The majority of the show is comprised of reconstructions of the truce and archived interviews. (Not Rated)
  • Christmas Under Fire (1941) – This documentary short shows how Britain coped with a Christmas during the war. (Not Rated)
  • Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas (1997) – The History Channel made this content-rich show about the history of the holidays. It is well-researched and true to facts. It details the concept of Christmas from the time before Christ to the modern day celebration of Christ’s birth. Harry Smith narrates. (Not Rated)

Star-Filled Christmas Documentaries

  • Anne Murray’s Classic Christmas (1995) – Anne Murray and special guests including the Barenaked Ladies sing their hearts out for the holiday season. (Not Rated)
  • A Bingo Crosby Christmas (1998) – Guests like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Kathryn Grant, and Carol Burnett are showcased in this Bing Crosby holiday special. (Rated General)
  • Bob Hope’s Overseas Christmas Tours: Around the World with the Troops – 1941 – 1972 (1980) – This program is a tribute to Bob Hope’s 31 years of entertaining service men and women overseas. It is made up of excerpts from his specials as well as previously unreleased footage from the armed services. The documentary comes in two parts. The first is his tours from 1941 through the ’50s; the second part is Hope’s specials during the Vietnam era. (Not Rated)
  • Kenny & Dolly: A Christmas to Remember (1984) – This classic holiday special is based on the best-selling album, Once Upon a Christmas, featuring Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. (Not Rated)

More Christmas Documentaries

  • Best Ever Christmas Films (2005) – This documentary counts down the top ten Christmas films. (Not Rated)
  • Christmas from Hollywood (2003) – This program shows how Hollywood has portrayed the holidays through clips of the Hollywood parade, snippets of movies dealing with Christmas, carols sung by Hollywood celebrities, and similar Hollywood themed holiday events. (Not Rated)
  • Christmas in New York (2003) – This made-for-video documentary takes us on a tour of New York City during the holidays. We get to see Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Bronx Zoo, Fifth Avenue, the Plaza Hotel, and a smattering of amazing home Christmas displays in the Big Apple. (Not Rated)
  • The Christmas Special Christmas Special (2004) – This documentary about the different types of Christmas specials shows interviews and clips from different programs over the years. All genres of Christmas themed television are shown including specials from South Park, Simpsons, Glen Campbell, Pee Wee Herman, Bing Crosby, and Charlie Brown’s Christmas, among many others. (Not Rated)
  • Santa Claus: The Making of the Movie (1985) – This documentary gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Santa Claus: The Movie. The stars of this movie about an elf who leaves Santa’s workshop to start his own toy factory are featured in interviews. The cast and crew discuss working on and creating the film. (Not Rated)
  • A Tudor Feast at Christmas (2006) – Historians recreate a Tudor holiday feast as they would have had it over 400 years ago. They use period clothes, food grown from the land, recipes from that time period, and no modern conveniences or appliances. (Not Rated)
  • What Would Jesus Buy? (2007) – The commercialism of Christmas is the focus of this documentary. It follows the fictional story of Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir on a mission across America to stop consumerism and over-consumption. It touches on topics like big box stores and sweatshops. Reverend Billy becomes the face of stopping debt and ending consumerism. (Rated PG)

Enjoy a thought-provoking or light-hearted documentary this holiday season!

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