Whatever your age, the winter holidays are always a time to look forward to. And what more to anticipate than some good holiday movies? Below are five hand-picked holiday movies that are sure to start your season off right. Grab a mug of hot chocolate and sit by the fire, you’re not going anywhere tonight.
- Christmas with the Kranks
Based on a book by John Grisham, this comedy starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis as the Kranks is sure to have you laughing in no time.
After learning that their daughter, Blair Krank, will not be coming home for Christmas this year, Luther and Nora Krank decide to ‘skip’ Christmas for a ten day Caribbean cruise. This becomes a fiasco when their daughter calls to say she will be coming home with her Peruvian fiance. Watch the Kranks scramble to get it together before her arrival, with the help of the neighbors and friends they alienated by not celebrating Christmas.
Favorite Scene: The Kranks, in preparation for their cruise, go to the mall to buy swimsuits and get spray tans. As Mr. and Ms. Krank are meeting up from their respective tans in front of the store window, they see one of the ministers from their church. Taken by suprise, they scramble to explain exactly what they are doing.
- Home Alone
Have you ever felt like you don’t belong and wished that you didn’t have a family? Kevin McCallister has. In this holiday favorite, eight year old Kevin (Macauley Caulkin) is left as the man of his house, after his family accidentally forgets about him and flies to France to celebrate Christmas. Kevin is excited to finally have the house to himself, until two burglars unrelentlessly attempt to break in. Will Kevin be able to outsmart them or is his house a lost cause?
Favorite Scene: Last scene. Kevin sets up booby traps to discourage the burglars. The burglars Marv and Harry, not the most intelligent thieves, fall into every trap Kevin sets.
A modern classic, Elf follows Buddy, (Will Ferrell) a human, raised by elves at the North Pole. Unable to shake the feeling he doesn’t belong, Buddy journeys to New York in search of his father, Walter Hobbes. Unfortunately, Walter is on the naughty list.
Follow Buddy as he finds love, the world’s best (worst) coffee, and shows us Christmas is more than common capitalism. Whether you believe in Santa or not, you will end up believing in the power of faith.
Favorite Scene: The first night Buddy stays at the Hobbes’ house he, in the routine of an Elf, sleeps for only 45 minutes. Instead of sleeping another seven hours (like the rest of the family), he builds a rocking chair out of their TV stand and makes them breakfast, which includes yesterday’s spaghetti and syrup (one of the four main food groups of elves: candy, candy corn, candy canes and syrup).
- Christmas in Connecticut
Made in 1945, this Christmas drama has a unique plot line that landed it as one of my all time favorites.
Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyck) is a columnist who writes about her fictitious Connecticut farm, husband and baby. While recovering in a hospital, war hero Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan) becomes familiar with her column, “Diary of a Housewife” and gets his nurse to write a letter to the publisher, asking if Jones can spend Christmas on the farm with Elizabeth. Elizabeth is forced to accept in order to save her career, but she has no farm, husband or baby to speak of. Will she be able to pull it off? Or is the man she discovers she truly loves worth more than her career?
Favorite Scene: Jefferson offers to help bathe Elizabeth’s baby (baby she borrowed) and as they are washing her, Elizabeth refers to it as a boy. Soon Jefferson discovers it is a girl.
- Miracle on 34th Street
Is Santa real? How can we know? Does it matter? These are some of the questions Miracle on 34th Street asks us.
After an old man going by the name Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) is persuaded to play the role of Santa in Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Parade, he becomes a hit and is employed at Macy’s downtown store. He creates many loyal customers to the store, however his insistence that he really is Santa Claus leads his mental health to be questioned. After a ‘psychological evaluation’ finds Kris harmless, the case is dropped. But, when the psychologist tries to convince a young man he is mentally ill, tensions escalate until Kris hits the psychologist on the head with an umbrella. Kris is tried in court, where the root of the case comes down to whether he really is Santa Claus. Miracle on 34th Street will make you question what you thought you knew to be true.
Favorite Scene: Susan (Natalie Wood), the child of a Macy’s employee, goes to see Santa at Macy’s. She was taught not to believe in fairy tales however when she sees Kris speaking in Dutch with a girl, she begins to doubt what she had been taught.
Honorable Mentions: It’s A Wonderful Life (1946), The Bishop’s Wife (1947), Holiday Inn (1942), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966, TV short), and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964, TV special).
Annabel Jones (’18)
Image: geralt of Pixabay