Growing up, I have seen many movies and TV shows around the Christmas holiday that have become synonymous with my life. They have shaped me and molded me on the very best of the holiday season, Whether it is a cartoon, animation or feature film, I look forward to watching if not all of them each year. I have shared them with my kids, and now I want to share my ALL-TIME favorite movies for Christmas Day with you.
Yes, I am biased on a few, but they will bring a smile to your face as you go down memory lane with these choices. These are different from the Thanksgiving movies I posted back in November but they warm the heart the same.
5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – “Rudolph,” which premiered on NBC on Dec. 6, 1964, is the longest-running TV special in history. The old-fashioned appeal of “Rudolph” has its enduring magic. How can you not melt as Rudolph’s nose flashes, Burl Ives (the voice of narrator Sam the Snowman) sings “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” and the Misfit Toys find homes at last?
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – Long before cat humor was all the rage (thanks for that, YouTube), Christmas Vacation mined acres of comedy out of feline travails, most notably (and hysterically) in the power outage scene. The Griswolds faced the same suburban Christmas trials that we do (albeit exaggerated for comedic effect); it warms our hearts when the end comes, and Clark is triumphant.
3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Original) – This popular “classic” Christmas special is based on the original written work by Dr. Seuss and details what happens when the citizens of Whoville struggle to deal with the holiday-hating creature that lives in the mountains just outside of town. Infamous for his cold heart and hatred of all things positive, the Grinch is a figure whose presence doesn’t bode well for those who see him in Whoville. The song “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch” still plays on radio stations today during the holiday month.
2. It’s A Wonderful Life – This is one of my favorite movies. There is another facet in this movie as well. George Bailey represents the prototypical middle-age, family man. In this view, most middle-age dads love their families, but chafe at the responsibility, loss of freedom, boredom and hard work of family life. Many men realize that we will not set the world on fire as we hoped in our younger days. Time for great achievement or change in status is short. Bailey realizes that he was measuring success by the wrong criteria and learns to count his many blessings. Sappy at one level, yet demonstrating greater truths at another.
1. A Christmas Story – It’s true that A Christmas Story might have lost some of its luster in recent years due to the nonstop marathon that shows up on TBS and TNT from late Christmas Eve through late Christmas night. Even I, as much as I adore the story of Ralphie Parker and his quest to obtain a Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle, can only sit through about one complete airing of the movie before I’m done for the year. The honesty of the film is the allure. Father, who wants to do everything to make sure his family has the best Christmas, mother in the kitchen taking care of the family and two rambunctious boys fighting and scrapping over toys and attention. What more could you desire?
With that, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a happy holiday season, and fantastic 2015. Share your feedback and comments below and I hope you all get leg lamps of your own under the Christmas tree!