Horray, it’s winter break! I just got home, slipped into some sweats, warmed up some cider and let out the most gratifying sigh of relief. I am so grateful for a moment to rest and relax! Now that I’m off for two weeks, what to do, what to do…. Oh I know! Blog! Well I’ve been wanting to write this one for a while but I knew it would be a time consumer for which I couldn’t find the instance or gumption to complete, or even begin for that matter. Suddenly I find myself with no immediate weekend plans for the first time in months. What a lovely sensation! So here we go, my top 10 Christmas movies:
This is the best Christmas Movie ever! Well, that’s probably not the general consensus but it is, by far, my all time favorite. This movie and I have a funny relationship. You see, I was just out of a bad break up and living alone at the age of 31 which is just a bleak place to be. So to compensate, you try your hardest to relish in the joys of the little things. Thankfully the holidays are filled with little things, so there was much to keep my sad heart occupied. One of the most important things, for me, when I lived alone was to have music or the TV on to fill the silence and shoo away sad thoughts. Thank God for Netflix right? When I couldn’t find any of my go-to Christmas movies, this one kept showing up! So why not, I said to myself? I was surprised to see Bing singing White Christmas within the first 10 minutes of the film. After that the story seemed to take on a typical 1950’s song and dance movie, a little love, a lot of breaking into song, a few big showy performances…. with very little Christmas themed music. About 1/2 way through, I got distracted and left it running while doing things around the house. The next day, I found myself humming the songs. And the next day, and the next! You get the idea. So I finally sat down and watch the whole thing through, practically tearing up towards the end, it was such a happy ending. Now I can’t go a Christmas season without watching it at least 3 times and singing along to all the songs.
So if you think shows like Oklahoma and Singin in the Rain are pretty snazzy, you should really give this show a try. Besides, when else are you going to see Bing Crosby in drag?
Well, sorta drag. But impersonating a woman for sure! And the shenanigans, oh the shenanigans! I love it.
Lets take a moment to talk about Bing’s costars too! They each are just as talented as he!
First, Danny Kaye. What a character! Although his career in the movie business didn’t go much further than this, he did have his own TV show in the 60’s that showcased his talents. Every gesture or face he makes just has me giggling. Love that guy!
Then there is Rosemary Clooney, a singer by trade made star by this movie. She plays the oldest of the Hayne sisters, Betty. Her job, as she sees it, is to look after her younger sister, Judy. This woman had a voice of velvet. I have always been partial to her singing Mambo Italiano.
And, of course, Vera-Ellen. What can I say, legs for days! This girl can dance! She is amazing and when you see her really do her stuff, your jaw will fall to the floor. I really love this gal. Her character is so adorable as the younger naive sister, Judy, with big bright eyes.
Ok, rave over.
A Christmas Story
Before White Christmas, it was always A Christmas Story. Who doesn’t love fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra?
Or you’ll shoot your eye out.
Or the leg lamp!
This movie is simply hilarious. If you haven’t seen it, stop what you’re doing right now and go do so!! Make sure to drink lots of eggnog while watching!!
Will Ferrell, that is all. I love that guy. As an orphan raised by Santa’s elves, he’s hilarious!
The one liners are perfect for both children and adults. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t love this movie. And Zooey Dechanel showcasing her vocals for one of the first times, wow!
Imagine, if you will, that Santa had a big brother. Now imagine this big brother was horribly jealous of Santa as a child and couldn’t stand him as an adult. Well, that’s Fred, played by Vince Vaughn. Fred refers to Santa(Paul Giamatti) as a megalomaniac and a fame monger to children.
Eventually he goes up the North Pole to help his bro out as a “favor.” You soon learn that poor St. Nick’s whole family is somewhat dysfunctional. To make matters worse, an efficiency expert (Kevin Spacey) has been sent to the North Pole to downsize the whole production and maybe shut down Christmas for good!
The fantastic story line and dry humor with have your family in stitches.
Babes in Toyland
Another classic musical from the 50’s. Featuring Disney’s famous sweetheart: Annette Funicello, the story showcases all of Mother Goose’s characters living in one town. Lots of singing, dancing, chorus lines. This one is bright, happy, classic Disney flick. I would put it up there with Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. A must show if you have little ones in the house… or if you just love those kind of movies. As you can see, this one stuck with me, I still insist upon watching it every holiday season. Although it does not start out very Christmasy, the main Characters eventually find themselves at Santa’s workshop building toys for the upcoming Christmas.
Muppet Christmas Carol
You can’t call yourself a Muppet fan until you’ve seen A Muppet Christmas Carol. For crying out loud, Gonzo plays Charles Dickens!!
Furthermore they cast Michael Caine to be Scrooge. And the music is lovely. I particularly love the overture. As you probably imagined, the whole gang stars in the show with Kermit staring as Bob Cratchit and Fozzy as Fozzywig (er Fezziwig) you get the idea.
Mr. Bean Christmas Special
Ever seen a turkey on someones head? Well Mr. Bean did it first! This 30 minute special will have you in stitches as Mr. Bean wanders London in search of a perfect Christmas experience. For saying hardly anything at all, Rowan Atkinson has a way with slapstick that is unparalleled.
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
This is probably considered by most the American crowning jewel of Christmas Movies. I actually didn’t see it for the first time until I was well into my 20’s. Whoever it was that sat me down and forced me to watch it for the first time was horror-struck that I had never seen it before. Now that I have seen it, I understand so much more about American culture! Now I know what it means to Griswald the house! And the look of madness in Chevy Chase eye, it’s just terrifying, in the most amusing, overly obsessed with Christmas, kind of way!
The Nutcracker movie (1986)
No, this is not the one with Macaulay Culkin. Yuck, gross, weird! This one is really cool because it gives a little narrative here and there from the perspective of Clara. When I first saw this version as a child, I thought to myself, “Finally, now it makes sense!” Let’s be real, the nutcracker is a beautiful ballet and the music is serene but the story line is choppy and, as a child, hard to interpret. Also this movie was filmed right here in Seattle with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, so I’m kinda partial anyway. When I was a dancer, I wanted nothing more than to be the peacock and wear this costume in the show:
The story is as heartwarming and loving a Christmas itself. I love this story of a mother and her daughters living in New England during the time of the Civil war. Their comradery and love for each other through trials and tribulations is inspiring.
The story always seems to return to Christmas time year after year, which is why I include this in my list. To boot, the cast is ridiculously rich: Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Claire Daines, Kirsten Dunst, and Christian Bale top the list! Talk about an all-star cast! A must see if you have your own little women or if you once were a little woman yourself.
I know I probably missed some of your absolute favorites, so please share!
What is your favorite Holiday movie?
What favorite Holiday movie of yours did I miss??