- It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown! This one can be a little hard to find, but it's worth the effort. There are multiple plotlines in the special: Sally is cast as an angel in the Christmas pageant and worries that she'll forget her lines; she's also busy writing to Santa Claus. In the same pageant, Peppermint Patty is cast as sheep and jealous that Marcy gets to play Mary. Charlie Brown is in search of the perfect gift for the little redheaded girl.
- A Muppet Christmas Carol. Watching this movie on Christmas Eve has been a family tradition since I was a very little girl. It's still great to watch as an adult. The Muppets' wit, charm, and signature musical numbers put a fun spin on Charles Dickens' classic tale. Michael Caine absolutely steals the show with his portrayal of Scrooge.
- "Santa's Village of the Damned." This was the first Christmas-themed episode of Two and a Half Men. Alan is dating a charming woman with Martha Stewart-esque cooking and decorating abilities. Charlie tries to warn Alan that she's too clingy, but Alan doesn't listen. Next thing you know, Alan's girlfriend has moved into Charlie's house and buried the interior in Christmas figurines.
- Home Alone. No Child Left Behind...unless you're the McCallisters. They accidentally leave their youngest son, 8-year-old Kevin, in Chicago when they leave for a Christmas vacation in Paris. Little do the parents know, the neighborhood is being targeted by a pair of burglars known as the Wet Bandits. Now it's up to Kevin to defend his home. It's not quite Christmas Eve if my family and I don't watch this one.
- Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. It's rare for a sequel to top the original, but this one does. Due to a mix-up at the airport, Kevin boards a plane to New York City while the rest of his family is on a flight to Florida. But don't be too worried. Kevin is resourceful and finds a way to make the best of the situation. I love this movie even more since I've seen the splendor of New York City's Christmas decorations with my own eyes.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The 1960's animated version, not the live-action atrocity with Jim Carrey. It narrates Dr. Seuss's classic story with a few songs thrown in. Fun Fact: Thurl Ravenscroft, who sings "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch", also was the original voice of Frosted Flakes mascot Tony the Tiger.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Again, I refer to the 1960's version. Yes, the technology is primitive by today's standards and I admit that some of the critters are a little freaky looking. But when all is said and done, Rudolph is all about being proud of who you are and not letting teasing stop you from reaching your full potential. It's like a Christmas version of The Karate Kid.
- Lethal Weapon. I know this isn't technically a Christmas movie, but try telling my local TV stations that. One of them has been showing it in constant rotation all month. I think the station should throw in Don Johnson's Dead-Bang and the original Die Hard while they're at it for a Christmas action movie trifecta.
- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. If you think your family's Christmases are disastrous, you'll feel a lot better after seeing what happens to the Griswolds. The Christmas tree is too big for the living room. Cousin Eddie shows up and so does senile Aunt Bethany.
- The Ref. A cat burglar played by Denis Leary is on the run from the law after breaking into a house on Christmas Eve. To escape detection, he kidnaps married couple Caroline and Lloyd and ends up holding them hostage in their home. Little does he know, Lloyd and Caroline have just left their marriage counselor's office and are on the verge of divorce. Hilarity ensues as he tries to maintain his sanity. This is my favorite black comedy. Warning: Do not watch with anyone under the age of 14.
Friday, December 21, 2012
4 Days 'Til Christmas: Christmas Film Festival
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Time to finish shopping, wrapping the gifts, and getting the house ready to entertain friends and/or relatives. I've compiled this list of movies and TV specials to help get your guests into the holiday spirit.