Yesterday I reposted my favorite Christmas songs. I thought I’d do the same for my top Christmas movies.
I’m thinking particularly about my favorite movies because I watched one of them this week – The Polar Express. Such a magical movie!
So, below, I list my 5 favorite Christmas films. They are in no particular order, but I love them all.
1. The Polar Express – As I said, such is a magical movie. And I love magical movies. Some Christians do not like the idea of teaching their kids about Santa Claus (because Jesus is the real reason for Christmas or they feel that it could be considered lying). But, at this point, I have no problem with the story of Santa Claus and all its details. There truly is something magical and other worldly, in the best sense of those terms, about the story of Santa Claus. Kind of like how C.S. Lewis used Narnia to wow our imaginations and draw us in to something bigger than ourselves. I believe the same can be said of things like Santa Claus, of which The Polar Express accomplishes this very well.
2. Home Alone – The first one, that is. This is a classic Christmas comedy. I can watch it over and over each Christmas and not bore of the tricks Kevin (Macauley Culkin) plays on the two house thieves.
3. A Christmas Carol – I can watch just about any version, but I think I like the Muppet version the best. I grew up loving the Muppets, and that version carries some comedy with it as well through the character of Gonzo (he plays the narrator). I also enjoy the version with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge.
4. A Christmas Story – This is the one about little Ralphie. For me, it is a Christmas classic. In the past, I have been glad that the American channel, TBS, runs a 24-hour marathon of the movie over that last half of Christmas Eve and the first half of Christmas Day. So it comes on 12 times total. Now I just catch it on DVD. Everyone knows of the Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle because of this movie.
5. Christmas Vacation – Pure comedy and not much else. But I laugh at many of those scenes each time. My favourite scene is probably when cousin Eddie shows up and the one-liner response that comes from the lips of Clark (you have to hear it yourself if you don’t know it). And then there is the bit where Snots (the dog) starts drinking the water from the Christmas tree. I love how Eddie tries to assure Clark that Snots will be ok because the week before he drank a quart of Penzoil and was just fine.
Many people have other favorites, such as Miracle on 34th Street, etc. We also like the British classic, The Snowman, a 26-minute animated musical with no spoken words, mainly shown on Christmas Eve in the UK (though we now have the DVD). And I can easily watch other Christmas movies because it draws me in to this magical season. But those are my 5 favorite above.
I’ve enjoyed Polar Express, but it’s not a favorite. The animation style bothers me for some reason. As for Santa, I used to be in the “don’t lie to your kids camp”, but now I wish I knew what I do now, for I would have embraced the Santa legend quite a bit more when my kids were younger. If you understand the story of St. Nick and how that became the legend of Santa Claus, it is EASY to integrate all of that with the story of the greatest gift ever given – Jesus. Santa CAN have a place in Christmas without “defiling” it.
I love the Home Alone movies, too. I enjoy part 2 also because of the wonderful antics in the hotel, especially the part with the “Angels with Dirty Souls” movie. That always makes me laugh.
My favorite Christmas Carol movie has always been Scrooge, the musical. First time I heard it as a teen I was hooked. It has such energy and wonderful comedic moments. Just watched it last night on AMC — HD widescreen (first time I was able to see it in that format) with the most gorgeous color (it really is a beautifully filmed version) and NO commercials. I was in heaven. The Muppet version is a Christmas staple, too. I love the wonderful “hidden” messages in the songs in that version. “We reach for you, and we stand tall.” Beautiful.
Christmas Story is also a given. ALWAYS watch it on Christmas Day. Who doesn’t have it memorized?
And as you could tell from my post on Facebook earlier this week, Christmas Vacation is a MUST SEE for me. It’s not really the Christmas season till I see that flick. I think Chevy does his best work in this movie. It has it’s “course” moments, but they are easy to overlook because of Chevy’s acting chops. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is also wonderful as the stuck-up neighbor. The theme song for the movie is one of my favorite Christmas songs, but all the music in this movie is great.
“Merry Christmas! S**tter was full!” ROFL
I bet I am the only one here perhaps that has seen the 1935 English or British version of ‘A Christmas Carol’? At least as a young lad, but just the other night they had it on TMZ. Of course we all kind of love the time or versions of movies that we have seen when we were younger, or in our age. And as I have mentioned, my father was a British bit actor when he was in college after the War (WW II). He had some good stories about that whole scene! Some American actors crossed over to do some acting there, etc. And my one older cousin had gone to Canada and become part of the Canadian and American 1st Spl. Force group (the Devils Brigade, which trained in the mountains of Montana), which became an American movie with William Holden in the 60’s. This older cousin, son of one of my great uncles was killed at Anzio! (RIP) At Christmas I always think of my Irish Family, who are all gone now, at least that generation!
That was TCM! Love that site, since it is all old movies, with the grand host of Robert Osborne. Merry Christmas!
A big Christmas film for me is the anime Tokyo Godfathers. Theres such a loving charm to that film that it’s become almost a required viewing at the Christmas time for my family. And pretty much all the movies you mentioned, except Polar Express, are standard viewing for Christmas too. 🙂
We spent a lot of time arguing about our favorite songs/movies for Christmas on our podcast this week. I can’t believe we left out A Christmas Story. http://www.thechristianado.com/blog/2013/12/episode-33-fa-la-la-la-la