Christmas movies with a message

There are so many Christmas films, they now fill a dozen categories: Christmas horror ("Slay Ride"), Christmas comedy ("Home Alone"), Christmas gross-out comedy ("Bad Santa") and Christmas romance ("Holiday Inn").

For this article, we asked members of the Deseret News religion team to choose a Christmas film that embodies the original Christmas message of good will -- films that might be considered classics and not just popular entertainment. We wanted to showcase movies that have become more burnished and poignant as they've aged.

Here are four films that help define Christmas -- this year, and every year:

"It's a Wonderful Life"

"I suppose it would have been better if I'd never been born at all."

"What'd you say?"

"I said I wish I'd never been born!"

-- George Bailey, to his guardian angel, Clarence

Though it may be difficult to convince a generation raised on iPods and Technicolor that this black-and-white classic is worth watching, Jimmy Stewart's depiction of self-sacrifice, eventual despair and personal redemption through the love of friends and family remains a "must-see" every year.

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