With Christmas shopping in full gear, the satellite radio playing Christmas songs non-stop at work, and me being the massive movie buff that I am, it’s inevitable that I obsess over Christmas movies. This week, I present to you my Top Five Favorite Christmas Movies of all time. I’ve tried to avoid some of the obvious choices. So, even though I LOVE the claymation series of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Little Drummer Boy and Frosty the Snowman, there’s just not enough room for them on my list. The same goes for Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life. Also, all the movies that made the list are all movies that I watch every single year. So, while there’s PLENTY of Christmas movies that I adore watching, they just haven’t made it into the holiday rotation. Oh well, there’s always next year, right?
So, grab some egg nog, hot chocolate (or Ovaltine!), mulled wine, or your favorite holiday beverage and enjoy some classic holiday movies with me!
1. A Charlie Brown Christmas – Charlie Brown. Snoopy. Vince Guaraldi’s score. Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree. Enough said.
2. Scrooged (1988) – Bill Murray stars as a cyncial, Scroogesque TV Exec who is visited by the three spirits of Christmas as he prepares for a live version of A Christmas Carol. I actually nicknamed an ex-boyfriend of mine “Lumpy” because of the great Karen Allen and her endearment for Bill Murray’s character, Frank Cross. I love this darker version of Dickens’s classic tale and it’s fun to watch it now and see what THE hot adult gift was in 1988.
3. Elf (2003) – I’m pretty sure that I recite a quote from Elf every week. Honest! Just wait and see if “Francisco…that’s fun to say” or “smiling’s my favorite” or “you sit on a throne of lies” doesn’t come out of my mouth the next time you’re around me. To me, this is Will Ferrell at his very best. And the Elf costume isn’t bad either.
4. Love Actually (2003) – Follows the lives of eight different, but interconnected couples in London. The stories are touching, heartbreaking, hilarious, unrequited, realistic and goofy and feature different ages, occupations and social situations, but love in it’s many complex forms unites them all. Every time I watch this movie, I discover something about it that makes me love it more.
5. A Christmas Story (1983) – There’s so many memorable moments in this film, it’s difficult to pick just one; and every one has a visceral response: leg lamps, Ovaltine, Red Rider BB Gun, “Oooh fuuudge!!!!”, pink bunny outfits and Chinese Christmas dinners. I know, many of you would have this close to the top of your list (it did hold the #2 spot for many years), but just because it’s down here in the number five position doesn’t mean it’s any less enjoyable for me to watch all these years later. There’s a reason why it’s on TV for 24 hours straight on Christmas Day.
The Family Stone (2005) – Who hasn’t been in a situation like this? Meeting your significant other’s family for the first time during a big holiday. You try to fit in as best you can, but end up screwing up everything you touch. And one of the siblings has it out for you. This movie has taken on new meaning for me, as I have had to deal with the darker undertone of having to cope with a parent dealing with terminal illness and them being around one year, and not there the next. There’s plenty of laughing mixed in with very strong emotions and does a remarkable job of showing how families may fight and disagree, but will always be there for each other.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) – It’s the Muppets and their take on A Christmas Carol! Seriously, what more do you need to know about the movie apart from that? It also stars Michael Cain. I grew up watching The Muppet Show, so anytime these important characters from my childhood show up, expect me to be watching it.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) – No, I don’t love this movie because it showed up in the Sex in the City movie. I remember watching this with my family (mostly my older sister) as a kid when KTLA (now the CW in LA) had their Family Film Festivals on Sunday afternoons. The movie follows the Smith family (especially the four daughters) in St. Louis in 1904 as they prepare for the World’s Fair and fall in love. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was written for the movie and is performed by Judy Garland.
Penny Serenade (1941) – I have to credit my mom with introducing this tearjerker gem of a movie to me. I remember wrapping presents with her one Christmas when I was young and this movie was on TV. Starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunn, it follows a couple who adopt a little girl and have their lives changed because of it. I don’t think you’ll be able to look at the character of “The Star of Bethlehem” the same after you see it. Make sure you have a box of tissues nearby. You’ll need them.
Until next week (and my next obsession)!
Layout by: Michelle
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