Because nothing screams festive quite like dysfunctional families and those oh-so-sappy, yet highly predictable, holiday rom-coms, right?
I've already broken my “no holiday movies until Thanksgiving” rule and streamed Love Actually this week. It's cheesy and sappy, I admit, but even with Alan Rickman playing an actual jerk character, I miss him. Sometimes you just gotta wrap yourself in a cozy blanket of cheesy sappiness.
Like, watching those silly Hallmark movies in honor of my mom (she loved them!), and Christmas Vacation is basically a staple in my house. It's one of those Thanksgiving traditions that brings a mix of chaos and laughter to the whole season. I can't imagine the “holidaze” without it!
What about you? What are some of your favorite movies or specials that make your holiday season a little brighter?
The Gathering with Ed Asner. Very 70’s, a little dark, and very moving.
May I suggest Rare Imports? A dark European tale, of course, about Santa if he was beastly and ogre-like, with not a scrap of red velvet in his body. We also love all the sappy stuff, too, especially Christmas Story (who doesn’t delight in seeing that naughty red headed kid get his comeuppance!) Love the 40’s classic, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas “ with Bing Crosby, and Jim Carrey’s adaptation of A Christmas Tale. I’m not quick on remembering movie and book titles so bear with me on that. I could recite “Home Alone” practically word for word, but still love it. None of the sequels though.
The Holiday. I don't know how many times I've watched it, and it holds up every time.
I often rewatch The Family Stone near the holidays (I won't tell you what my family calls it because it's a spoiler) and Elf is always silly fun.
Christmas in Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck. It's so charming, and the sets and costuming are beautiful.
There are only three that I *have* to watch every year, and they’re all kids movies:
1) A Charlie Brown Christmas - I am not terribly religious, but Linus’ earnestness gets me every time.
2) the original animated How The Grinch Stole Christmas - The perfect movie. A tight 30 minutes of cleverness, great songs, good visuals, fun characters (I always root for Max the dog most), and a great story.
3) the Muppet Christmas Carol. This is controversial, but I think this is the best Muppet movie. Everything about it is outstanding, but nothing is better than Michael Caine playing his role as absolutely straight as possible, surrounded by literal weirdos. There are so many tiny clever visual jokes and one-liners in this. I love It.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!! John Candy is brilliant. We also watch Nightmare Before Christmas as we feel the movie takes place between Halloween and Christmas. And personally I appreciate a Halloween vibe all year long. :-)
A Christmas Story, Die Hard, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and Four Christmases are always on our list and we'll watch Christmas Vacation and White Christmas more than once :-)
A Christmas Story, Muppet Christmas Carol, Charlie Brown Christmas, Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, Home Alone 2... we love Christmas movies in our house!
Oh, I watch Nightmare Before Christmas every year before Halloween so I am way ahead of you, lol.
But I always, always love the Peanuts Christmas special. I love the music too. That special gives me the “warm fuzzies.” But the Rudolph animated stuff is awesome too. Gotta love The Bumble, Herbie the Elf/Dentist, Heat Miser and Cold Miser. But my soft spot is for the train with square wheels on The Island if Misfit Toys.
Many that were already mentioned plus It’s a Wonderful Life. I know it’s polarizing but I love it.
IN BRUGES is a personal fave. The script is probably one of the best ever written (nothing, not one moment is wasted, you can watch it a thousand times and still catch another connection). It's dark and wrong and hilarious. THE THIN MAN is delightful. ALL ABOUT EVE is everything (not really Christmassy, but part of it takes place in winter). LOVE, ACTUALLY; THE HOLIDAY, SCROOGED and, still the best, A CHRISTMAS STORY. Saw it in the theatre. Watch it every year. FUUUUUUUUDGE! And you have to watch the video of David Bowie with his worst hair singing "The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth" with Bing Crosby, because it's perfect. xo
I too have already broken the cardinal rule and comfort-watched Love Actually. I am totally holding out for Hannah Waddingham's Christmas special because I am SO utterly starved for joy and song and hope this year... but my favorite holiday film has to go to The Family Stone... b/c it's so utterly my family... https://youtu.be/Xcax2cwxuBg ... I AM Rachel McAdams (morphing slowly into Diane) and we DEF have an uptight throat clearer who CANNOT play Charades... it's bloody painful. 😂
White Christmas has been my go-to Christmas movie for most of my life and holds so many fond memories. My mother loves the classic movies, and when I was a kid, we would watch all the old Hollywood movies together. She introduced me to White Christmas. When I was married, my (ex) husband and started a tradition of watching White Christmas every Christmas Eve. My ride-or-die, my sister-friend and I would always do the "sisters" song and dance together. My second favorite Christmas movie is Elf. I've been told that I am a lot like Buddy the Elf at Christmas time (minus the maple syrup on food).
Elf is evergreen for me!
In addition to all the movies previously mentioned, Meet Me In St. Louis. I cry every time Judy Garland sings "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."