Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas recommendations

Well Thanksgiving is over now and we are now rushing headlong into the Christmas season. I have been thinking about things and with the ton of choices of specials and movies to choose from I have outlined a few good ones to check out. Some of these you should all know with some taking the limelight recently and of course a few oldies but goodies.

1. Elf: This is one that has surprised me and is the only one of these that I don't have in my personal collection on the list. I really don't care much for Will Ferrell as many of my friends will attest. I did enjoy the spirit of this film and felt that it deserved a good view. I love Bob Newhart and really enjoyed the positive energy making Ferrell's character annoying but not as mean spirited as many of his characters tend to be. This is a very interesting movie to kick off the holiday season.

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas: This is a Christmas must. I remember this and the peppermint patty commercials they used to show with them when I was growing up. This is a very simple piece and is not recommended to those who didn't grow up with it but for those that did and for young children this is a traditional favorite that is a must see.

3. Mystery Science Theater "Santa Claus vs. the Martians": I used to love Mystery science theater as a teen and still have a place in my heart for it today. This episode is probably one of my favorites with the absurdity of the movie and the song "Patrick Swazie Christmas".  This is one that helps you get in the mood and gives a few laughs.

 4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: I had made it a tradition in my home to watch this every Christmas Eve (to the distaste of my mother). This film is funny and though it is now over 20 years old it still has a lot of great one liners and still applies well to our current time with its message of good cheer. One should not go without seeing this during the Christmas Season.

5. It's A Wonderful Life: In truth I hadn't watched the whole thing until last year. I actually feel ashamed but this is a staple of the holiday times and should be paid attention to. Jimmie Stewart is a great actor and the plot and message is still relevant even in this time period.

6. Scrooged: This is another one from my childhood. Bill Murry is a great actor and this movie is a Christmas Classic. The parodies of Christmas TV and movies as well as the social commentary about how commercialized the holiday has become are all relevant to current times. The cast has great chemistry and you will be guaranteed to have fun with this choice.

7. White Christmas: It isn't Christmas without White Christmas. My Mother had it as a tradition to watch this film every Christmas eve. I have really enjoyed the way things come together in this film through I do admit there was a great deal of frustration with the main protagonists dealing with a bad misunderstanding. The Stage work and song skill is well worth it through so if you haven't gotten a chance please check this one out.

8. Gremlins: Who wouldn't want to have a nice cuddly little critter for a Christmas gift? Well when this critter turns into a bunch of evil critters bent on reeking havoc in the city you have a wonderful film to kick off the Christmas season. Gremlins isn't as much about Christmas using it primarily as window dressing but it is a fun film to watch around the holidays.

9. Home Alone 1 & 2: These two films are usually dismissed around the holidays as a little corny and lame but I enjoyed them in my childhood (saw the first in theaters). The music in these films is wonderful and the story gets a bad wrap with fun characters and enjoyable scenes. The story does revolve around Christmas and the spirit it represents. Good values and good times for the holidays.

10. Santa's Slay: I was introduced to this about one three years ago after a friend of mine told me about it and I was able to find it and watched it with my gaming group. This is about an evil homicidal Santa that is tired of giving and is ready to give out some butt kicking. This film is a fun film set for the holiday season. So long as you can handle the above you will enjoy this movie.

 11. A Christmas Story: It is hard to believe that I didn't see this until a few years ago. It is a bit overrated but still is a must as I consider it Stand By Me set in the Christmas season with a tap off of the writing. This brings us all back to a time when Christmas was simpler and more fun.

12. Mickey's Christmas Carol: A wonder from my childhood. There are a lot of versions of the Dickens classic and this one is the version with the most heart. I loved this warm tale since I was a young child and continue to be entertained by it to this day.

13. Die Hard 1 & 2: I am not totally certain why but these movies just go well with the season for me. They of course take place during Christmas and of course there is the lovely phrase "now I have a machine gun ho ho ho". This film doesn't have any real moral to it unless it is don't messs with Bruce Willis. 

14. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: Very few people don't know this one. It debued in the 60s on TV and didn't stop winning people over. The message is strong, the songs are fun and the whole of it is very enjoyable. Recently people have been putting this film down as it is said to glorify bullying but I say you sometimes just need to take things at face value. 

15. Frosty the Snowman: This is another of those lovely cartoons from my childhood. The animation is fair at best and the voice acting is also nothing to sneeze at but in the end this is one holds a special place in my heart with those childhood memories on the floor in front of the TV counting down the days to when I could open my gifts. 
16. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: I just keep hitting the classics here. This little tail is about how we cannot get ourselves caught up in materialism of the season. It is another one of those childhood classics filmed with songs and well done writing and skill one would expect of Dr. Sesuss' wordsmithing. 

17. Miracle on 34th Street: A film about how mental illness can be fun in spreading the Christmas spirit and help out materialism. It is kind of funny how the one before is about the pains of of over materializing the season and this is a big commercial. Just the same it does have a nice message to it and it is a classic that has stood against the flow of time. 

18. Tokyo Godfathers: I leave this with the last being about an anime. Though it is more about New Years that it is about Christmas this film shows the spirit of giving better than most holiday specials. It follows three street people after they have found an abandoned child and their struggle to take care of it over the season. This is very much a movie with emotion to the point where you very well may tear up in the end.

19. Ernest Saves Christmas: I really don't know why I keep forgetting this one. I used to watch this all the time and still consider it an essential for the holidays. Ernest movies are usually pretty funny and this one is one of the big 4 that had fairly good writing. This movie has a good message to it and a lot of holiday fun which will put a smile on most faces. So this film is a great end to our holiday list.

Well that's it. I hope you enjoyed this look through and make a plan for holiday viewing. I am sure that most of these will be on regular TV so mark your TV guides, check your Netflix or Hulu and get ready to lay back and enjoy the holiday season. 


  1. why am I not surprised by the inclusion of an anime on this list? lol

  2. Great list there! I have to agree with most if not all. (only cause I have yet to see Elf or Tokyo Godfathers) grins Looking at this list brings back a lot of child hood memories.