Christmas movies…some of the all-time classic movies are Christmas movies. “White Christmas,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Emmett Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas.” Well, there’s clearly something for everyone in the Christmas movie catalog. What’s your favorite?
Those who know say that the number one Christmas movie of all time may be “A Christmas Story.” And indeed the movie itself can be a ‘major award’ of holiday classic-ism. There’s no mistaking it for anything but a holiday favorite. It’s even in the name. Ditto for “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” and “White Christmas.” Yes it takes more than putting “Christmas” in the title to make a movie a yuletide hit but it doesn’t hurt.
There are some dark horses out there that you’d not guess from title or plot would ever become holiday favorites but ask anybody who’s personal collection contains a copy of “We’re No Angels” that it’s often the answer to the trivia question, ‘name a Christmas movie starring Humphrey Bogart.’ It also doubles as the answer to the question, ‘name a comedy starring Humphrey Bogart.’ (Didn’t know there was one, of either, did you?)
Comedies and Christmas are a natural combination. Why not? Both make you feel good. “Home Alone” (one or two, we never were real sure about 3) combines tickles and tinsel and still throws in a couple ‘feels so good you want to cry’ moments. From “Miracle on 34th Street” to “The Santa Clause” comedies have been proving that there really is a Santa, even going to court when necessary.
Christmas and music is almost a requirement. We finally get to hear Schroeder play his miniature grand in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and it is grand. Ok, technically that’s not a movie but it is 25 minutes of sheer holiday joy. Even movies not about Christmas but set around the Christmas holiday a la “Die Hard” 1 and 2 can’t resist putting a Christmas song somewhere in the mix.
What about Christmas and the Muppets. Either one can make any child, and almost any adult squeal delightfully. Christmas is ahead, there being a little over 2,000 of them but the Muppets are close with over a dozen movies and specials starring Jim Henson’s puppets. A true classic among them is “Emmett Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas,” Henson’s adaptation of Russell Hoban’s twist on there’s a reason that everything happens as it does.
And don’t forget about families at Christmas. “Christmas Vacation,” “Christmas with the Kranks,” “Home Alone,” “A Christmas Story,” and about 4,000 others all have family at the center of the story. But there might be only one that takes a brother’s unique approach to the holiday and that’s “Fred Claus.” Without Fred, Santa might not be with us today. Talk about brotherly love!
Just because we mention certain movies please don’t confuse these with any sort of ‘best of’ list. Although we put some of these movies near the tops of our respective lists, even we can’t agree on the best of the best of the Christmas classics. And that’s probably the best thing about holiday movies. Every time you watch one it might become your favorite for those couple of hours. Isn’t that really the magic of Christmas? Every year you see that same ornament in a different light and suddenly it becomes a gem you’re so glad you took out again. Every year you see those same lights across the street but this year there something special in the way it glistens against the wall. Every year we try to be our best this time of year even though we know we’re no angels but we’re not Scrooge either.
So what’s your favorite? Feel free to change your mind tomorrow.
Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?