It’s impossible not to notice that it’s Christmas time. Decorations are in full bloom on houses and storefronts, carols blare at hurried shoppers, and the TV lineup is re-running all your favorite classic holiday movies and specials. Amid all this Christmas white noise (White Christmas noise?), we wanted to know which seasonal shows standout for your family each year. So for our Holiday Movie Big List, we asked you to write in your family’s favorite boob-tubular traditions. Write in you did, and here’s what we learned :
10. “Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas” rounds out our list at number 10. This 1977 Muppet-take on the Gift of the Magi storyline chronicles the Otter family’s quest to win Christmas money in a talent show to buy each other presents. Emmet and his Ma separately enter the contest, sacrificing each other’s livelihoods in the process in the hope of a chance at giving a special gift. In the end, they learn that sharing their music together is the greatest gift of all.
My family has watched this movie every year since I was a kid! We quote the movie year-round! And of course “I love the mash potatoes!”
9. Every year it seems there’s another holiday commercial trying to benefit from association with the stop motion glory that is 1964’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” This longest-running Christmas TV special fleshes out the story of the most famous reindeer of all and proves it’s okay to be a misfit. It features a terrific cast of characters, from the misfit toys and Hermey the Elf who wants to be a dentist, to the prospecting Yukon Cornelius and the ferocious Bumble. Burl Ives’ Sam the Snowman is the iconic cherry on top, completing this holiday treat.
It has a lot of holiday spirit, and watching that movie makes me feel that it’s Christmas time.
8. A more recent film that has quickly climbed the ranks of holiday favorites is 2003’s “Love, Actually.” This Brit flick is a montage of ordinary lives that weave in and out of one another as the big day approaches in London. Plenty of British film royalty show up for this heart-warming story, including Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley Alan Rickman, and Hugh Grant. While it gets pretty adult in parts, it still reaches the kid in all of us, proving love, actually, is all around.
It has comedy, love, tears, anger and all the dysfunctional situations that occur at the holidays…
7. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” – Sometimes the holidays get to all of us. The hustle and bustle just blends into senseless noise and Good ol’ Chuck helps us let it all out. He too is jaded on all the commercialism, and resolves to get everyone grounded armed with a small, scraggly tree and a little help from his friends.
Takes me back to my childhood, and I can enjoy it with my own son and build that tradition.
I love to remember watching this movie as a kid..
6. Often Christmas movie classics are like American muscle cars: they don’t make ‘em like they used to. But when “Elf” came along, we knew it was destined for greatness. Buddy, a human raised by elves at the North Pole, journeys to New York in search of his biological father, a scrooge of a children’s book publisher, and teaches the whole city a lesson in Christmas cheer. It’s simple : the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Also, stick to the main food groups of candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.
We all enjoy a good laugh. This movie is full of fun and entertainment for the whole family.
Warm Fuzzy Feeling!!!
5. Miracle on 34th Street – Is there really a Santa Claus? And does he really work at Macy’s, “the store with the true Christmas spirit?” When a gentle man named Kris Kringle comes into the lives of a department store manager and her daughter, you’ve got to believe there will be magic – and miracles!
It is a tradition to watch this movie with my family.
It touches my soul, a gentle story, old fashion values. Just an old time frame I enjoy spending time in.
4. Who can’t relate to little Ralphie in “A Christmas Story?” We all remember the one toy we just had to have. This classic gets into the nitty-gritty of how the holidays really go down in an average family. We love to watch the chaos, the arguments, the anticipation, and the joy. And even though it’s really about family and togetherness, it’s still awesome to unwrap a really great gift.
I always wanted a bb gun as a kid and little Ralphie just makes my Christmas Day. You’ll shoot your eye out kid!
The whole story is very funny! I love when the boy sticks his tongue to the pole and it gets stuck. Good old-fashioned family fun.
3. Coming in third with 10.2% of the vote is “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.” Two song-and-dance men and two song-and-dance women journey to Vermont (which should be beautiful this time of year) and deliver a wonderful Christmas present to an old friend the best way they know how: through song and dance! This musical classic has plenty o’ schmaltz and lots o’ heart, reminding us that the best things happen while your dancing, and snow or shine, it’s friendship and fun that make your days merry and bright.
My family and I watched it for the first time last year. I was surprised to find my children loved it. Two sisters meet two men who need them for their dying act. Then through strange twists of fate, they find themselves doing something for someone who never once asked to be noticed or honored. The selfless act brings people together and the beautiful ending makes you yearn to do something for someone else too!
2. The hotly contested second place spot goes to “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Both the classic animated short, narrated by Boris Karloff, and the recent live-action feature, starring Jim Carrey, have become holiday institutions, earning 11.4% of the vote. From the first lines, Teddy Geisel’s poetry, at once sublimely silly and penetratingly poignant, entertains and enlightens. The Grinch’s fool’s errand up the heights of Mount Crumpit reminds us how easily we conflate the stuff and the season. This heart-growing tale makes us want to put away the packages, boxes, and bags as we realize with the Grinch :
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
This 30 minute masterpiece is a classic and a must watch. It transcends generation after generation because it is a classic tale of an old Grinch who finally understands the real joy of Christmas.
The Jim Carey version just tickles me the way the Whos carry on. Also, the way that the Grinch sometimes sounds like Sean Connery is kind of freaky.
1. And the movie that has worked its way into the most holiday family traditions is “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” With a plurality of 13.6% of the vote, those goofy Griswolds are the number one holiday institution. All Clark Griswold wants is a nice family Christmas. Of course nothing comes easy in his quest to find the biggest tree, have the best holiday lights, the perfect family gift or that special Christmas dinner. As things go from bad to worse, see Clark’s slow and deliberate holiday meltdown. What good Christmas movie doesn’t end in with a kidnapping?
Can anybody do funny better than Chevy Chase? Add to the mix the crazy antics of his relatives and you have one of the best feel-good movies ever made, and, it just happens to revolve around Christmas. My favorite scenes start with Randy Quaid and his family showing up unannounced, complete with beat up motor home. I love it when he drinks eggnog while wearing his “dicky”. Chevy is heartwarming, dressed in warm “drag” trapped in his attic watching old family movies.
But Chevy isn’t alone on that podium. He’s joined by Jimmy Stewart, tying for first with Frank Capra’s classic “It’s A Wonderful Life.” George Bailey had a wonderful life ahead of him, but at every turn something got in the way : a Depression, a war, a family and neighbors in need, and never any time for George to do what he wanted. Sick of all the bad news piling up, George wishes he was never born. A friendly guardian angel soon grants his wish. Seeing a world without him, George realizes his life is, well, kind of wonderful after all.
While the story doesn’t center entirely around Christmas, Capra brings it all home with one of the best-loved and best-remembered final sequences of film history. It even features season’s greetings for a financial institution, that wonderful old building and loan. So it’s a little dated, big deal. It’s an oldie but a goodie.
Jimmy Stewart “rocks!” Even back then. I love the line, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.” The movie holds true, especially today, that money and “things” can never take the place of love and family. We must never forget that. George Bailey has a “Wonderful” way of showing us how to appreciate what we have.
Honorable mentions go out to “Holiday Inn,” “The Polar Express,” “A Christmas Carol” (both Muppet and otherwise), “Home Alone,” “The Santa Clause,” “Mix’d Nuts,” “Scrooged,” and “Die Hard.”