‘Tis the season for festive decorations, yuletide music, and holiday movies. For many, that last item adds to the tradition and nostalgia of the season. For our own little holiday celebration, we will narrow our favorite Christmas movies down to two top 5 lists from our two contributors. Does your favorite make one of our lists?
John DiBiase’s List
1.White Christmas (1954)
I just love the cast, the songs, and the classic feel of this movie. It doesn’t feel like Christmas if we don’t watch it at least once.
2. Elf (2003)
The same goes for this modern classic. Who knew how much of an annual tradition this movie would become only 14 years ago! It’s a bit crass at times, but it’s a wonderful holiday film.
5. A Christmas Carol (AKA “Scrooge”) (1951)
John Underdown’s List
1. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
This classic film was a perennial favorite at my house growing up. Its sappy, nostalgic feel colors much of my early impressions of the season. This movie is timeless with a gripping plot that carries a fun spiritual twist, loveable characters, a memorable villain, and a heart-warming message that would make Charles Dickens proud. It also aged well for me, shaping Christmas as a sentimental season in my youth but connecting with me more as an adult given its themes.
2. The Santa Clause (1994)
When Tim Allen was at his height, he starred in several memorable movies. Chief among them, in my humble opinion, is this one. The story of an average guy becoming ol’ Kris Kringle and learning to move past his selfishness fits well with the season. Besides, the humor landed well for my younger self and kept me coming back to it year after year.
3. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
This is another great comedy for Christmas. Jim Varney’s loveable goof, Ernest P. Worrell, must help Santa find a replacement in time for Christmas Eve and the hijincks that ensue are gold. There’s also a sappy message in it somewhere but its true strength is the off-the-wall humor Varney brings to the table.
4. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Dickens’ classic Christmas story has been re-told and reimagined many times since its inception. For me, the Muppet take is the best one. It may not be as dramatic, it may lose itself in the slapstick, but it’s still a fun movie and gives a fresh take on the well-worn tale.
5. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
This is just a horrible, dumb, poorly conceived movie. And I love it. The title would make you think this was something violent, but it’s actually one of the most kid-friendly films out there. The premise revolves around some evil Martians kidnapping Claus and taking him back to their planet to do their bidding. A couple earth kids stowaway, though, and help the jolly old man win the day as well as the hearts of Martians everywhere. Everything about this movie is bad: sets, acting, dialogue, plot, etc. But it’s this “quality” that makes it enjoyable to watch…with friends.
What are some of your Christmas favorites?