Saturday, December 5, 2015

11 Must See Christmas Movies

My friends.

I am up to my neck in yarn, hot tea and a plethora of unfinished Christmas projects that need my attention.

You should also see my laundry pile.

On second thought. Don't look. Hide your eyes. It's not a pretty site.

I thought I would sit down with my hot tea and share a list of some of our FAVORITE Christmas movies evah.

Watching Christmas movies is one of our traditions. We consider ourselves aficionados of the whole Christmas movie genre. I am often in shock when I hear of someone who has never seen one of the classics.


So here 'tis friends. Take my list and learn. Find one you haven't seen before ...or enjoy one you've seen a thousand times. Assemble the Fam and heat up the hot chocolate.

This isn't an exhaustive list. These are the ones that will get played more than once (or twice) during the Christmas season (and possibly in June). These are the ones that have an honored place on our movie shelf.

And no particularly order.

1. It's a Wonderful Life

It is surprising to see how many folks have not actually watched this one all the way through. What? You have something against Jimmy Stewart? Angels? Cute little girls named Zuzu? It is possibly one of the most encouraging movies in the whole wide world. I may or have may not seen The Muffin cry during this one.

2. The Rankin Bass Christmas Collection

I've included the whole shebang here. Surely you've seen at least one of these. We like to watch them while we are decorating the Christmas tree. Rudolph, Frosty, Santa Clause...The Little Drummer Boy is The Muffin's favorite...they all much loved familiar characters. The other night we watched an old movie with Burl Ives. It was a drama. I have to tell you it was disconcerting to hear his voice in that context. I kept expecting Rudolph and Yukon Cornelius to bumble (hah!) through the scene.

3. The Muppet Christmas Carol

Our favorite Muppet movie. And possibly our favorite version of The Christmas Carol.  This music is precious. This clip is One More Sleep Til Christmas. Michael Caine is terrific as Ebeneezer Scrooge. I am almost positive that this when Dickens visualized his tale he imagined it just the way. By the is one of the most faithful versions.

4. The Santa Clause

Tim Allen all squishy and red. That is all. Actually, The Santa Clause 2 is The Muffin's favorite of the Santa Clause movies. He's a romantic softy and likes the love story.

5. White Christmas (my favorite)

Bing Crosby had liquid gold in his voice. And I adore Rosemary Clooney in this one. She was one of my tribe....The Alto. This movie has romance, loyalty, patriotism, fabulous music and buttermilk (which happens to be The Muffin's favorite beverage).

This clip is loverly.

6. Elf

There are very few Will Ferrell movies that we've been able to enjoy (sorry Will). We like to keep things more PG (emphasis on the G) at our house. But this movie is precious. And who doesn't know about the 4 main food groups? Candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup...this is my kind of elf.

7. The Polar Express

So sweet. And visually stunning. The final song by Josh Groban cannot be missed. We have actually purchased a few copies of this one over the years. Josiah loved this movie when he was a Little. He watched it over and over. I even created a little unit study around the book and movie. 

Here it is. The Reason for the Season.

I love this simple retelling of the Birth of Jesus. Of course, there are a few liberties taken, but I think it's beautiful.

9. A Christmas Snow

This is a new one to our collection. This is a GREAT family movie. It's theme of forgiveness is one we all need today. We first discovered it when it was streaming for free on one of the instant video services. It isn't on either Amazon Instant Video or Netflix this year.

10. Miracle on 34th Street

I couldn't let a Christmas movie list go by and not have a shout out to this one. There have been quite a few versions made of Miracle on 34th Street. My favorite (and the one I linked to) is the oldie, but goodie starring Natalie Wood and Maureen O'Hara.  I recently realized something that made this movie even more of a special one. Do you remember when Kris speaks Dutch to a little girl when she is waiting to stand in line to see him? This movie was made in 1947...just a few short years after the end of WWII. If you remember your history you might remember that The Netherlands declared neutrality at the beginning of the war. Hitler invaded the small country anyway. One of my favorite books on the planet is "The Hiding Place"....A book about Corrie Ten Boom. She was not only Dutch, but she was a Christian and an active member of the Dutch resistance. She was sent to a concentration camp. Can you imagine what our country and the world had just experienced? It makes this movie so much more poignant.

11. The Nutcracker Ballet

So. Full disclosure. It could be that I am the only one in the house that considers this one to be a Christmas masterpiece. This version of The Nutcracker Ballet was made in 1977 and stars Mikhail Baryshnikov. When I was little (I was 5 when it was made) it would come on PBS. It was one of our "must watch programs." I have seen other versions and I don't think it holds a candle to this one.

I also have another confession. We don't have this one on the Christmas movie shelf. However, I plan to soon rectify that very soon. But I have DELICIOUS news! The video I have embedded below is from youtube...AND it is the whole production. Sigh. Just perfection.

I hope I've encouraged you to start your Christmas movie binge watching, RIGHT NOW!

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