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Home Alone (1990): An Unforgettable Christmas Classic & Icon

Reel to Reel
A+family+comedy+without+the+family.
Chris Saavedra ’26
A family comedy without the family.

The holiday season is finally here. Everywhere you go, you’ll find people singing jolly carols and hymns, bright lights shining, and stores blasting Mariah Carey all day. As the days become shorter and the weather gets colder, communities across the world come together to relish in warm hot chocolate, enjoy gifts under the Christmas tree, and rock ugly Christmas sweaters.

One common tradition involves gathering family and friends to cozy up near the fire pit and enjoy Christmas specials and films. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that Home Alone remains such a classic and staple of the joy and festivity of Christmas. The first in the media conglomerate franchise, it was directed by Chris Columbus and produced and written by John Hughes, and first premiered in November 1990. It stars Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, and Catherine O’Hara in a comedic house defense tale, where a young kid must defend himself against a pair of burglars on Christmas Eve.

Since its release, the film has become ingrained in popular culture, with many of its scenes, dialogues, and soundtrack becoming instantly recognizable. The film’s influence has also extended beyond the silver screen, as it created numerous sequels and parodies. Most importantly, however, it fosters memories in the hearts of kids and adults alike as they gather near the fire pit and engage with a staple for the holiday season.

The McCallisters are a wealthy family preparing to spend the holidays in Paris. Their youngest kid, Kevin, is constantly ridiculed and picked on by his older siblings and the rest of his family. He is sent up to his room the night before their flight after accidentally ruining their dinner, and he wishes that his family disappeared. When he wakes up the next morning, he finds that he had been left behind and now has the house to himself. Despite his initial excitement, he soon has to defend his turf against the Wet Bandits, Harry and Marv, who seek to rob his house.

Kevin’s resourcefulness and cleverly orchestrated booby traps set a comedic tone to the movies. The devices he concocts against Harry and Marv help strike a balance between slapstick humor and heartwarming moments that bring appeal to a wide audience. The laughter induced by Kevin’s schemes is a core part of the laughter and entertainment we associate with Christmas time.

Home Alone’s setting during the Christmas season plays a pivotal role in its continuing appeal. Its picturesque scenery, with the fluffy snow, festive decorations, and memorable soundtrack filled with cheery Christmas tunes help to evoke a warm and cozy atmosphere. The movie has grown to be synonymous with joy and jubilation, making it a popular choice for families to enjoy year after year. The McCallisters’ realization of Kevin’s absence and frantic efforts to reunite with him spotlights the significance of familial togetherness and bonding during the holiday season. The emotional ending when they finally rejoin each other affirms the idea that Christmas is a time of love, forgiveness, and spending time with our loved ones.

Home Alone ingratiates itself with its audience, connecting with us both on a comedic level and on a deeper, personal level. Its ability to summon the magic of the Christmas season and bring families together has established its status as an esteemed holiday time tradition, ensuring that Kevin McCallister’s misadventures will continue to entertain and bring smiles to viewers for generations to come.

Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!

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About the Contributor
Chris Saavedra ’26, Staff Writer
Chris Saavedra is a staff writer for the Eagle's Eye and is in his sophomore year. He is an intense movie buff and has a deep admiration and interests in movies and cinema, and is a member of the Paranormal Society. He loves to spend time and play with his dog. Whenever he has his free time, he loves to watch action, comedy, and crime films. He is also a major fan of the Backstreet Boys and OneRepublic.
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