I cannot hear the song O Christmas Tree without thinking about a TV Christmas movie my mom and I saw in the 1970s. It was called The House Without A Christmas Tree and although I forgot the storyline, the actors and the name, the overall mood of the film has stayed with me for 35 years.
Starring Jason Robards, Mildred Natwick, and Lisa Lucas, the movie is set in rural Nebraska in the 1940s. It’s about a widower (Robards) and his refusal to have display a Christmas Tree and the impact this has on his 10-year-old daughter Addie (Lucas).
I’ve searched for The House Without A Christmas Tree for years. I just now discovered that the movie came out on VHS in 1996. It’s available on DVD from Amazon for around $13. It’s also been uploaded it in eight parts to YouTube.
Favorite Christmas Movies
Some of our favorite Christmas movies are Little Women, Christmas With The Kranks, and all the Rankin and Bass productions. Our very favorite, however, (at least speaking for those in the house over age 13) is The Family Stone. Surprisingly, this film has not really made it into the annual Christmas favorites category. I have no idea why because it makes us laugh and cry every time we see it.
Anyway, if you’re looking for something new to watch this Christmas, I highly recommend checking out The House Without A Christmas Tree. As one reviewer explains,
“It’s not sentimental and the payoff is low-key, muted and realistic; the antithesis of Miracle on 34th Street and It’s A Wonderful Life.”
I think the same can also be said for The Family Stone.