I love the Holiday season. The lights, the family bonding and I get to watch Holiday movies over and over again without anyone complaining. This is the time of year when we are treated to great films that we watch every year to get us into the Holiday spirit. Networks marathon our favorite Holiday films and we are happy to sit down with the family and enjoy these classics. So I decided to compile a list of the greatest Holiday movies that I look forward to watching every December. Here is the list of my 4 favorite Holidays movies in no particular order.
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
My mother would give me a lump of coal for Christmas if I didn’t put this movie on the list. It’s A Wonderful Life is the classic story of you don’t know what you have until its gone. George Bailey (Played by James Stewart) is a good man, who has always done the right thing. On Christmas Eve, George runs into financial problems and feels there is no way out. He attempts to commit suicide, but is saved by his Guardian Angel Clarence who’s trying to earn his wings. Clarence shows George what life would have been like without him.We have all thought about decisions we make in life and how things could be different. It’s in our nature. It’s A Wonderful Life proves that everything happens for reason and it’s not the materialistic items that matter in life. It’s the family and relationships you build along the way. The film is a classic that still gets its run every year despite being made over 60 years ago. I’ve spoken with many people of my generation that have never seen It’s A Wonderful Life, which is a shame. Take some time this Holiday and watch this film. The moral of the story is one everyone can relate to, no matter what year it is.
Christmas Vacation (1989)
The third installment in the Vacation franchise is far from a perfect film. It lacks the moral and depth of It’s a Wonderful Life and those Griswold kids switch ages with no explanation. But that doesn’t mean the film isn’t hilarious. Christmas Vacation may lack the morals, but it sure is relatable. We have all been in Clark Griswold’s (Chevy Chase) shoes trying to plan the perfect Christmas where nothing seems to go right. The movie boasts some classic scenes including the lighting of the Griswold home, that cat getting electrocuted and the return of Cousin Eddie (Played by the pre-crazy town Randy Quad) emptying his toilet in the gutter outside. I like that there is a Holiday movie that’s not so warm and fuzzy, where you can laugh at the misery that accompanies the Holiday season. Christmas Vacation will never earn any filmmaking awards, but it sure does make us laugh every holiday season. Which for this time of year, is the best gift of all.
If I had a number 1 on this list, Elf would earn that honor. Outside of Frank the Tank, Buddy Elf is my favorite Will Ferrell role. Elf tells the tale of a human named Buddy, who was raised with elves working for Santa at the North Pole. Believing he does not belong, Buddy ventures to New York City to find his father. Elf has become an instant classic in a very short amount of time and has become the new movie watch at Christmas. Elf blends the fish out of water aspect with the classic stories of the north pole we grew up with. Another great thing about Elf is the humor is entertaining for all ages. That’s a tough balancing act to find these days with your run of the mill family films. As strange as Buddy seems, I would love to spend Christmas with him any year.
Die Hard (1988)
Before you jump all over me, hear me out. If it hadn’t been Christmas, John McClane (Bruce Willis) would have never gone out to the coast to get together and have a few laughs. If it hadn’t been Christmas, McClane would have never been at the party at the Nakatomi Plaza building. If it hadn’t been Christmas, he wouldn’t have never taunted the terrorist with the note, “Now I have a Machine Gun, Ho Ho Ho”. Finally, if there wasn’t Christmas wrapping tape available, McClane would have never been able to conceal his gun behind his back to shoot that Bill Clay wannabe Hans Gruber. So in my book, there is no Die Hard without Christmas. Therefore, Die Hard is a holiday movie.
Honorable Mention: Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Home Alone, and A Christmas Story