One of the best movies to set aside for watching every Thanksgiving is actually a Christmas movie. Now you can say that just about every Thanksgiving movie is really more of a Christmas movie — precious few Thanksgiving movies are really only about pilgrims, turkey, football, and cranberry sauce. But, and it’s a big but, no other Christmas movie makes more sense to watch on Thanksgiving than Miracle on 34th Street.
If there is any traditional Christmas movie that can be termed a traditional Thanksgiving movie, it has to be the old black and white classic about a guy who either thinks he is Santa Claus or really is Santa Claus. You will have to watch to the end to find out, but it’s more than worth it. Miracle on 34th Street is the ideal movie to watch late at night on Thanksgiving Day as the turkey begins to finally settle into the bowels and, in some houses, the tree goes up.
Much of Miracle on 34th Street actually takes place on Thanksgiving. A heck of a lot more screen time is devoted to the events of Thanksgiving Day than Christmas Day, that’s for sure. The entire first-quarter of the movie at least is all about one of the great traditions of Turkey Day: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Watching Miracle on 34th Street kind of acts as a time travel machine to allow you to see what this parade was like before it became little more for TV viewers than a three-hour long commercial for network television shows and stars.
Younger viewers might well be surprised to find that the traditional Macy’s Parade traces back before the world had color. Yes, of course, if your little turkey gobblers actually think color was invented in the middle of the 21st century, you’ve got greater problems than finding something to watch, but they may still be shocked to discover that the parade that comes around every November was around back when their grandparents were little kids.
Yes, when it comes to Christmas movie traditions, few movies are more perfectly suited for watching between the final gunshot at the end of the Cowboys football game and the need to wake up at 2:00 in the morning to hit the malls when they first open for business on Black Friday more than Miracle on 34th Street.