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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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!!