What Is Your Favorite Christmas Movie?
Have you ever had a discussion with your friends and family about your favorite Christmas movies? By the way, is "Die Hard" a Christmas movie? We'll save that debate for another time!
Everyone has their own taste. That's being said, let's review a couple of "classics" that I left off of my list. Sorry, but "A Christmas Story" did not "make the cut" for me. (I realize this is blasphemy, for some people)... And, yes, the scene where the kid get his tongue stuck to the pole is classic, but other than that, it's just not one of my favorite "must watch" movies. Plus, I have not included any of the "The Santa Clause" series, starring Tim Allen, they're ok, but sort of "meh". The "Christmas Chronicles" movies starring Kurt Russell, (including "Part 2" released this year) are ok, with some great special effects, but they're not classics.
Also, I've never really paid much attention to "It's a Wonderful Life" or "Miracle on 34th Street", just not my style, I guess. Maybe it's the generation gap. Speaking of which, I have to give a nod to one of my Mom's all time favorite's 1954's "White Christmas" starring Bing Crosby & Danny Kaye.
One of my family's favorite traditions is to bust out our tote of Christmas movies, claim a spot on the couch, grab a blanket, a snack, our favorite beverage and watch one of these classics! (scroll down)
Honorable mention: The Polar Express If you're a skeptic of Christmas, watch this surreal movie, as the conductor (a great performance by Tom Hanks) takes you back to that childhood view of Santa and finally, makes you a believer all over again.
10. A Christmas Carol I prefer the 1951 version with Alastair Sim as Scrooge, but I can watch George C. Scott's version from 1984 as well. A family tradition is to watch this one late at night on Christmas eve with all the lights turned off!
9. Scrooged Speaking of "A Christmas Carol", this is a modern day take of the classic story. Bill Murray gets visited by 3 ghosts, rekindles his old love interest and realizes he must change his ways. Bobcat Goldthwait steals the show as a deranged employee that Murray's character fired, along with the "Ghost of Christmas Present" played by Carol Kane, who beats the snot out of Murray, funny stuff. There's a lot of pratfalls in this one. Love it!
8. Home Alone Again, I'm a sucker for any movie with pratfalls (and lots of 'em) so this one is great! The "Wet Bandits" played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are no match for Macaulay Culkin's Kevin McCallister and all of his booby traps set up around the house. "Merry Christmas ya filthy animal"!
7. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) - The narration by Boris Karloff is stellar. And who doesn't love the Grinch's (cute) dog, Max?
6. Frosty the Snowman (1969) So, the little girl, Karen, is naive enough to jump on northbound train with a Snowman she just met, and she thinks her mother won't care, as long as she gets back by supper? Did you ever notice that all the kids are outside making a snowman in shorts or dresses? Plus, the magician's rabbit, Hocus Pocus, steals the show in this one.
5. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) Rudolph is bullied for his red nose. Then, he helps defeat the Abominable Snowman, and comes back and saves Christmas. Hurray! My favorite part is when Santa comes to the "Island of Misfit Toys" and rescues the poor sap "Charlie in the Box".
4. Elf In what feels like a character and a movie made for just for him, Will Ferrell stars and doesn't disappoint. He's absolutely perfect for the part. Recently, we started binge watching "New Girl" starring Zooey Deschanel, who plays Jovie in the movie. It blows my mind when we watch Elf, because Zooey looks a lot different in Elf than she did in "New Girl", maybe it's because her hair is blonde in the movie, but you can't mistake those big blue eyes. One of my favorite lines from the movie is from Buddy: "We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup."
3. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) It starts out with Charlie checking his mailbox for Christmas cards and it's empty, "I know nobody likes me. Why do we have to have a holiday season to emphasize it?" - When they're rehearsing the play, the dance scenes are the best! Plus, when Schroeder is playing the piano for Lucy, and Snoopy starts dancing on top of the piano...I laugh out loud, every time!
2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas I remember being so excited to go see this in the movie theatre. I watch this together with my family every year, and we pretty much know all the lines word for word. Much like my #1 movie, this one is very "quotable". The brilliant special effects, great costumes and Jim Carrey's outstanding performance as the Grinch steals the show. Plus, they stayed pretty close to the original book and cartoon version from 1966, only adding a scene or two with a baby and adolescent Grinch to give some background as to why the Grinch is so mad at the Who's.
1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Chevy Chase stars along with Beverly D'Angelo reprising their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold in this 3rd in a series of "Vacation" movies. Let's not forget how great Nicholas Guest and Julia Louis-Dreyfus were as the annoying neighbors Todd and Margo, and of course, the loveable dope, Cousin Eddy played by Randy Quaid.
This might be the most quotable Christmas movie of all time. "We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny (bleeping) Kaye." Clark Griswold will always be my hero.
So, Merry Christmas to one and all...sit down tonight, watch your favorite movie, and enjoy the season, just watch out for those sappy, super cheesy ones on the Hallmark Channel!