Top Five Christmas Movies

Completely non-running related. But right now the only race on my calendar is the Jingle Bell 5k. And I’ve been so lazy about running I’m hoping just to run the thing. And really it’s more fun to hang out with friends, see all the costumes, and be in freezing misery together. Plus there are 3 dozen bars at the finish line and it’s totally acceptable to have a drink at 11:30 in the morning while you’re trying to remember what having toes feels like (it’s cold). I’m running/gymming consistently so far this week (yes, the week is only 2 days old. Shut it). I want to run. And have fun. But running is hard, yo. And sometimes I don’t want to go through all the trouble to get dressed to just end up feeling like I’m failing my run. I’m working on it though. I’m toying with another half marathon and if I want to get there I have to be running now. But that’s for another day.

Instead, today I bring you my top 5 Christmas movie picks. Because I’ll be watching them non-stop. And ’tis the season, amIright?

Without anything else, here we go. PS. I think this would be obvious but, SPOILERS abound

5. Elf

This is a new one. But I love it. Will Farrell insanely high on sugar! Bob Newhart! Zoey Deschenel singing! “I’m sorry I ruined your life and shoved 11 cookies in the VCR”. “I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.” You can’t lose.

4. The Santa Clause

Maybe a little part of me connected because I was the child of divorce and understood what it was like to share Christmas. But I think I come back to it because Tim Allen just brings it. His shift from grumpy Dad/mean business exec to Santa is movie perfection. He nails the timing to squeeze out every last funny moment whether it’s fighting with the Reindeer, watching his beard re-grow right after he shaves, when The List arrives. His lunch order. Meeting the elves.There are just gobs upon gobs of sweet/funny moments. And if you can’t embrace the magic when Santa Tim delivers the weenie whistle and the dating game then you just don’t have a heart. Oh. And the super handy tinsel that can cut through iron bars? Who wouldn’t like a little of that around. I also really like the Drifters version of White Christmas. I mean. It’s no Bing Crosby. But it’s still excellent. Ahhh. And the little girl that remembers he’s lactose intolerant. Yup. This movie is a keeper.

3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Speaking of hearts. Year after year after year I come back to this movie. And though I know, down to the exact moment, that the Grinch’s heart is going grow three sizes I still cheer that he learned what we all know, deep down.

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”
“It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!”

You just love Max and you have to admit, watching him rob all the Whos and leaving behind the bare wire on the walls and even stealing from the mice is true Dr. Suess genius. Also. Original only. The live action movie was certainly good. But it’s no animated film narrated by Boris Karloff (oh man, what an excellent name).

2. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Another classic. It should probably be my number 1 because of family tradition, but truthfully, though it’s a beautiful movie, I get a little…something with the story. Really it’s this high on the list because every year that I have any memory of, we’ve watched it as a family. My Grammy comes over with fudge. My Mom pops popcorn. And we sit back to enjoy. The stop motion is great. And the story. And the songs. But it’s a movie about misfits and sometimes I still feel like that middle schooler misfit and it’s hard to forget. That doesn’t mean I don’t quote it 365 days a year. “She said I’m cuuuuuute.”, ::smacks lips:: “Nuthin'”, “Eat, Papa. Eat”, “Bumbles bounce!” This is also an exception to the rule of many viewings. We watch it once. When it’s on TV. Except this year. Because CBS aired in BEFORE Thanksgiving. They’ve done this in years past, but then included a second viewing a couple weeks later. We assumed that was true this year as well. It was not. I call major BS. Who airs a Christmas movie before Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving? My mom owns it on DVD so the Christmas season is not totally ruined. But I don’t think we’ve ever opened it. We’ve never needed to. This will be a weird year.

And the number 1 choice is so obvious it hurts: White Christmas

I mean. Along with the voices and incredible dance moves of Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera-Ellen, you have a complex story about loyalty, love, friendship, dramatic irony, good old fashioned meeting and falling in love in two weeks, and the most cashed-in arm injury in the history of the world. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again. I will never not cry when they surprise the General with all the men coming up and singing the Old Man. Never. I think I could watch this movie on a loop from post turkey soup on Thanksgiving Friday (screw Black Friday. Thanksgiving is family time) until the Epiphany and not get sick of it. And then the SNOW. The first time I saw this movie (admittedly I didn’t see until I was into my teens. Or, at least, I don’t remember seeing it before then) I thought that when it started snowing it was was of the greatest movie magic moments ever. There they all are. Doing the Christmas show for the old man. The whole army unit has reunited. The snow will save the Inn. And then they open the doors and the sleigh goes by. And then they’re all in those beautiful finale costumes and they lift the backdrop and come to the front of the stage and sing White Christmas and OMG how do you not just die of Christmas joy???

So there’s my list. You may not agree. In fact I bet you don’t. Leave a comment with your favorite.

hearts and Chritsmastimejoy

PS This list does not include Love Actually because, though it is Christmas themed, I watch that thing all year. There’s noting to cheer you up more than a papier mache lobster head and Hugh Grant crab dancing.

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