It’s the most wonderful time of year, and I know that you’re rushing to your Netflix account to check out all of your favorite holiday* movies and to relive the pleasant memories of your youth. Yet, don’t you ever wonder why none of them were set here, in scenic Gambier, Ohio? Not that Liberal Arts isn’t a well-loved holiday favorite, but it seems so strange that our beautiful campus has had no jolly, seasonal feature films located amongst our studious selves. Well, I may not be able to afford a film crew, but here are a few holiday classics reconfigured to fit the Kenyon culture.
- It’s a Wonderful Life: After a run on the Registrar’s Office during Add/Drop, Phaedra Fawcett wishes she were never born. But thanks to Allison Janney, Angel 2nd Class, she’s able to see that Kenyon wouldn’t be the same without her, and comes back for second semester to find that the entire campus has come together to raise money to help reconfigure mybanner.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: First-year swimmer Rudolph comes to Kenyon and shocks the team with his glowing red nose. Consequentially, he is unable to participate in the annual Swimmer Games and is kicked off the team. He goes on a journey of self-discovery with a sociology major who dreams of being a dentist. They arrive at Gund, the metaphorical Land of Misfit Toys and see how the non-athletes live. Rudolph eventually returns to the KAC to watch a swim meet, but arrives to find that the electricity has gone out. The only way for Kenyon to defeat Denison is for Rudolph to lead the relay with his shining red nose! Kenyon takes first place and Rudolph finally feels at home on the hill.
- Elf: Buddy, a student at the University of Alaska, learns that his father is actually Professor Fenigstein of the psychology department. Subsequently, Buddy comes to Kenyon, but has trouble fitting in. His Sarah Palin-esque Alaskan qualities make him stand out, and his wooing of Jovi–who he works with at Wiggle Ground–goes poorly. Yet, somehow, he’s able to spread holiday joy across an icy Middle Path and warm the hearts of all he meets by singing Santa Clause is Coming to Town to brighten the finals gloom.
- Love, Actually: The new Dean of Housing and Residential Life finds love with their plucky secretary. After getting cheated on, your favorite English professor goes on sabbatical and comes back with a new Portuguese babe. Your Kenyon married best friends go through a rough patch, but stay together, even after his flirtation with that girl who works with him in the Writing Center. Two first-year members of the Kokosingers get together before one transfers, while one of their heart-broken CAs is able to overcome their emotional trauma. A guy from Watson goes to Wisconsin for break and manages to get laid. And hopefully a guy will stand outside my room in Bushnell with a sign that says, “To me, you are perfect.” Also: everyone on campus wears turtlenecks.
*Yes, these are all Christmas movies. But I don’t know any Kwanza films and I don’t think anyone wants Inglourious Basterds as a Chanukah option.