My Top 10 Holiday Movies

23Dec11

‘Tis the season… for “Top 10” lists. And I’m jumping on the band wagon. Here’s my list of the top ten holiday movies, and why I love them.

*NOTE: In no particular order other than when I thought of them.

Number 1:
Home Alone

Little kid in a huge family gets accidentally left behind on Christmas then proceeds to kick the ass out of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. It’s completely outrageous, but I love it. This movie made 90% of my generation actually WISH to be left behind.

Why it’s a great holiday movie: The moral of the story didn’t fall on Macaulay Culkin, but rather on the rest of the family. Specifically the parents.

Number 2:
A Christmas Story

Little kid wants a BB Gun, then shoots his eye out. This movie would be great even if it wasn’t about Christmas. Who hasn’t had dinner completely wrecked only to have to go watch a duck get decapitated? 

Why it’s a  great holiday movie: It takes a playful stab at Christmas. The events that occur are so outrageous, yet at the same time, it’s exactly how Christmas is supposed to happen… fucked up.

Number 3:
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Chevy Chase. Need I say more? Christmas Vacation is what every holiday comedy movie wants to be. Random, chaotic, it’s what I’ve always wanted a Christmas to turn out like (just imagine the stories I’d be able to tell if it would happen).

Why it’s a great holiday movie: Read the above entry about A Christmas Story. Christmas Vacation is that unique mix of physical humor, outrageous antics, and holiday cheer that makes you want to watch it over and over again.


Number 4:
Eight Crazy Nights

I wouldn’t be a  good half-Jew if I didn’t have one Chanukah movie. The problem is, there aren’t very many. And there are even less good ones (seriously, am I supposed to watch The Hebrew Hammer?). But Adam Sandler is comedy gold, and I love this movie. Because it’s an animation, they can get away with a lot more (like using your fart to propel your saucer) than they could’ve otherwise.

Why it’s a great holiday movie: It makes you laugh at the same time that it shows you “the true meaning of the holidays.” They bring together Christmas and Chanukah in a way that is believable. Plus, some deer lick frozen poop off a guy.

Number 5:
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(Animated)

Screw the Jim Carey version. I’m talking about the real one… the animated version. The one that’s straight out of Dr. Seuss’ messed up head. It’s a Christmas classic. Growing up, every year I would sit with my dad and watch it.

Why it’s a great holiday movie: A) It rhymes. B) It’s family friendly animation. C) It’s short. D) Nostalgia. ‘Nuff said. 

Number 6:
The Shop Around the Corner

I only found this one recently, but it’s Jimmy Stewart, so you know it’s awesome. The majority of the movie doesn’t feel like a Christmas movie. Suicide, while common in real life, doesn’t normally fill the silver screen during the holidays.

Why it’s an awesome holiday movie: Jimmy Stewart. You can’t go wrong with Mr. Smith. It’s got all that high brow class that you’d expect a movie from 1940 to have. Plus it’s got the classic happy ending that you’d expect a Christmas movie to have.

Number 7:
A Muppet Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens and Jim Henson should cross paths more frequently. I love Dickens, and A Christmas Carol is the iconic holiday movie. I also LOVE the Muppets. That combination is unbeatable.

Why it’s a great holiday movie: Muppets for kids. Dickens for adults. Songs. Muppets. Dickens. I don’t know how much more plainly I can put it. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. 

 


Number 8:
Frosty the Snowman

Magical man made of snow comes to life to teach kids the meaning of the holidays and about the life-death cycle. Non-denominational fun for the whole family. Honestly, it’s one of the only older style holiday animations that I can stand to watch.

Why it’s good for the holidays: My extremely Jewish grandmother even likes it. That should be enough. It’s able to talk about and be a holiday movie without swaying too much favor towards Christmas, which is nice to see.


Number 9:
The Nutcracker

Whether you see it on the stage or on a screen, this is a classic. I know, you’re saying, “But Jeremy, isn’t that a girl movie?” Yes. And no. The music and the dancing are fantastic. It’s got a giant rat that tries to kidnap and marry some little girl. Men, go watch it.

Why it’s a great holiday movie: Mostly because it’s actually about the holidays. But also because it has that nostalgic magic that is able to bring generations of families together. I know families that go and see it every year. It brings families together, and that’s what the holidays are for.

Number 10:
The Nightmare Before Christmas

Lord of Halloween wants to experience Christmas. So he becomes Santa Claus. To a horrible end. It’s got all of the needed parts for a great holiday movie; a likable main character, songs and dancing, and your typical holiday message. *NOTE: I hate Tim Burton movies. So that makes this one extra special.

Why it’s a great holiday movie: It’s important that I highlight the word holiday movie. This one’s great because you can watch it at Halloween too.




Honorable Mention:
Joyeux Noel

I just watched this movie two nights ago. It is fantastic. Made in 2005, it’s about the Christmas cease fires that happened during World War I. I really liked it. It’s another movie that you could watch at any time of year and not feel weird about watching a “Christmas movie.” 

It doesn’t make my “Top 10” list because while I really enjoyed it, I’m also a sucker for films that are about A) war, and B) real events.  I highly suggest watching it, for nothing else than to see a German tenor sing Silent Night while a Scottish guy plays bagpipes.

 

So, if you’re looking for movies to watch this weekend, here are some ideas for you. Happy Holidays Everyone!

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