Must-Watch Holiday Films, According to Me

It’s getting to be that time of year again, the time when people get a little pushier and radio stations play incessant Christmas carols until I’m ready to puke red, green, and gold. Believe it or not, Christmas is still my most favorite holiday. One of the reasons is that I have a list of MUST-WATCH films that I must watch every year in a particular order. Because I am a nice person, I am sharing my list with you.

1. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
This film must be watched on or before Thanksgiving. It is by far my favorite John Candy movie, as well as my favorite Steve Martin movie.

2. Love, Actually.
This is another one that should be played right around Thanksgiving. It gives me warm fuzzies every time I watch it.

3. Santa Claus, the Movie.
Not many people have heard of this classic, which is truly a shame. Dudley Moore is fantastic in it, and I can even tolerate John Lithgow, who normally pisses me off with every word he utters. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend it. I think I’ve seen it every year since it came out in 1985, and it never disappoints.

4. Christmas Vacation.
I love this movie so much, I don’t limit watching it to Christmas. Any time I am feeling down in the dumps, I put on this movie and it brings me up again. My favorite part:

Todd: Hey Clark, where are you going to put a tree that big?
Clark: Why don’t you bend over and I’ll show you?
Margo: Todd, are you going to let him talk to you like that?
Clark: I wasn’t talking to HIM.

Incidentally, there seems to be a theory that if you love Christmas Vacation you hate The Christmas Story, and I just want to say that as far as I’m concerned, that is true. I can’t get into Christmas Story. I just don’t see what’s so funny about freezing your tongue to a pole. Eh.

5. Die Hard.
As an alternative, I’ve been known to watch Lethal Weapon in its place. This must must MUST be seen on Christmas Eve. It’s the world’s best Christmas movie EVER, and it always gets me geared up to open presents. Yippy ki-ay, motherfucker.

If I’ve got the time, I like to watch one or two of the classics too. My favorites are White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, and, yes, It’s A Wonderful Life. I know most people think It’s A Wonderful Life is trite and cliched and overstated, but I don’t care. It makes me happy. Usually I’ll just watch these if they happen to be on TV.

“Mickey’s Christmas Carol”
This used to be shown on TV every year and then one year they just stopped. With my limited attention span, I haven’t been able to track down a copy on VHS or DVD anywhere, but if I did, it would SO be going in the must-watch list. This is, in my opinion, the best version of the Dickens classic ever made. Oh, Mickey, how I miss you!

What are your favorite holiday movies?


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