Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Favorite Christmas Movies

I love holiday movies and luckily there's plenty of places to find them on TV this time of year. Many Christmas movies hold special memories for me (as they do for many), so I decided to share a few of my favorites. Besides White Christmas being at the top of the list, I wouldn't exactly say these are in any particular order.

1. White Christmas: I love this movie for many reasons. One: the music, two: the dancing, three being that my grandparents introduced me to the movie. There were certain things I could only do at my grandparents' houses growing up, mostly because they owned something my family did not. The limit of those things helps make them extra special through the years. Growing up, my grandpa and grandma Strong were the ones who owned White Christmas on VHS and once I had seen its magic there was no tearing me away. I fell in love with the dancing, the dresses, and their voices. I spent hours contemplating Vera-Ellen's tiny waist and the tone of Bing Crosby's voice. The movie is everything I love wrapped into a wonderful Christmas package.

2. Elf: This movie is always good for a laugh. There are so many hilarious quotes come from this film. Plus I love Will Ferrell.

3. It's a Wonderful Life: What better way to remind yourself how wonderful life really is. Value the life you have! An amazing movie that will warm your heart in the winter cold.

4. The Year Without a Santa Claus: Let's face it the Misers and their little song and dance is what puts this movie above the other holiday claymation movies (at least in my mind). I wanted to add all the wonderful claymation and animated holiday movies like Rudolph and Frosty to this list, but there just wasn't enough room. Also, Santa is important.

5. The Santa Clause: It came out when I was a kid and we have watched it as a family a lot over the years. Some good memories are tied to this movie as well. I wish they would have stopped after the first one though, 2 and 3 aren't that great.

6. Home Alone: This was another movie I could only watch at my grandparents. Home Alone was the one movie I always (literally every single trip) watched when we visited my grandparents in Grand Rapids. I have no idea how many times I have watched this movie (or really any of these) but it's a lot. I always tear up at the end, it never fails.

7. Love Actually: Speaking of crying, this is another movie that gets me going. Love, man. There's so many good aspects to this movie. I mean it's a bunch of famous English actors with lovely story lines. Love Actually is the type of movie that makes you simultaneously laugh and cry, it does stuff to your emotions.

8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Animated Short): I'm not the biggest fan of the newer movie with Jim Carrey, which is why I felt the need to be specific about this choice. The animated movie is another classic in my house. It was one of the movies we had taped on VHS along with a bunch of other holiday movies. I wish we still had a VHS player because one of my favorite things about watching our old tapes instead of them on TV now is the old commercials.

9. Miracle on 34th Street: I'm putting the newer version on this list mostly because it was the one I watched as a child (even though it is equally as good if not slightly better). I didn't actually watch the original version until a few years ago. Anyway, another great movie about the importance of Santa Claus, as a symbol for hope, faith, and all the good that can happen during the holiday season.

10. The Polar Express: There's a lot of Christmas traditions in my family, and one of those special traditions is my mom reading The Polar Express on Christmas eve to my brother and I. My mom has done this ever since I can remember. We still do it, even though both my brother and I are in our twenties and no longer believe in Santa. When the movie came out we all went to go see it together. I love Tom Hanks and everything that was added to the story.

Honorable mentions include,

- The Holiday: I love this movie (it might even rank up there with all time favorites), but I watch it all year round. I don't limit this movie to the holiday time period like most of the movies listed above, so I'm putting it here instead.

- It Happened on 5th Avenue: I just watched this for the first time last week and felt the need to include it on the list.

What are your favorite holiday movies? Is there anything I need to add to the list?


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