It’s that time of year again. Time to bank on your neighbor with the snow blower to take care of your sidewalk while you watch your favorite Christmas movie. If you don’t have one, we’ve got you covered. Save hours of wasted time this Christmas, by watching “good” Christmas movies, listed in no particular order.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
How can it be Christmas without the Griswolds? Of course things will never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark’s continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon. Or is it? Hey, at least you don’t hate your spouse’s parents, have a brother-in-law with a camper, a three-legged dog that pees everywhere and obnoxious neighbors. Oh you do. Sorry about that.
Miracle on 34th Street
A little girl discovers dreams do come true if you really believe. Six-year-old Susan has doubts about childhood’s most enduring miracle – Santa Claus. Her mother told her the “secret” about Santa a long time ago, so Susan doesn’t expect to receive the most important gifts on her Christmas list. But after meeting a special department store Santa who’s convinced he’s the real thing, Susan is given the most precious gift of all – something to believe in. It sounds corny but we dig the 1940’s version. That Matilda girl didn’t do much for us in the newer version.
A Christmas Story
All the little boy wanted was a BB gun for Christmas, and yet the adults in his life seem determined to thwart this wish. With many laughs abound, this movie is considered a classic by many. All the blabbing about shooting his eye out is a little annoying but any film that makes a 24-hour Christmas Day marathons on TNT or TBS or whatever it is, is good with us.
This could possibly Will Ferrell’s best film that doesn’t involve drinking. (We’re not counting the bottles of syrup). Buddy the Elf moves out of Santa’s Workshop and into human society as he tries to find his real dad. Soon enough, he learns that the real world is not as cheery and content as he had become accustomed. Will he save Christmas? You’ll just have to watch it.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Poor George Bailey is at the end of his rope; it is Christmas Eve, and when many are feeling celebratory, he is miserable. It takes the help of a guardian angel to get him back into the holiday spirit and show him just how much good he has really done. Something about this film makes it feel almost real so we had to list it. Remember when you hear bells ringing that it’s time to get us another beer. Or something about Angels getting wings. We can’t remember.
The Santa Clause
Tim the “Tool Man Taylor” makes a strong transition to the Christmas spirit as a savvy toy businessman who accidentally makes Santa disappear during Christmas Eve. When he takes over for the big man, that night, he’s in for a wild ride that he won’t soon forget. Rapid weight gain and other strange occurrences make everyone think he’s crazy while his son sets him straight. Hey Tim, we’re still wondering are the nice pajamas from Judy the Elf or Judy the waitress at Denny’s.
Kevin McAllister is a young boy who finds himself home alone after his family accidentally leaves him behind for Christmas vacation. He is thrilled at first, until he learns just how much he depends on his family for companionship and support. When robbers threaten to break into his house, he knows he must muster up some independence and fight back. Lesson learned? That even at 10-years-old, Maculay Culkin can kick your butt. So watch out.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism that he sees amongst everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but it proves to be a frustrating struggle. When an attempt to restore the proper spirit with a forlorn little fir Christmas tree fails, he needs Linus’ help to learn what the real meaning of Christmas is. It’s a Peanuts classic, do we really need to say more?
The Polar Express
Billy has always been told by his family that Christmas is just a myth and there is no such thing as Santa, Elves and the North Pole. When Billy is visited by a mysterious train in the middle of the night, him and a group of other children are invited to take a journey to the North Pole to meet Santa and discover the joys of Christmas and make believers out of them. The magic of the Polar Express and Tom Hanks take care of the rest. It’s almost like reading the book as a child for the first time. Well, looking at the pictures anyways.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
This is based on the book by Dr. Seuss. Inside a snowflake exists the magical land of Whoville, where the Who’s live. All the Who’s love Christmas, but just outside of their beloved Whoville lives the Grinch, a grumpy, bitter creature that hates Christmas, and plots to steal it away from the Who’s. A small girl named Cindy Lou Who, decided to befriend the Grinch and teach him about Christmas get him in the spirit of the holidays. If you haven’t seen this one yet then you are probably are the Grinch or you’ve been living under a rock. We’re not sure which. Classic doesn’t even define this one.
On Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge a cranky, bitter man that hates Christmas, and people is visited by the ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley who tells him that three spirits would visit him that night. The first one, the spirit of Christmas Past recalls his youth when he lost his only love due to his greed; the spirit of the Christmas Present shows him the poor situation of Bob’s family and how joyful life may be; and the spirit of Christmas Future which is his fate. Scrooge finds that life is good and time is too short and suddenly you are not there anymore, changing his behavior toward Christmas, Bob, his nephew and people in general. There’s really too many versions of this film. To be honest we just ran with the first option we could find on YouTube. The story bleeds Christmas, that’s all you need to know.
Who said every Christmas movie had to be all lovely dovey? A miserable con man and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the con man befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot. Billy Bob Thornton and the late John Ritter and late Bernie Mac make this dark comedy about Christmas with an interesting twist. If you’re offended by extensive use of “Bad” language we suggest you pass.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington, king of Halloweentown, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept. But he goes through drastic measures to understand the foreign holiday. It’s a creepy musical but there’s something mystifying about Jack and his new-found love for Christmas that it warms your heart. Can people who love to scare take in the Christmas spirit? Tim Burton provides the twists and turns.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them. At first Rudolph is an outcast but soon Santa Clause will realize how valuable Rudolph is. He’ll be guiding that sleigh tonight/Christmas night. Makes us feel good about being a misfit radio station.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser’s redemption on Christmas Eve. See Kermit, Ms. Piggy, Gonzo and all of your old favorites. And, we’re pretty sure you can ignore the opening line about soon being available on video cassette.