November 25 2006

Holiday Entertainment

From my post last year:

With time running out, it’s time to discuss my recommendations for the traditional Christmas movies I always watch.

A Christmas Carol – Patrick Stewart is a classically trained actor and he brings a powerful tone to the role of Scrooge. A fantastic version of this classic tale of Christmas spirit.

A Christmas Story – Set in the 1940’s does nothing to diminish the fun or relevance of this movie. Every kid has had that “dream” gift on their Christmas list that it seemed no one wanted you to have. Fun, cute and so many quotable lines. “You’ll shoot your eye out” if you miss this one!

It’s a Wonderful Life – Come on…do I even really need to discuss this one? Is there anyone alive who hasn’t seen this? Actually I did find someone this year…and I promptly pointed her out for the heretic she is. This is one of my all time favorite movies. Jimmy Stewart is amazing.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – The Vacation movies have been a mixed bag (as has most of Chevy Chase’s career), but this film is so easy to relate to. We all have those dreams of the perfect family Christmas, just to have them dashed and never have them live up to our hopes. Plus, the Cousin Eddie scene in white sweater, with green dickie, scene is worth the entire price of the movie!

The Nightmare Before Christmas – Not only is it a sweet story, and amazing to watch, how can you not love a movie that can make both the Halloween AND Christmas movie lists?

The Original Television Christmas Classics (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer / Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town / Frosty the Snowman / Frosty Returns / The Little Drummer Boy) – I recommend this primiarly for Rudolph, but now you can only get it with all this other stuff. Oh well. What is Christmas without Rudolph? Nothing I tell you!

Santa Claus – The Movie – This movie got ravaged by critics, but it is cute, funny and warm. Deal with it.

You have a fave? Talk about it!


For this year, TV Squad posted a handy list that USA Today made, of when most of these, and some others will be aired on TV.

* A Charlie Brown Christmas, ABC, Tuesday Nov. 28 at 8 pm;
* Polar Express, ABC, Friday December 1 at 8 pm;
* Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, ABC, Tuesday December 5 at 8 pm;
* Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, CBS, Friday December 8 at 8 pm;
* Frosty the Snowman, CBS, Friday December 8 at 9 pm;
* Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey version), ABC, Saturday December 9 at 9 pm;
* Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version), ABC, Tuesday December 12 at 8 pm;
* It’s a Wonderful Life, NBC, Saturday December 16 at 8 pm;
* National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, TBS, Sunday December 17 at 8 pm;
* A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart version), TNT, Wednesday December 20 at 8 pm;
* A Christmas Story (24-hour marathon), TBS, Sunday December 24 at 8 pm;
* Yule Log, INHD, Monday December 25 at 7 am.

If it’s something like It’s A Wonderful Life, PLEASE don’t watch it on commercial television. It is deserving of your hard earned money being spent on a DVD of it. Same with Christmas Vacation. Christmas Story I don’t mind because it’s a 24-hour marathon, I usually watch it 3 – 4 times through out the time period. Yes…3 – 4 times, I love it that much. And I am adding Love Actually to my list. Not totally Christmas related, but set in that time period and it’s fun to watch.

ETA:No clue how I forgot Miracle on 34th Street! Not once, but for two years! Thanks to Luis for pointing out my oversight! A classic, even if it sometimes feel like a movie-length ad for Macy’s, you don’t care! Not to mention you get to see a stellar performance by a very young Natalie Wood!

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  • Don’t know about “Santa Claus – The Movie,” but what about “The Santa Clause”? That was cute enough.

    There’s also Bill Murray’s “Scrooged,” which, while a bit over the top and forced at times, is still a good, goofy flick. And what about “Miracle on 34th Street,” the original, that is?

    And for some reason, my family enjoys watching “Groundhog Day” around this time of year.

    As for “Rudolf,” I’ve never been a big fan of the story. I know how it’s supposed to emphasize the value of those who are different, but it sends the message in the wrong way. Instead of everyone loving Rudolf because he’s a good kid or because he intrinsically deserves to be loved, everyone loves him only for his utility–without which, they’d still be making fun of him and telling him to get lost. So, if you’re not useful, you have no place in society. I don’t think I’d show that to my kids, were I to have any.

  • I would have also recommended “Scrooged” if Luis hadn’t. I also think the original version of “The Bishop’s Wife” is very good.

    My husband also likes to watch Field of Dreams around Christmas time; not because it’s about Christmas but because it has the right sentimental feel to it.

  • Luis – I actually haven’t watched “The Santa Clause” yet because I’m just not a very big Tim Allen fan, but I will try it out this year on your recommendation! “Scrooged” is good, but as I already had one version of the story on there, two seemed overkill. No clue how I forgot “Miracle On 34th Street”! An all time classic. I shall edit to add that in!

    As for Rudolph….way to crap on my childhood Luis! I always took it as they were short sighted and couldn’t see that what they saw as a “handicap” was actually his strength, and just because someone is different, it doesn’t mean they aren’t capable.

    Shari – “The Bishop’s Wife” I have also not seen, but I know my mom loves it. I’ll see if I can dig up her copy this season.

    “Field Of Dreams”…yeah…Kevin Costner is one of those actors I like him in odd things (“Tin Cup”, “The Postman”), but in his “big” movies (“Dances With Wolves”, “Waterworld”, “Field Of Dreams”), where he takes himself too seriously, he makes me want to punch him.

    No one ever accused me of being rationale:-p