Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Favorite Christmas Movies

I find myself searching through the guide on my TV, looking for any and all holiday movies and cartoons.  It's actually kind of been such an obsession that I've even watched a couple of those sappy, poorly acted movies on the Lifetime Channel.  Kristin Chenoweth's recent contribution called The Twelve Men of Christmas was a real prime example, but I watched most of it anyway.  Fortunately, I fell asleep at some point.

I think this calls for a list, don't you  Here are my favorite Holiday movies and why I like them so much.  (While I'm typing this...I have White Christmas on for the 2nd time this month.)

1. White Christmas - This is probably my favorite Christmas movie.  It's become part of our family lore.  We quote lines from it  all year long.  "OK they didn't go to college, they didn't go to Smith."  "Go to Smith, she couldn't even spell Smith."  Then there is my sister and my rendition of "Sisters, Sister".  Always a show stopper around the house.  And I'm always Vera Ellen.  Not that I don't love Rosemary Clooney, but Vera's costumes are just incredible.  I want to wear them all.

2.  Love Actually - As this movie has made it to so many of my lists, you already know this is an all around favorite, but it's extra special at Christmas.  I can never decide which story line is my favorite.  It changes every time I watch it.  This year it was all the more poignant watching Liam Neeson's character play the grieving widower knowing he had to go through this is real life as well.  If you've not watched it this Christmas season, please do so soon as it will do your heart good.

3.  The Bishop's Wife - This is a classic film from 1947 starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven.  Niven plays a bishop so preoccupied  by the building of a great cathedral that he neglects his wife, daughter and parishioners. In a moment of  despair he prays for help and the help comes in the form of and angel named Dudley (Grant). The bishop quickly finds all the people in his life charmed  by Dudley (Grant) including his wife Julia.  It's a lovely story and there are some wonderful moments including my favorite ice skating scene.  Interesting little fact, Grant was originally supposed to play the bishop, but he pushed to be able to play the angel instead.

4.  It's a Wonderful Life - This movie generates a bit of controversy in the family.  BW loves this movie, but the girls don't like it at all.  I'm on the side of loving this movie, but I can completely understand where the girls are coming from.  I get very agitated when Uncle Billy loses the money and I remain that way until the movie finally has it's happy conclusion.  There are moments of desperation that make both the girls so uncomfortable they can't enjoy the movie.  They can't get past it whereas I know the ending is well worth the trip. I imagine others feel the same way.

5.  A Christmas Story - Back in 1983 I actually took the girls to this movie at the theater.  Based upon the horrendous ad campaign, I honestly did not expect this movie to be any good, but I was a stay home mother of two and was always looking for things to get us out of the house.  This has now become such a holiday classic that it seems to be from my childhood just as it is from the girls.  This is a wonderful story filled with so many memorable moments...Ralphie in the pink bunny suit, Randy eating mashed potatoes like a piggy, the Bumpkisses' dogs stealing the turkey and Lifeboy soap to name just a few.

6. Home Alone - I love this movie and enjoy it every year, but I honestly think what  I love the most is the soundtrack.  This movie did a brilliant job using so many holiday classics at just the right moments, that hearing them brings back clear images from the film. I also like this one, cause Stinky...a long time ago, before he became a grumpy 17 year old, looked a lot like Macaulay Culkin and it just reminds me of sweeter times with my boy.

7.  A Christmas Carol - I like the 1938 version with Reginald Owen as Ebenezer Scrooge.  It just seems to be the version I watched the most as a child, so it's still the one I prefer. It's in black and white, which I think adds to the eerie feel that helps move this story along.  I haven't seen the newly released animated version so, I'll have to rely on feedback from others.

8. Rudolph, Frosty and the Misfit Toys - We love any and all of the stop animation holiday programs.  Rudolph is probably my fav, but I do love them all.  A couple years ago I bought a 4 volume DVD set for BW  for Christmas.  He was working so much back then that he kept missing them.  Now we can watch them whenever we like, but we still seem to search them out on TV.

9. Elf - This one has kind of snuck onto my Christmas list recently.  Will Farrell movies can sometime be so over the top that they make me a little crazy, but he managed to do this one with a lot of heart.  I love the scene where he stays up all night decorating the department store in preparation for Santa's visit. 

10.  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - OK...Doc Hollywood, this is for you.  I don't particularly like this movie, but just the other day,  Doc mentioned how much he LOVES this movie and that he watches every time it comes on.  With that kind of endorsement, how could I not put it on this list.

 What is your favorite holiday movie?  Is it already on my list or did I miss it?  Let me know.  I'd love to know.


  1. Zoli's favorite is A Christmas Story and mine is Miracle on 34th Street - the original version. I know its just a big ad for Macy's, but I love it anyway!

  2. Lindalou, how can anyone not love White Christmas... that's when movies were movies! I do believe you are an ole soul. ;)

  3. Excellent, now if I can only get you to put Con Air "Put the bunny back in the box!" on your list of favorite action movies.... - Doc Hollywood

  4. Good pics! I love Elf too. One of my favorite parts, about the sugar food groups.

  5. What a good job you did with this list of Christmas movies. It's a Wonderful Life is my favorite but I know what the girls mean about feeling uncomfortable in parts. A couple weeks ago I took Phillip to see the play Miracle on 34th Street put on by one of our local theater groups. The court room scene got a little long for him. Last year we did The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and that was a huge hit with him.

  6. My favorite is The Muppet Christmas Carol - along with the rest of the ones thta you have stated...Christmas vacation is probably #2.

  7. Just watched Christmas Vacation again last night ... a must for the holidays and still laugh :) ... and ... It'a a Wonderful Life still makes me cry :(