(Update: The plans for the 900 View Special have changed since this was published. I will explain it in my weekly update this Sunday. Merry Christmas until then!)
Took me long enough to get this out, right?
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year if you ask me. I hold Christmas particularly dear, and therefore uphold many family Christmas traditions at my house. There’s the standard stuff like church service, Christmas dinner, and decorating. But one of my favorite part of holiday may be the movies and specials.
From November through December, the family comes together to watch some films and programs tailor made for the holiday season. After all, it only makes sense to see them once time of the year, so why not exploit them when and while we can?
That’s why I wish to commemorate my favorite Christmas movies and share them with you guys. You only hit 800 and 900 views once, so why not?
By the way, yes your eyes don’t deceive you. Instead of my usual Top 5, I now bump it up to Top 10. Why? Because it’s Christmas, that’s why! I have two lists to make today. No, not naughty and nice, but 800 View Special and 900 View Special. (Click here if you don’t follow). So let’s start with movies and later I’ll get to Christmas specials and episodes.
One last thing, this is not the top 5; it’s my top 5. Feel free to disagree.
#10: Four Christmases
This film follows a couple played by Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. Every year since they met they have escaped spending time with their families convincing them they’re off doing charity work when in fact they go on vacation. One year they’re caught on the News before boarding a plane to Fiji. With the cat out of the bag, they are forced to spend time with all four of their families in one day.
It’s a standard movie that can be very funny at times. I’ll be honest in saying I’m surprised this is on the list, but I can’t deny that I have a soft spot for it and can’t avoid it during the holidays. Vaughn and Witherspoon are a good comedy duo and do well in playing such a peculiar yet content couple.
#9: Jingle All The Way
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a workaholic father much to the dismay of his son. After missing his karate tournament, he promises his son he’ll make an effort to put him first. To prove it, he also promises to get him his most wanted toy, a Turbo Man action figure, for Christmas. He procrastinates and forgets to get the doll. Now it’s Chrsitmas Eve, and he finds himself on a witch-hunt for the most wanted toy in America.
Sounds corny, doesn’t it? Believe me, it’s not that bad. This is one of those movies that immediately puts me in the Christmas mood. It most certainly alludes to a situation we all come across at least once when shopping for presents- all the Tickle Me Elmo stories we know too well.
#8: The Santa Clause
Tima Allen is a divorced, workaholic father (déjà-vu) who has his son over for Christmas. That night they hear someone on the roof and go to investigate. Allen startles the intruder who falls off the roof (hint-hint: it’s Santa) When inspecting the body, a card in the coat pocket says to put on the suit and proceed to the sleigh. Allen arrives at the North Pole where he is told that he’s the new Santa, much to his dismay. A year passes by as Allen starts to change into a much fatter, jollier man than he once was.
I’m sure many have seen this movie already, but it bears repeating that this is one of the great ones. It’s an interesting take on the Santa story, and a warm-hearted tale for the holidays.
#7: The Polar Express
Hope you like Tom Hanks, because he’s all over this movie.
A young boy is having a dilemma. He is having trouble believing that Santa Clause is real. On Christmas Eve night, he hears and sees an express train coming down the street. He is greeted by a conductor who tells him this train will take him to the North Pole.
This is a mandatory movie for the holidays for me. You know it’s Christmas when this movie is playing. If you haven’t seen it yet, know that the animation is beautiful, the story is enthralling (especially considering it’s based off a 20 page children’s book), and the acting is great (since many of the characters are played by Hanks).
Will Ferrell plays Buddy, a human who was accidentally stolen by Santa as a baby and taken in by the elves. He finds out he is human as an adult, and searches for his father “in a magical land called New York City”. His father is a workaholic (who would’ve figured), but it’s up to Buddy to put his dad in the Christmas mood.
Thanks to Will Ferrell, this movie is a laugh riot. Many of the best jokes go over kids’ heads, so I think it’s best appreciated by adults and teens. With the film’s unique character acting as a foil for the blunt, drab world around him, it’s definitely worth looking at.
#5: Arthur Christmas
In the North Pole, Santa is getting up there in age, and has two sons: Steven and Arthur. Steven is the head of what is now a technological operation delivering toys on Christmas Eve, while Arthur is resides in the mail room answering and organizing children’s letters to Santa. One year, the operation accounted for all children except for one. News of this hits Arthur hard, so he and his grandfather (the former Santa) go to deliver the last present before the night ends.
This is a new age classic for sure. For one, you’ve got to love Arthur and his clumsy, kind-hearted, bumbly, and optimistic self. You also have to admire this take on Santa’s mythos. Sure a technological Santa operation has been done before, but I like the dynamic of old vs new which isn’t often covered. Plus, the narrative hit every note it attempts to perfectly, being a charming, funny, and climactic experience throughout.
#4: Rise of the Guardians
The story follows Jack Frost, a being with the power to cause ice and snow at a whim. He roams the earth for 300 years unable to be seen or heard because he’s not believed in. One day he is selected to be the newest Guardian. Guardians consist of all the holiday icons (Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Sandman) that work to protect the children of the world. Jack is called to help the Guardians fight off the Boogey Man who tries to instill fear into the world instead of good.
I’ve seen this movie a few times before, but it wasn’t until recently I fully appreciated how great this movie really is. I guess it technically isn’t a Christmas movie since it takes place around Easter, but it employs Christmas elements and has Santa. I think this is one of the smartest Christmas movies to come out in recent years. It houses a pretty heavy and detailed story and creates a mythos all its own. Certainly a watch for anyone this or any time of the year.
#3: Die Hard
Bruce Willis is a police officer who is visiting his divorced family for the holidays. His first stop is his ex-wife’s work. While he is there, the place is taken over by a group of terrorists lead by Alan Rickman. It’s up to him to stop this attack from the inside while getting some help from the outside with a fellow cop.
Okay there’s always someone who will argue that Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie. I beg to differ. Any film taking place on Christmas is a Christmas film by default. That’s why I put one of the greatest 80’s action films of all-time on this list. The reason this isn’t higher, though, is because I tend to watch it other times of the year as well. In terms of Christmas movies, this isn’t as restricted as others on this list.
#2: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
In a snowflake exists little being called Whos, who love the Christmas holiday more than anything. To the north of Whoville lives the Grinch, played by Jim Carrey, who despises Christmas with all of his being. He hates it so much that he attempts to steal it away. So he dresses up as Santa and steals every whos’ presents.
But you already knew that didn’t you? One of Dr. Seuss’ finest stories turned into a live action movie. Sounds like an awful idea initially. While I know some who hat this movie, I don’t. This is another must-see for me on Christmas. While it may be a little too risqué in comparison to the original book, I personally don’t mind the changes. I think it’s funny and entertaining for what it is, and should at least be seen once if you somehow haven’t yet.
#1: Home Alone
Macaulay Culkin plays Kevin, an 8-year old boy in a big family taking a Christmas vacation to Paris. The morning of the trip, the whole house sleeps in, leaving Kevin at home by mistake. Kevin must now fend for himself until his parents return. It won’t be easy though, because two burglars are attempting to rob the house while Kevin is in it. Can Kevin survive being on his own while fending off the “wet bandits”?
When I think of a Christmas classic movie, this comes to mind immediately. What’s not to like about Home Alone? It’s funny, well-acted, clever, and has Joe Pesci trying to censor himself during the famous house trap scenes. Recommended without reservation!
These are ten of my favorite Christmas movies. If you get a chance this holiday season, try to catch these when they come on. Let me know in the comments some of your favorite Christmas films. I love to hear recommendations, so fire away!
Click here for My Top 10 Favorite Christmas Specials and Episodes.
I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!