I DO admit to having a very complex rubrics for movies I enjoy particularly around the holidays. I like the traditional one’s as well as the non-traditional ones and sometimes, they are just movies that make me laugh which is often needed around the holidays with an uber blended large family. I know my list is a bit quirky!
My Favorite Christmas Movies
Or at least movies I always watch at Christmas. Some are non-traditional but are favorites none the less.
- Die Hard – with Bruce Willis – The Original Really, it’s the standard, where all the most famous quotes come from and of course it happens at Christmas. I enjoy all the rest of the Die Hard series but this one I can watch over and over and over again with my girls and husband and say the lines along with Bruce aka John McClane.
- The Family Man starring Nicholas Cage and Tea Leoni – I adore Nick Cage in his good movies but he has some real stinkers on the big screen too. Luckily, this is one of his best. His character is a bit of a play on Jimmy Stewart’s quirky character in “It’s a Wonderful Life“. Tea Leoni is such a great actress and plays the part of a wife and mom to perfection and you can feel the chemistry between these two. The little girl who plays their daughter Makenzie Vega is just as cute as can be and has moved on to be Alicia Florricks daughter on “The Good Wife.” The Family Man melts your heart and gets you in touch with how you want the Christmas holidays to be for your family.
- Christmas Vacation – Of course, this one has to be on the list. No one has ever had THAT many ridiculous things happen to them but “Christmas Vacation” makes you feel a little bit better about the things that HAVE happened to you and yours at the holidays. We’ve had the stove go out, the electricity fails, the dog eats all of the candy from 6 fully loaded stockings, wrong gift tags on presents, losing gifts, and others I can’t remember anymore. One of my and my now-grown daughters favorite Christmas memories was having the electricity go out in our apartment a few days before Christmas for several hours. We luckily had a fireplace so we were warm and plenty of food for snacking. I’d bought them a new board game so we light lots of candles lit and a flashlight, so we opened up a few presents early and played the game together with no technology intruding into family time. It was great! I kind of wish it happened more often now. Also, am I the only one who didn’t know that Rusty was played by Johnny Galecki aka Leonard on Big Bang Theory? He looks so different! What crazy things have happened to you during the holidays? Please share with us on social media.
- It’s a Wonderful Life – I saw this movie for the first time when I was in college with friends on a teeny tiny screen and sobbed through the entire movie. I don’t know why my Mom never had us watch it because she was a huge Jimmy Stewart fan but after that time it became my tradition.I really do wish Hollywood would make an updated version of this movie. This generation is not going to be able to get into the old style of overacting that was prevalent in that age of black & white cinema but the story is just so wonderful and needs to be told again in a new updated way. The Family Man is a similar idea but it doesn’t show how George Bailey changed the lives of those around him. I think this generation needs to hear this message in an age of way too many suicides.
- Home Alone – This was kind of the original Bad Mom move of all time, leaving for Europe without your youngest child. Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern have some of the funniest physical comedy moments of all time in this class Christmas movie. The Home Alone movies that followed could just never live up to this one.
- Love Actually – This is another one of those perfect movies that I can watch any time of year but enjoy it even more around the holidays. Each of the vignettes are wonderful stories on their own and again, I am probably the only one who didn’t know that Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln played Mark. Mind Blown! This movie makes you laugh, cry, laugh some more and then think about the love you actually have in your life and it reminds you to not take it for granted.
- White Christmas – Another oldie but goodie! Bing Crosby & Danny Kaye are just the best when it comes to playing off of each other in this Christmas classic. Their “Sisters” act still makes me laugh and I cry at the end every time when they sing “We’ll Follow the Old Man” (or whatever the name of that song is).
- Dr. Suess’s “How The Grinch that Stole Christmas” is always a favorite. I like both the cartoon version and Jim Carrey’s version so I think it depends on the age of the audience watching.
- A Christmas Carol – I really don’t have a favorite of this classic holiday favorite so I’ll reference a great article by Collider author Dave Trumbore where he ranked all the many versions that have been done of this class story of Ghost of Christmas Present, Past & Future. From Disney’s Mickey Mouse version to the more recent Jim Carrey as Scrooge. I think my favorite may still be the hand-drawn cartoon version from 1971. I did see the musical version of “A Christmas Carol” at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts last year and that was wonderful despite the seats we ended up with at the very back of a very stuff theater that was about to be remodeled. Tickets are available for this year’s performance here, starting at $35.
- Hallmark Holiday Movies – I have to give a shoutout to the Hallmark Channel every year for coming out with a dozen or more new Christmas Holiday movies and showing the best of the one’s from past years. If you don’t have a subscription to your cable channel, you might want to add Hallmark Channel around the holidays or get Amazon Prime so you can stream a bunch of the classics. Here are some Hallmark Movies you can see previews of. Are they a bit predictable? Yes.. A little corny? Yes.. It’s ok, sometimes movies are just there to touch your heart and Hallmark knows how to make that happen.
- Bad Mom’s Christmas – Bad Mom’s Christmas just made the list! First off the Bad Mom’s series are NOT chick flicks! I know I had to do all sorts of talking to get my hubby to watch the first one with my via Redbox after I’d seen it in the theater with friends. Once he started watching it he was hooked. It’s straight-up funny, fun with a serious twist of raunchy/naughty. What guy doesn’t like that? And it’s a serious dose of laughter (the pee your pants kind) for those of us who weren’t the perfect Koolaid Moms. Allied Denver put on an amazing pre-screen for folks at several theaters and it was a hoot! Be sure to like their Facebook page so you can get notifications of free sneak pees. They had swag to give away, Bad Mom themed holiday drinks and had local mom’s share their Bad Mom stories. I met the mom (and dad) of the winning entry. They had adopted a newborn without much notice and had about 3 hours of sleep. The mom was rushing to get her school-aged child to school when her son asked: ” What about the baby?” She had left him at home. Her son then helpfully wrote out on their calendar to “REMEMBER THE KID” on each day she drove him to school. How about you? Any “bad mom” moments you don’t wish to share? If you are also a little bit in love with Justin Hartley aka Kevin from “This Is Us” then you REALLY don’t want to miss this flick.