Tinselitis Tinselitis: Keep The Change, Ya Filthy Animal! Jennifer Still

Well, guys, it’s getting down to the wire. There are only 6 weeks left until the big day. Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is just ahead of us (and doesn’t matter to anyone besides Americans, and even then it’s just for the food, really) and that means we’re clear for landing on Christmas cheer. And what better way to celebrate than to sit down for a marathon of some of our favourite holiday films?

From the blatantly obvious to the “that’s not about Christmas, but I guess it is on TV a lot this time of year”, I’ve got you covered with some of the best viewing around. Let’s not waste any time and get right to it! Here are the Top 10 films you should watch this holiday season.

Home Alone

Listen, if this isn’t at the top of your Christmas movie watching list, you’re beyond my reach. I can’t help you from where you are. Hopefully you’ve got this on DVD (or perhaps have worn your way through several VHS copies) but will still sit down to watch it whenever it’s on TV. It’s got everything: adventure, grand larceny, slapstick humour, toothbrush theft, Old Man Marley’s misleading bandaged hand, a fake black & white movie within a movie, junk food binges, Buzz’s girlfriend (woof!), John Candy performing polka music, bed-wetting cousins and Catherine O’Hara full stop.

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York is also enjoyable, if only for Marv’s electrocution scene, which makes me cry with laughter:

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Sure, it was made in 1964, but 37 years later, it still hasn’t lost its shine. That goes for all the claymation movies, really, which for the sake of brevity I’ll mention only in passing: Frosty the Snowman, The Year Without A Santa Claus, The Year There Almost Wasn’t Christmas, etc.

I have a particular fondness for these as I grew up watching them every year. Who could forget when Rudolph meets that doe after trying to wear a nose disguise and he gets so excited that he goes flying off in the air exclaiming, “She thinks I’m cuuuuuuuuuute!” only to have the thing go bright red again? Genius!

How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

The Grinch, also sometimes referred to as my spirit guide, is awesome. Sure, he’s a total jerk for a while, but what matters is that he redeems himself in the end, right? After all, his heart does grow THREE SIZES.

Also, shout out to the Jim Carrey version, which many people I know seem to think kinda sucks. It certainly doesn’t surpass the original, but t does possess its own bit of charm and humour that I think is only translatable in live-action form and is therefore absent from the animated. Either way, get your grinch on.

Elf

In 2003, Will Ferrell shoved his above-the-beanstalk frame into a tiny desk… and a tiny bed… and a tiny shower… at the North Pole, all for our amusement. What’s not to love about Buddy? He likes smiling, puts maple syrup on everything and lives on candy and is super into the Christmas spirit.

Marshmallows, syrup and candy on spaghetti? Now that’s admirable. Not to mention our very own Zooey is in it! Could you think of a more perfect role for her? You can’t, so stop trying.

Christmas Eve On Sesame Street

I’m not going to lie to you because I respect you too much – this one is pretty depressing  for roughly 3/4 of the film. Basically, Oscar’s still a total a-hole who’s hell-bent on ruining everyone else’s holiday just because… I don’t know, because he lives in a trash can and was born a jerk. He tells Big Bird, who is super excited for Santa to come, that his wait will be in vain since Santa doesn’t exist. Big bird is understandably devastated but determined to prove him wrong, so he SLEEPS ON THE ROOF in the freezing cold, super sad but still hopeful that Santa will show. Does he? SPOILERS!

This one doesn’t seem to get played on TV anymore, but I loved it when I was younger, so much so that I bought it on DVD two years ago.

A Christmas Story

I should probably be wearing my bullet-proof vest when I tell you that I’m not all that fond of A Christmas Story.  However, it’s one that I end up watching roughly 16 times each year when TNT does their around-the-clock marathons. Of course, it did spawn some classic scenes and lines. How many of you weren’t allowed to get bebe guns because “you’ll shoot your eye out”?  Uh huh.

Love, Actually

This film islaslkdala alwle;a lekrew … Oh, sorry. I was weeping too hard to see the keyboard. Even though I’m a robot with no feelings, I occasionally plug into the motherboard in order to experience what you lot call “human emotion” and this always gets to me.

I love this movie! Every cheesy, heartbreaking, feel-good part of it. When Rick Grimes (LOL, did you guys notice that’s Andrew Lincoln from The Walking Dead?) writes out his feelings for Keira Knightley on those cards and holds them for her at her door, I’m done for. I just can’t anymore.

The great thing is that every narrative in this film is fantastic – just really truthful and exciting and sad and beautiful and all with the backdrop of Christmas. I can’t think of how things can get better, can you?

It’s A Wonderful Life

Aw, wouldn’t you just? So much to love about this, to the point where I don’t think I even need to keep running my mouth about it. So I won’t.

Gremlins

Yeah, I went there. My boo associates Gremlins with Christmas because it’s always on TV around then. Word! Plus, is there ever a WRONG season for Gremlins? I don’t think so. Look at Gizmo’s eyes widen! While it’s probably at the fact that he got wet and now these reptilian demons are multiplying and swinging from chandeliers, we can pretend it’s because he just caught sight of Santa’s sleigh coming in for a landing on the roof.

E.T.

E.T. is one of my favourite films for many different reasons, so luckily it tends to return to TV during this time of year. In fact, it was just on ITV last week! What better way to spend a cold November/December (okay, ANY) night than with a warm cup of tea/cocoa on the couch under the blankets while E.T. eats Reese’s Pieces and gets dressed up like a girl? Duh.

What do you think E.T. told his fellow aliens when he finally “phoned home”? What would E.T. have thought about Christmas? The mind boggles.

I realise I’ve left quite a few films off this list – not purposely, but omissions were necessary so that I finished this sometime before December 25. There are lots of other good ones – and I’d love to hear some of your own favourites in the comments section below!

T-minus 43 days and counting! CHRISTMAAAASSSSS!!

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  1. Such great picks! I love all of them (except Love, Actually, which I have actually never seen. I also like sitting down with a warm cup of tea and watching some of the classics like “White Christmas” or “Holiday Inn”. Mostly because they are so easy to make fun of.

  2. I do love this list (I don’t quite get Gremlins or ET, but to each their own!)
    Christmas Vacation is a must… I loved The Muppet Christmas Carol from when I was a kid. Another movie/musical I discovered last year is “Meet Me In St. Louis” starring Judy Garland. It melts my heart when she sings “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” Her version of that song is the best ever!

  3. Oh, I cannot wait to pop-in Home Alone! It’s definitely one of my favs along with A Muppet Christmas Carol and Christmas Vacation.

  4. Umm anyone here who by some curse has NOT watched Jingle All The Way needs to, RIGHT NOW. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a workaholic dad who has to get his annoying kid (young Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars Episode I) a Turboman action figure on Christmas Eve. It’s ridiculous, somewhat idiotic, and probably the most quotable/hilarious/best Christmas movie ever made. EVER.
    The trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyEr8YX1cnY

  5. (Oh and I must watch The Santa Clause. But none of its sequels because they sucked. Bad.)

  6. On my must watch list: Home Alone 1 & 2, Miracle on 34th street (I watch the 90s version with Dylan McDermott and the girl who played Matilda because that’s the one I grew up on, purists may watch the original if they prefer) and my absolute must watch is All I Want For Christmas with Thora Birch and Ethan Embry. It’s my favourite Christmas movie and the kids are amazing in it, I particularly like Thora Birch who was an amazing child actress. I still believe that some kind of voodoo occurred when she filmed Ghost World with Scarlett Johansson, in that following that movie Scarlett Johansson went on to become big and famous and Thora Birch has gone on to have less prominent roles than she had before. Some kind of voodoo transfer of public attention from Thora to Scarlett must have occurred. ..

  7. I have pretty much every christmas dvd known to man, which I have sorted in order of christmassyness and try to watch from Halloween (Starting with Nightmare before Christmas) and ending up with Santa Claus the movie on Christmas day (I love the bit where Cornelia leave the food out for him and you can hear him opening the coke.) I know its completely insane, but I love me some christmas films! I blame my mother who has already started watching christmas movie marathons on Christmas24…..

  8. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street! YES! No one ever mentions this, and it’s by far one of my Christmastime favourites. <3 Also tickled that you included Love, Actually. Most people (yes, even women!) seem too ashamed to admit how much they adore that movie. Now if you'd only added Christmas Vacation to this list, I would be completely satisfied! (And – Home Alone 2, Tim Curry, blow-up-clown in the shower, hello!? Funniest scene of the movie!! Shame not to mention it.) Great list!

  9. I HATE A Christmas Story. That disgusting lamp has made me furious since I first saw it as a child, but when I was a child I didn’t know why.

    I LOVE Christmas Eve on Sesame Street even though I saw it for the first time 2 years ago. I love almost anything Henson & I’m a sucker for Christmas in NY stories. (Does Christmas even exist outside of NY? I feel like the further from Rockafellar Center you get, the less Christmas it is.) I like “keep Christmas with you” and the retro feel to it, since it’s kind of old.

    And, as someone said, TIM CURRY! :)

  10. what about ‘a mom for christmas’? i loved that movie when i was younger, havent seen it for years though

  11. Love love love the old claymation movies!!! Watch them every year :) I own Love Actually and it gets me every time
    Another great Christmas movie is White Christmas loves me some Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Danny Kaye!!!!

  12. A Charlie Brown Christmas. :)

  13. I’m not calling myself an expert, but I would qualify The Muppets Christmas Carol as a classic. But A Christmas Story is by far the best Christmas movie of all time.

  14. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street! Oh man, the shot of Big Bird with the icicles on his beak is forever burned into my mind. Let’s be real, it’s one of the saddest images ever. And yet I watched that movie every year… and still do!

  15. I know, I know you can’t name them all, but A Muppet Christmas Carol is very noticeably missing from this list.

  16. Your pick is Gremlins, whereas my boyfriend’s top 3 Christmas movies are (in order) Die Hard, Die Hard 2, and Lethal Weapon!

  17. oh my gosh I love that gremlins gif. I love watching Elf and home alone during the holidays.

  18. A Christmas Story is my all time favorite!! The last two on the list… sorry, can’t do it. I’ve never watched Gremlins as it doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest and I hate ET. However, I love Elf and am actually going to be seeing It’s A Wonderful Life in an old 1920′s movie theatre this coming week! Seriously excited!! What about Christmas Vacation?? Classic. Oh and another one that I always end up watching on Christmas Eve is Meet Me in St Louis. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas a la Judy Garland? Yes please. =)

  19. Ugh, I hate A Christmas Story. The rest of your picks are awesome, though. I can’t believe you didn’t mention Tim Curry’s role as the concierge in Home Alone 2! He gets a laugh out of me every time. For claymation, my vote has to go to The Year Without a Santa Clause. Heatmiser vs. Snowmiser is an epic battle that will last through the ages. Second Hannah on The Muppet Christmas Carol! That’s my favorite version of the story.

  20. Home Alone and Love Actually…yes and yes!

    I also think of Crazy Mixed Nuts with Steve Martin and Adam Sandler and also The Family Man.

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