By Brad Dress
There’s truly nothing like the holidays. Something magical is stirred into the holiday aesthetic, as if the Christmas spirit just pumps you full of good tidings and makes you a happier person for a few days. All together, it makes you feel electric: the food, the cheer, the gifts– and, of course, sprawling on the couch while the snow whips up a storm outside, giving you a crafty excuse to watch a good Christmas movie.
And there really is nothing more simple and “Christmassy” than a good movie on a snowy day. So grab your cheesy Christmas mug of hot coco, snatch a candy cane from the tree (make sure your mother isn’t watching) and kick your siblings off the couch–it’s time to release that holiday spirit.
- Elf (2003)
If your goal is to laugh at some classic Will Ferrell humor and enjoy a good Christmas tale, then this is your movie.
The story follows the absurdly tall elf Buddy in the North Pole. After learning his father lives in New York, Buddy embarks on a quest to find his real family, but they may not be so welcome to a gawky “elf” who barely understands how human life operates.
This is Will Ferrell in one of his best roles, and the story blends an adult style of humor with a classical tale of Christmas cheer. It’s a great one to watch with friends.
- A Christmas Story (1983).
This is remarkably known as a rebellious children’s Christmas story like no other, but one just as lovable and enjoyable for all ages.
Ralphie wants just one thing for Christmas: a BB gun. But not just any BB gun; no, this is the Red Ryder BB Rifle, the top of the line. There’s just one problem– people keep reminding him that “you will shoot your eye out, kid.”
The plot sounds simple, but the childish antics of Ralphie’s oh-so lovable nature and relentless quest to obtain the toy gun creates hilarity for the whole family. It’s a Christmas movie that brings the spirit of the holidays away from Santa and to the average child.
Dr. Seuss’s original tale is one you cannot miss. It is a story that has been handed down since what seems like the dawn of Christmas itself, and not seeing this movie over the holidays seems like a crime. Dr. Seuss’s original book was published in 1957, but its story still stands the test of time.
One of Dr. Seuss’s best, the story involves a nasty hermit, the Grinch–that green guy you always see tiptoeing around in a Santa outfit–plotting to steal Christmas from the Whos of Who-ville. “This is sure to ruin Christmas,” you shout! But Cindy Lou Who and the rest of her Who counterparts have a stronger Christmas spirit than that, and the Grinch might just learn a lesson or two.
The kids pine over it, but there is something in this story for everyone. A satisfying and humorous plot, a flirt with the spirit of Christmas and Dr. Seuss’s creative artwork and quirky flair. It’s chock full of Christmas love. If this version is unavailable, the others will suffice.
- Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
This may not be under everyone’s radar, but almost every Christmas junkie will recommend some version of a Miracle on 34th Street.
An old man claims to be Santa Claus, but America is not having it. The legal system will promptly declare him insane and lock him up. This would be a fairly easy task, if it wasn’t for a spiffy young lawyer who decides to defend the town crazy.
It’s a tale of believing and faith, and the way it is told is magical. But it’s also a heartwarming tale, with an intelligent plot that will grip those older and an easygoing tone that will warm the hearts of children. It is tinted with just enough holiday cheer to evoke laughter and good old Christmas tears.
This timeless tale has suffered enough remakes, reboots and the whole lot to fill up a whole DVD shelf. But the thing is, most of them are good. Whether you are watching “Mr. Maggos” cartoon musical, the 2009 3-D Jim Carrey version or the original 1939 adaption, you’re in pretty good hands. The original novella, “A Christmas Carol” was written by Charles Dickens in 1843, and it still stands as one of the best Christmas stories of all time, a monument to the gifted writer.
Ebenezer Scrooge, a disgruntled old man who lives alone and hates the Christmas season more than we hate schoolwork, refuses to let his employee Bob Cratchit get off early on Christmas Eve, making him miss an important seasonal dinner. But when he gets home that night, some “spirits” may come knocking with lessons in mind, and is it possible he might hate Christmas a little less than we hate homework?
Truly a movie not to miss.There’s something for everyone here: a little spookiness, a mystical story, humor/drama and, of course, a Christmas tale. Also keep an eye out for the theatres this season, as the narrative of how Charles Dickens wrote the original novella is being documented in “The Man Who Invented Christmas.”
Other mentions: The Santa Clause (1994), A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), The Nutcracker (1993) and Polar Express (2004).
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of WikiCommons
Brad Dress is a junior journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.