When I was a child, I wasn't really into the Christmas films or specials. I enjoyed the Rudolph and Frosty specials, as well as Home Alone, but I never really got excited for them. The most excitement that went on was for The Nutcracker airing and I usually ended up falling asleep right in the middle of it. It wasn't until after my father died that they really started to appeal to me.
Last year, I watched the original version of Miracle on 34th Street, with Natalie Wood in, and it has since become one of my favourite Christmas films of all time.
Doris is the hard, no nonsense mother of Susan, a young girl who has picked up on her mother's cynicism. Doris has raised Susan to believe that fairy tales and Santa just do not exist. Through a series of events, including a visit to court, it is proven that Kris is the actual Santa Clause. Earlier on in the film, Susan says that if Kris is the real deal, she'd like a house, to bring together her mother, she and her mother's soon to be boyfriend, for Christmas. Kris follows through with the request, establishing not only Susan's faith in fairy tales and Santa, but also Doris' faith as well.
One of the reasons I enjoy this film so much is because it was not only made in a time when Christmas was still Christmas, but it allowed (and still allows) the viewer to let go and believe in Santa and fairy tales for an hour and a half. At the heart of the film is a strong story (along with a strong script and cast), that supplies a little adventure and a whole lot of happiness. It honestly brings out some of the best of Christmas films.