Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Movie Guide

I made this list a couple of years ago but decided to post it here. Now that it's December, these movies can help you get into the Christmas spirit. On to the holiday movie picks:

Molly's holiday movie guide

There are certain holiday movies and specials that simply must be watched every year. It just wouldn't be the same without them. Having many cable channels and the help of a DVR has made this task easier than ever. Usually my indoor bike rides in December are spent catching up on these Christmas classics. You may or may not agree with my "must watch" list, but I will try and give reasons for my choices as well as ones I have left out. For those of you who didn't know me in my former life, I used to be a film geek. Now I'm just a geek in general.

A Christmas Story
This one is just too easy. First of all, it is on TNT for 24 hours straight from Christmas eve through Christmas day, not to mention the multiple airings before that... although it does seem to have gotten less air time in the last few years. Second of all: it is simply the best Christmas movie ever made. I loved this movie so much when I was a kid that I used to ask to rent it year-round.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Oh, Clark W. Griswold, you've done it again. From uprooting the giant family Christmas tree to getting trapped in the attic to dealing with infamous cousin Eddie, this is another one that just can't be missed. And it really made up for the atrocity that was European Vacation.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Who among us doesn't feel for Charlie and his tiny little tree? And isn't it just like Linus to tell us what it's really all about?

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Sure, we're all a little weirded out by the Island of Misfit Toys and the fact that for some strange reason they are ruled by a lion (and just what exactly was wrong with the doll?) But we still enjoy the freakiness of Yukon Cornellius and Herbie, the elf who wants to be a dentist (I actually met a guy who looked like Herbie... seriously) and of course cheer when Rudolph triumphs in the end. Also this was always the most fun song to sing back in elementary school. "Like a lightbulb!"

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The cartoon one, not the crappy live-action one. Though heartwarming, those Who's down in Whoville sure are a forgiving bunch. Whether he gave back Christmas or not, I'm guessing that in real life this one would end with more of an angry mob scene.

Muppet Christmas Carol
I'm a huge fan of the Muppets. I'm also a big fan of Christmas. This one was easy. Although slightly bittersweet, as it was the first movie where Kermit was voiced by Steve Whitmire. R.I.P. Jim Henson

Muppet Family Christmas
This lesser known classic came out in the mid-80's and includes Muppet Show Muppets, Sesame Street Muppets and Fraggle Rock Muppets. Not to mention an adorable flashback to Muppet Babies. Any Muppet fan's dream. And as Animal said: "Peace on Earth. Gimme presents!"

The Christmas Toy
Another Henson creation. Sort of like Toy Story with new toy vs. old toy, only with old school puppets instead of computer animation and no Tom Hanks.

Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas
Either you know what I'm talking about here, or you think I'm crazy. Riverbottom Nightmare Band had some pretty rockin' 70's outfits in this one. It's also fun to watch otter puppets go down slides and sing songs about puttin' holes in the washtub.

A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
This one just came out a couple of years ago, but it has found a prominent place on my list. It does get a little creepy though with a beefed up Beaker as bodyguard and a Sam the Eagle who I think might be on E.

Home Alone
I actually still have my ticket stub from seeing this movie when I was 10. (that was when I started hanging onto them... and no, I'm not a hoarder... I swear) Admit it: no matter how old you get you still enjoy it. You just have to not think about what a weirdo Macaulay Culkin turned into.

The new classic. Just the right mix of regular Will Ferrell antics and genuine Christmas spirit. And it makes you wonder what spaghetti with maple syrup might taste like.

Bill Murray in the modern-day (well, late 80's anyway) fairy-tale. Did you ever really stop and think about what a great story it is? It almost makes me want to read the book.

The Santa Clause
For some reason I actually like Tim Allen movies. I have no defense.

Die Hard
I know, you probably read that and thought to yourself, "what?" Then slowly it dawned on you that yes, this movie takes place on Christmas eve. This is my brother's favorite Christmas movie. It's been around for 20 years and it's still awesome.

Honorable mention:

Frosty the Snowman
I know, it's sort of a classic. But this one just doesn't seem to translate into adult-hood as well as a lot of the others. Frosty seems a little on the slow side, and little Karen seems a bit over-dramatic over the loss of a new friend she's known for like 3 hours.

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
Another one that just doesn't hold my attention anymore. I can't get through it every year.

Jingle All the Way
Yep, you read that right. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (before he started being a governor and took away our hopes for a True Lies 2), Jake Lloyd (the kid who ruined the new Star Wars trilogy) and Sinbad, who I actually can't figure out why he's famous. I actually saw this one in theaters, folks. I was a lot younger so I think my mom gave me the money for it, so I wasn't actually the one paying. Does that help at all?

A Very Brady Christmas
This one came out when I was totally into watching the Brady reruns. Even if it had a fake Cindy. (seriously, was Susan Olsen really that busy?) You have to wonder if even the writers cringed as they typed out this huge display of corniness. Mike Brady becomes trapped in a collapsing building (on Christmas day, no less) and is only able to free himself when he hears his family singing "Oh Come all Ye Faithful" outside. This one also led to the very brief drama "The Brady's" with such gems as Bobby becoming paralyzed from a race car accident and my personal favorite, Marcia (fake Marcia) being an alcoholic. Classic.

Yes, there is a glaring omition here. It's a Wonderful Life. I've actually only seen it once. I should probably sit down and watch it again.


  1. omg! I had forgotten all about Emmett Otter!~ I loved that as a kid!
    Thanks for the list. :)

  2. The doll in Rudolph was clinically depressed ...

    ...which is funny, because I find that movie to be terribly depressing. 55 minutes of "rudolph the freak" followed by 5 minutes of "rudolph the hero". Plus, it makes Santa look like a cold-hearted, red-nose-hating, bigot.

    On the other hand, "It's a Wonderful Life" is awesome ...

  3. Emmett Otter is the BEST.

    And that is funny that the doll had psychological issues instead of anything physical. And yeah, everyone is pretty messed up about Rudolph's nose.