It’s the holiday season again and with that, are endless amounts of holiday movies to watch. Sure, I can talk about films like “It’s A Wonderful Life” but truth be told, I never saw it. Each year around Xmas time, there are at least 7 movies or TV specials I have to watch before that big red bastard comes squeezing his fat ass down my chimney. Here they are:
1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Everyone has their favorite Holiday movie and mine is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It’s not the best Vacation’ movie with the Griswolds but it’s certainly my favorite Holiday movie. The movie has a lot of things I could relate to like my Dad covering the house with Xmas lights, only to have the fuse blow out. Plus, lots of little things like trying to find the perfect Christmas tree, wacky relatives, and kidnapping of a boss. Ok, so the last one was a lie. But Christmas Vacation is a great example of how crazy Christmas time can be, but also shows you how dysfunctional family get-togethers can be. I’m not sure what the best moment of Christmas Vacation is, but it could be Clark’s Tylenol inducing rant or Clark going ape shit when the lights don’t turn on. I would have punched that plastic Santa Claus too.
Favorite Quote: “Shitter was Full!”
2. A Christmas Story
What better way to celebrate Christmas with a 24 hour marathon of the Christmas Story! I look forward to Christmas Eve because I can watch A Christmas Story all night or day. I don’t feel obligated to watch the whole thing in one sitting. Just like Christmas Vacation, this movie has an endless amount of quotes that I recite to friends & family all the time. Some of the highlights of the movie for me include Scott Farcas getting beat to a pulp, that kid who was in porn movies getting his tongue stuck to the flagpole, the leg lamp, and Randy getting forced to eat meat loaf. But we can’t forget when Ralphie visits Santa and gets a foot in his face from the Jolly Old Fellow. Plus, before meeting Santa, he has to deal with a creepy kid with pilot gear on who talks about the Tin Man. I would have punched that nerd in the face if I was Ralphie. One moment I could relate to is Ralphie & Randy’s mom bundling them with scarves and hats before they went outside. Randy complains about not be able to put his arms down and believe me, I understand!
Favorite Quote: “I can’t put my arms down!”
3. Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer
Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer is a timeless classic. Even if you celebrate another religion, you all should have seen SOME of Rudolph by now. You gotta love the old Claymation style. I’m not sure why a grown man likes to watch Rudolph still, but I just do. I love some of the songs in Rudolph, but don’t really like the slower ones. The songs I usually like to listen to and not fast-forward are the songs “Jingle Jingle Jangle,” “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “Holly Jolly Christmas.” Having Burl Ives narrate and sing most of the songs was great I think. I think my favorite part of the TV special is when Rudolph, that fruity dentist elf Hermey, and Yukon Cornelius visit the Island of Misfits Toys. I think the perfect way the special should have ended was Rudolph getting older, and plotting revenge against all the other reindeer who didn’t include him in their reindeer games. But then again, it’s not very Christmas-sy.
Favorite Quote: “Why weren’t you at elf practice?”
4. Home Alone 1 & 2
Home Alone 1 and 2 are on my list because I just love to see Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern getting brutally injured. If Home Alone taught us anything, it’s that any little kid left home alone can electrocute, burn, torture, and injure intruders. We also learned from the movie that the McAllisters are the worse parents ever! But if the parents actually remembered their bastard child, we wouldn’t have these movies. For the two movies, the best parts have to be the endings when Kevin battles Harry & Marv. I think by the second movie, the two criminals formerly known as the Wet Bandits, would have learned their lesson. But Kevin ups the ante and pretty much almost kills them. I wonder if he really did kill them, he would go to jail for that? Or would it be considered self-defense? He does get pretty creative with the way to torture these guys. I don’t think 8 year olds are this smart though. Anyway, to me, Home Alone 1 & 2 are classics (or at least the first one) and I’ll be watching them again this year.
Favorite Quote: “Look what ya did ya little jerk!”
Elf is the newest entry in this bunch. I think Will Ferrell and Jon Favreau knocked one out of the park with this Christmas movie. Even people that usually don’t like Will Ferrell enjoy this movie. But since I’m a Ferrell fan, I love this movie a lot but I also think it’s a great homage to those old Christmas movies & specials we all grew up watching. There’s even Claymation in this as well. I think Elf has a lot of funny moments, mainly thanks to Will Ferrell. When he first gets to Manhattan, it’s hilarious seeing him deal with normal things like crossing the street, and riding in an elevator. The grossest moment in the movie has to be when Buddy the Elf is eating gum out of the subway railings. BLECH!
Favorite Quote: “You stink. You smell like beef and cheese! You don’t smell like Santa.”
6. March of the Wooden Soldiers (Babes in Toyland)
I’m not sure too many people know about March of the Soldiers (a.k.a Babes in Toyland), starring Laurel & Hardy. It doesn’t really take place around Christmas time, but in the summer time instead. But the wacky duo work for Santa’s workshop, until they get fired and have to find another way of getting money for Mother Pepp. You have a great villain in the movie: the evil Silas Barnaby who tries to steal Little Bo-Peep away from Tom-Tom, kick out Mother Peep out of her shoe; and of course the infamous Boogiemen are in this! What makes this movie so great is the funny dialogue & site gags from the Laurel & Hardy. I can watch March of the Wooden Soldiers over and over and still laugh at this. But just fast forward all the singing and music stuff like I do.
Favorite Quote: “You better come up dead or alive! Now, how can he come up dead when he’s alive?”
7. Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas
You can’t have a Holiday Movies & Specials list without having Emmet Otter on here! Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter was a TV special featuring a jugband and a grizzly bear that dressed up like Elton John. I don’t even think Emmet Otter gets any air time anymore but it was something I ended up watching a lot when I was kid. Of course I always fast-forward the boring slow songs. But as I got older, I still sang some of the other catchier songs featured in the special like “Barbecue” and “Brothers.” You can’t forget the River Bottom Nightmare band as well! I used to love Spike the Bear; I thought he was so cool. He was a giant prick but cool regardless haha. The special gets sappy here and there but I’ll still be watching Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas for nostalgic reasons and simple because it’s a cute TV special.
Favorite Quote: “We’re not birds! We’re a Jugband!”