There isn’t much better than a Christmas-themed movie. The holiday season is a great backdrop for some excellent flicks, whether it’s a classic like “A Christmas Carol” or a comedy like “Scrooged”. Christmas movies have that extra element of holiday spirit to add to the comedy, the romance, or the action flick (“Die Hard”). Thanks to all the television networks and Netflix, you’ll have the opportunity to see any and all Christmas movies multiple times, so take advantage while you have some time off. Prop your feet up, pour yourself a tall glass of eggnog, and get to work on the remote.
Here is your guide to some of the best ones out there:
(In no particular order)
‘Miracle on 34th Street’ – The highly decorated 1947 film is one of the best ‘feel good’ Christmas movies out there. The real Santa (aka Kris Kringle) finds that the person hired to play Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is drunk, and is in-turn hired by the beautiful Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) to take his place. After knocking it out of the park in the parade, Kris is hired as Santa for the Macy’s store on 34th Street. Faith in the real Santa is restored in this classic…watching this one should be an annual family event.
‘A Christmas Story’ – Everyone can relate to this story. We’ve all had that one present that we couldn’t live without. For Ralphie, it’s a Red Ryder BB Gun. It’s all he can think about. While his behavior leading up to Christmas doesn’t warrant such a gift, he is pleasantly surprised on Christmas morning when his dad surprises him with the BB gun. Predictably, it doesn’t end well – for Ralphie’s glasses or for their Christmas dinner, which is ultimately celebrated at a Chinese restaurant.
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ – This is not only a great Christmas movie, but one of the best films ever made. Donna Reed and James Stewart star in the 1946 film about seeing what would happen if things would have been different. George Bailey (Stewart) gets to see what happens to his town of Bedford Falls, NY without him via his guardian angel Clarence Odbody. After a change of heart, George finds great fortune, and an angel gets his wings…
‘Elf’ – Some of Will Ferrell’s best work. Farrell stars as Buddy the Elf, who is adopted and raised as a six-foot tall elf at the North Pole. Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) reveals to Buddy that he isn’t a real elf, much to Buddy’s she-grin, and that his real father lives in New York City. Buddy tracks him down, starting the main plot of the movie – winning his dad’s favor and bringing the spirit back to Christmas. Highlights: Buddy’s reaction to the department store Santa (“You stink. You smell like beef and cheese. You don’t smell like Santa.”), Buddy’s reaction to the little-person author (“he’s an angry elf”), and the best way to answer the phone this holiday season: “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?”
‘Christmas Vacation’ – If there were rankings, this would be number one. Numero Uno. The National Lampoon movie was an instant classic as soon as it was released in 1989. We’ve all be quoting Cousin Eddie lines for as long as we can remember. The premise is a Christmas worst-case scenario when both sets of in-laws visit for the holidays, as well as an unannounced visit from a ‘salt-of-the-Earth’ unemployed cousin who’s holding out for a management position. After a destroyed house, a ruined turkey, and a one-year membership to the ‘Jelly of the Month Club’, all ends well for the Griswalds.