With all the things on your to-do list this month, I hope you will make a little time for a seasonal classic or two.
Family Christmas movies are a great way to get into the holiday spirit. In my house, we have quite a few that require annual viewing.
Here is my general Top 10 list of Christmas TV specials and movies:
"It's a Wonderful Life." What can I say? I cry every time I watch it.
"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." Clark and his family live on. Have you seen the new Old Navy commercial? It cracked me up.
"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."
"The Year Without a Santa Claus."
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
The stop-motion movies of Rankin-Bass immediately take me back to my childhood.
It's the supporting characters who make these special: Burgermeister Meisterburger, Heat Miser and Snow Miser, and Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snow Monster, to name a few.
"A Charlie Brown Christmas." Charlie Brown and his scrawny tree know the true meaning of Christmas. The soundtrack featuring the Vince Guaraldi Trio is also a staple in my CD player during the holidays.
"Miracle on 34th Street." Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood are perfectly cast in the original 1947 version.
"Elf." This movie always brings a smile to my face. The ending is predictable, but getting there is great fun.
"The Muppet Christmas Carol." Michael Caine is Scrooge, Kermit is Bob Cratchit and Gonzo narrates this amusing take on the Charles Dickens classic.
"Scrooged." A retelling of "A Christmas Carol," this is one of my husband's favorite holiday movies. Bill Murray is great, as is his assistant, native Tulsan Alfre Woodard.
"Home Alone." This movie is better than it has a right to be. I chalk it up to filmmaker-extraordinaire John Hughes.
"The Santa Clause." Tim Allen is the everyman who becomes Santa. The transformation is quite funny. I know I'm in the minority here, but these holiday movies leave me cold:
"A Christmas Story,"
"The Polar Express"
"Frosty the Snowman."
My very favorite holiday movie is not family-friendly, so I didn't include it on my list.
But not a Christmas goes by when my husband and I don't make time for "Love Actually."
Richard Curtis, who wrote "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and "Notting Hill," wrote and directed this ensemble piece. Funny, poignant and with a great soundtrack, this movie is both naughty and nice.
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