Holiday movies are definitely one thing that I would loosely consider a yearly tradition in my household. I watch them while I am decorating, wrapping presents, baking, doing absolutely nothing – here are the movies on my must watch list!
A Charlie Brown Christmas – Charlie Brown is feeling a little down and is unable to find the true-meaning of Christmas in the actions of his peers and surroundings. He decides to direct the annual Christmas play to cure his holiday blues. You know it’s going to be a disaster and it starts out that way but by the end, the kids are able to discover the true meaning of Christmas and bask in yuletide bliss. Question, were they actually kids? They look like kids but they don’t really talk or act like kids – is it a parody of adulthood? I mean, Charlie Brown is bald! How many 8 year bald kids do you see on the regular? I love the whiny, Christmas time is here. Happiness and cheer. Mew, mew, mew. I do actually enjoy the soundtrack, it is traditional but melancholy.
Home Alone – Even if you don’t like the movie, I think that there is an obligation to watch it at least once leading up to Christmas. First off, how gorgeous is the McCallister house? Do houses like that still exist, where was it? I just Googled it, the house is located in Winnetka, Illinois and was on the market in 2011 for $2.4 million – it’s only a four bedroom/three-and-a-half bath but it looks enormous in the movie. I say only because that is expensive, I guess that you would be owning a piece of cinema history and it is a brownstone – it’s out of my budget. What are we talking about here? Kevin is left at home when his family jets off to Paris for Christmas. The plot is so wildly unrealistic and yet so classic, a kid home alone who has to defend it from burglars. When Carol of the Bells cues and Kevin makes a beeline for home for the ultimate show-down, I loved watching it as a kid and I still enjoy it!
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – All Clark Griswold wants is to have a traditional family Christmas celebration but a series of misadventures and his nutty family strive to thwart his efforts. There are many classic scenes in this movie but one of my favs is when Clark gets trapped in the attic and the family leaves for holiday shopping not knowing that he is up there. He watches reels of family Christmases past and puts on velvet gloves, a turban and fur stole to stay warm. He is channeling a washed up, Hollywood starlet while bawling his eyes out. It comes to a climax with a SWAT team crashing through the window and Clark finally getting his Christmas bonus. My only complaint with this movie is that they didn’t get the original kids, probably because they would have been considerably older and the cast is still pretty great. I think it is the most relatable Christmas movie, who hasn’t had a holiday ruined by their crazy in-laws?
A Christmas Story – A young boy’s quest for the ultimate Christmas gift. I love everything about this movie, didn’t we all have that one gift growing up that was probably completely inappropriate for our age and our parents were so adamant about not giving it to us. For me, it was a bottle of Clinique Happy when I was in the 6th grade – my older sister did end up getting a bottle and you better believe that I was using it 😛 Not only is the plot perfect, I love how perfectly a traditional 1940’s Christmas was portrayed. The snow, the department stores, the wardrobes – it’s all perfect. It is simply splendid, the ending scene with the giant snowflakes coming down and those big, old-fashioned glass Christmas bulbs shining under the snow just warms my heart every time that I watch it.
I am adding two as honorable mentions so this doesn’t get too wordy. Jingle All The Way and The Santa Claus – two heartwarming tales of middle-aged dads really struggling through the holiday season but ultimately discovering the true meaning of Christmas. Also, I have to include Jingle All The Way because of the MOA scene, you think that is cinematic exaggeration, it isn’t. I also enjoy a lot of musicals, not necessarily holiday ones but I have a Rodgers & Hammerstein box-set that comes out every year.
What are your favourite holiday movies, do we have any in common?
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