Got A Favorite Christmas Movie?

And yes, you can say “Die Hard”. Life’s too short to argue over whether it’s a “Christmas movie” (it is).

Here’s a dozen to get us started:

1.) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) I guess Christmas movies either connect with the spiritual reason for the season, or tell a story you can relate to, or make you laugh. NLCV checks the latter two boxes. I always feel better after time spent with the Griswolds’ mishap-ridden holidays, and Clark Griswold is a guy I get.

2.) Miracle on 34th Street (1947) The original, please, with Edmund Gwynne as the best actor ever portraying the big guy. I always well up when he’s able to understand and talk with the little Dutch war orphan. No? Do you even have a heart??

3.) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) Short, sweet and thought-provoking, plus the greatest soundtrack any holiday movie will ever have.

4.) White Christmas (1954) It’s a little slow and kitschy, but it’s nice to bask in the glow of these people, and this simpler time.

5.) It’s A Wonderful Life (1947) It’s really about much more, but it is set during Christmas.

6.) Home Alone (1990) Not many 30 year old movies hold up this well, and combine comedy and sentiment so well. Tell me that scene in the church, when Kevin talks about family and Christmas with his scary next door neighbor, isn’t a beautiful thing.

7.) Scrooged (1988) Bill Murray as a (not-very-exaggerated) TV exec staging “Christmas Carol”, plus you get a fantastic soundtrack: Annie Lennox and Al Green covering “Put A Little Love in Your Heart” and a jazz take on “We Three Kings” with Larry Carlton and Miles Davis.

8.) Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) Jim Henson passed while making this, and it is a lasting gift from his genius heart.

9.) Elf (2005) Will Ferrell is the star, but the rest of the cast is great too: James Caan is amazing in a role you wouldn’t expect from him, Zoey Deschanel is beautiful and sounds like an angel, and on it goes. Funny and touching.

10.) The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974) For us kids, the “Heat Miser/Snow Miser” guys rocked and the songs were earworms.

11.) Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) Judy Garland, the 1904 World’s Fair, and beautiful, classic songs.

12.) How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966/2000) Whether you prefer the classic animation or the Jim Carrey live-action, it rounds out the season.

OK, what are yours?

(Originally published Dec. 19, 2022)

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