Ah, the holidays. It’s the only time of the year where we pull out all the stops and suit up for our family traditions passed on through the generations. Whether it’s decorating your house, baking some delicious treats, or shopping online for the hard to find gift since the lines at the mall are absurd, everyone has their own tradition.
Don’t get me wrong, those are all well and good, but my family follows a tradition of their own. Holiday Movie Marathons.
Thus I give to you all, my present to you. A list of my top five favorite holiday movies that I just had to watch with my family when I was a kid. Now I warn you, these aren’t the traditional holiday movies you are probably thinking of. For the most part, these are my guilty pleasures. So sit back, relax, and take a sip of your eggnog.
It’s movie time.
1) NATIONAL LAMPOONS CHRISTMAS VACATION
I have always been a sucker when it comes to the National Lampoon movies, and what better way to celebrate the holidays than by watching Clark Griswold try to pull off the perfect Christmas. As usual, it winds up being a disaster. From oversized Christmas trees burning down, to noxious fumes seeping up from the sewer thanks to your brother-in-law dumping his waste; it just keeps getting better and better. Of course, as most National Lampoon movies, there is a happy ending, but not without Clark Griswold going off on one of the greatest rants in movie history. Trust me; you’ll know it when you hear it. Three words – “Where’s the Tylenol?”
A modern retelling of Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol”, we follow Frank Cross (played by Bill Murray), a filthy rich television programming executive tasked with producing a live broadcast of the CHRISTMAS CAROL on Christmas Eve. Cross is the Scrooge of this movie, without even the slightest bit of a heart inside him. He goes through the typical “ghosts of Christmas” events, but just having Bill Murray behind the mask of scrooge makes it all the more brilliant. Some of the lines he says in this movie are enough to make your stomach rip open from laughter. Oh and Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present is absolute perfection. The chemistry between her and Bill Murray is spot on. Not to mention she decks him a few times which is always good for a laugh.
3) The Muppet Christmas Carol
Another Christmas Carol portrayal, but who can pass up The Muppets? Scrooge this time is played by Michael Caine, who of course plays it perfectly. You’ve got some great songs, hilarious Muppet comedy, and one of the best Christmas stories ever told. You can’t go wrong with this. Gonzo as Dickens? Priceless. And it looks like Kermit finally bit the bullet and married Miss Piggy. Good luck to him!
4) The Christmas Toy
This may be another Muppet movie, but this is the ORIGINAL Toy Story. Tiger was last years Christmas Toy, and he was a hit, but with the introduction of a brand new toy under the tree he fears he’s just going to be forgotten like so many others. Sound familiar? Just like the Woody and Buzz tale, and just as good. Even Meteora thinks she’s real, and not a Toy. Seriously though, I was obsessed with this movie when I was a kid and every time I happened to catch it, my 3 year old butt would plant itself right in front of the TV.
5) A Christmas Story
You’ll shoot your eye out! Ah, Ralphie. Why would anyone want a Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle? Heck, who am I kidding? ME! This was it. The classic go-to holiday movie for my family. We watched it on TV, on tape, DVD, blu-ray, even the Broadway play. I know this film by heart. Not even joking. My dad and I can go back and forth reciting it line by line. It’s the true tale of Christmas. Not all that phony-baloney. Not to mention this film has some of the greatest lines in movie history.
This one’s for you, dad “Randy lay there like a slug. It was his only defense.”
Now these recommendations may not be for you, but you know what, give them a shot any way. And better yet, sit everyone in your family down on the couch and enjoy a laugh or two. After all, that’s really what the holidays are about isn’t it? Sharing laughter and memories with those you love.
Happy Holidays everyone! Bah, HUMBUG!