Angie and I bought season tickets to the Blumenthal theatre season this year, so we spent Friday night enjoying “White Christmas,” the stage musical version of the Bing Crosby-Rosemary Clooney movie. The production was just okay, but it did kickstart me into the Christmas spirit. My days before Christmas are a mashup of final exams, furious and stressful present shopping, wrapping, mailing, packing, driving, baking, etc. Sometimes you just have to relax and watch a good movie.
During this time of year, I’m not so inspired by Christmas music, but I love a good Christmas flick. Here are a few of my favorite holiday movies that put me in the Christmas mood.
Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas
I’m sad to say that a lot of people haven’t even heard of Emmet Otter! This is a sweet little movie about how Emmet the otter drills a hole in his mother’s washtub so he can enter a talent contest and buy her a piano for Christmas. There are Muppets! Even Kermit! And they sing!
When I was really little, my dad recorded this movie on a VHS tape, and we’ve watched it so many times that the tape broke. Luckily, a couple of years ago it came out on DVD, so I can replay it to my heart’s content. Watch it this Christmas; it’s a classic!
Bridget Jones’ Diary
Okay, this isn’t patently a Christmas movie, but don’t forget that we (and Bridget, sort of) meet Mark at her parents’ post-Christmas turkey curry buffet in his seriously awful reindeer jumper. I could watch this movie over and over.
Alright, I already do.
A Christmas Story
Flick’s tongue stuck to the pole … the leg lamp … “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”
I adore all of the Griswold movies, but this is by far my favorite. Whether it’s the oversized Christmas tree, the cat chewing on the tree lights, the overcooked turkey, Grandma wrapping the jello as a present, so much of this movie is just wrong … and it tickles me every time.
(Plus, you can see Randy Quaid in his pre-on-the-lam days.)
The Nativity Story
My mom gave me this movie on DVD for Christmas last year. Like you’d suppose, it tells the story leading up to Jesus’s birth as Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes, of Whale Rider fame) and Joseph make their way to Bethlehem. It’s very well done. And it is the reason for the season!
I didn’t used to love this movie, but it’s grown on me over the years. You know I can’t resist anything British, and this is a sweet (sometimes bittersweet) movie about love at the holidays. I used to watch Martine McCutcheon as Tiffany on EastEnders when I was in college, so I loved seeing her reappear here as the prime minister’s (Hugh Grant) assistant. And I’ve been known to rewind and rewatch the scene with Jamie (Colin Firth) and his housekeeper speaking different languages to each other in the lake. So funny.
This is another movie that grew on me. Not a huge fan of Cameron Diaz or Jack Black, but I’d watch Kate Winslet read the phone book. Plus I covet both of those houses! How can I score an L.A. mansion and/or an English cottage?
One of my roommates years ago said this was her favorite movie, and I gave it to her for Christmas that year. When she moved out, she left it behind, which was her loss but my gain. Even though it’s a classic, I’d never seen it before. You’ll know most of the music — Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” “It’s Cold Outside” and “Snow” most notably. I fell in love with Rosemary Clooney, and its a madcap story of former soldiers, now famous entertainers, who end up at a Vermont inn to perform with two sisters … and fall in love. Aw.
What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?