Restoring faith in humanity one Christmas movie at a time

Just like Christmas songs, there are also Christmas movies that must accompany the holiday season.  Despite viewing most of these an insane amount of times, and most since childhood, I still have the desire to sit on my couch, with a blanket, maybe some coffee or hot chocolate and watch them every holiday season.  I still laugh in the spots I am meant to laugh in. I still get misty eyed in parts after the multiple viewings.  These films truly speak to our hearts in a time of year we need that gentle reminder that there is a reason to believe in something bigger than us.  Our hearts need to be reminded that someone cares in some fashion and for us, and these movies manage to remind us of such year after year.  But you know, sometimes they just make us laugh too.  Without further adieu, these are my top ten Christmas films, in alphabetical order of course.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

charliebrownI love The Peanuts.  I love anything Snoopy.  A Charlie Brown Christmas makes my year every year.  Plus, for the past seven years I have put up my Charlie Brown Christmas tree because my cats do not believe in having an actual tree.  Well, they do but Oliver thinks he can sit in it and considering he’s too big for that now that is a recipe of disaster.  I know that ultimately the show focuses on materialism at Christmas time and they beef up the tree at the end instead of leaving the tiny tree alone, but I cannot help but look at the tree beforehand with Linus’s blanket around it and see the true meaning of Christmas.  We don’t need a seven foot tree in the house.  Do I miss the years that my mom had so many lights and ornaments on the tree she had to tie it to the wall?  Yes.  But honestly my little tree sitting by itself on a table suits me just fine.   It leaves for smaller presents in the stockings and bigger ones not being wrapped which means I’m buying less and putting more thought into my gifts most days.  Win-win.

Alvin and the Chipmunks

alvinI have a mad love for The Chimpunks.  I am certain that everyone who knows me has been tortured by them at some point or another.  This is in good part due to my cousin Tiffany, who also loved them, introducing me to them.  But that is neither here nor there.  I remember when I was younger that every year the USA channel would air this special and I ate it up.  Alvin and his golden echo harmonica.  A pairing society never thought would part ways, much like Chris Pratt and Anna Faris.  But in all seriousness, the reason that Alvin parts ways with his harmonica is nothing short of astounding.  There is a boy in the film, Tommy, who is extremely ill and his family does not think they will make it through Christmas.  Alvin of course gives up his harmonica but then faces the dilemma of making money for a new one because he has to perform with his brothers and they have requested the harmonica.  Ultimately, Alvin is gifted a new one, unbeknownst to him at the time for the good deed he did by gifting Tommy his harmonica out of the goodness of his heart.  While there are plenty of funny moments featured throughout the film, the story is beyond heartwarming and a reminder that giving anything should come from the kindness of your heart and not for recognition.

Christmas Vacation

christmasvacationI watched this the other night as soon as power was restored after the storm.  I was so excited to watch this film that I have watched umpteenth times since my childhood.  Granted, I get more of the jokes and I own the film so the cursing is not even remotely censored now, but this reminds one of my favorite films.  This was always the film that my mom tried to catch on NBC, because forever that was the main channel that played it for whatever reason.  And this was something we deemed to view live of course because we needed to hear “Merry Christmas, shitter was full” and see Clark slide down a hill and into Walmart.  There are so many quotable moments of this film.  And we are all happy when Clark actually gets his bonus, even though he shouldn’t have put all those eggs in his assumption basket in the first place.  A year of jam.  Screw that!  WE NEED A POOL!  Should have got with the program Mr. Shirley and then Cousin Eddie would not have had to kidnap you.  Tisk, tisk.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

grinchCurrently, I watch this in both the live action and animated versions. The fact there will supposedly be another animated version in 2018 has me taking a deep breath.  Don’t get me wrong, I love The Grinch.  It’s an amazing story.  I’m just not sure I’m ready to watch all three versions on Christmas, and as this one is my dad’s all-time favorite I know he will make me.  So yes, the animated version as well as the live action version are ALWAYS watched in our household at Christmas time.  I actually remember going to see the live action version in theaters and enjoying every second of it.  I cannot imagine anyone doing a better job at playing The Grinch than Jim Carrey.  He truly brought this mean ‘ol character to life.  Not to mention the addition of how The Grinch really came to be grinchy.  But there is nothing better than when he realizes what Christmas is truly about and his heart grows toward the end.  The Grinch just needed someone to appreciate him is all and the only one who wants to give him the benefit of the doubt is dear little Cindy Lou Who.  Bless her.

Elf

elfBuddy.  Anyone that doesn’t love Buddy is crazy in my humble opinion.  He’s just this sweet overgrown child essentially due to all his time at the North Pole.  Yes, he sounds crazy when he talks to people in the real world, but he’s such a sweetheart.  He has this HUGE heart.   Plus he gave us that weird spaghetti concoction that no one wants to try.  Or you know maybe you do.  I think my theme with the movies I love so much at Christmas time is just believing in something more.  Believing in those around us can and will do the right thing.  That’s worth more than people truly know.

It’s a Wonderful Life

wonderfullifeI was in my twenties before the first time I watched It’s a Wonderful Life.  And the moment after I finished the film for the first time I immediately wished I had been watching the film my whole life.  This is one of those films that makes me feel so much better about life after watching it.  I have a renewed sense of hope every year.  No matter how much happens in our lives at the end of the day there are good people.  We might not see them on as grand of a scale as George Bailey at the end of the movie, but there are good people.  We always give the little bits of ourselves that we can even when we don’t have a lot to give in the first place.  We are all ultimately there for each other through the good AND the bad.  That’s how it should be.  We are all important in this world to more people than we can count on one hand.  Sometimes we just need a little good faith to remind us of such a message.

Home Alone

homealoneThis is one of those films I typically watch by myself because I shoved it down everyone’s throats when I was younger.  Sorry, not sorry.  I think at one point or another we all wondered what it would be like if our parents left us home alone at Kevin’s age.  Granted, in my case this never could have happened because I am an only child, but the wonderment remained.  Then you add in Harry and Marv and their stupidity for repeatedly attempting to destroy a child essentially.  It’s movie gold.  Then you add in the family reuniting at the end and it restores your faith that no matter how much your family can get on your nerves they will always be there for you.  Happy baked in sentiment!

Mickey’s Christmas Carol

mickeyThis is probably my favorite imaging of A Christmas Carol.  I think part of it is Scrooge McDuck is literally Scrooge in the feature.  Though I will admit when he visits with the ghost of Christmas future at the end, Pete scared the crap out of me as the grim reaper like character at the end.  Seeing the fires coming up from the grave site was just a bit much for me to handle.  Yet despite being scared every single holiday season I found myself beyond excited to find out when the Disney channel was going to air that special and all the other old Disney Christmas cartoons.

Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus

santaThis is a movie I happened to watch on Hallmark with my mom and now I cannot imagine a holiday season going by where I don’t sit down and view this one, and the sequel, Meet the Santas, at least once.  This takes this cliche in films where the guy has to be married by a specific date and so all these people around him are pushing him toward women that could be “right” for him.  In this case this is Kris Kringle’s son attempting to find a new Mrs. Claus essentially!  And he even has a list of women who are still believers.  Of course Nick is not interested in any of those women but the one woman, Beth, who does not believe.  If you have not had the pleasure of watching this film yet consider doing so.  Yes, it’s cheesy, but it’s wonderful.  Plus, there is nothing better than Steve Guttenberg’s Santa laugh.  Nothing.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

rudolphRudolph and Frosty were the two specials that always had to be watched in my house growing up.  Rudolph was always one of my favorites growing up and my mom always made sure we watched it together.  The first Christmas without her, I started bawling five minutes in.  I mean panic attack induced bawling because I knew I would never watch this with her again and that was a pain I wish on no one.  My father reminded me though that she wouldn’t want me to not watch something I loved because she no longer could.  That is a lot easier to process now than it was at the time.  And Rudolph will always be a staple in my home at Christmas time, but it also holds a special place in my heart and is typically the way I choose to start off my holiday season.  Plus, who can deny that little reindeer when he realizes that Clarice thinks he’s cute?  The answer is no one and if you can….you’re heartless and cruel.

Honorable mentions go to Die Hard, Frosty, Frosty’s Winter Wonderland, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Just Friends, Love Actually, Meet the Santas, Mixed Nuts, Santa Baby, Scrooged, and Snow.

With all this said, I raise a question to the readers. What are your favorite Christmas movies?  Do you enjoy some of the ones listed above?  I would love to know so please sure in the comments below. Until then I will wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

 

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