Holiday Movies

I love holiday movies. They warm you up from the inside out, like a mug of hot chocolate. It’s like they plant a little smile in your heart, and that little smile grows and blooms as the movie goes on.

It is some truly feel-good shtuff.

At this time, I’d love to share with you all some of my favorite holiday-themed movies that I have watched. I know I’m missing some classics, but I haven’t seen them yet, I’m sorry! Maybe I’ll get to watch them this year.

Love Actually (2003)

Love ActuallyI actually just watched this for the first time a few weeks ago and I instantly loved it. I will admit that I have seen the other holiday-themed ensemble romantic comedies, and they simply were not as good. Maybe it’s because they’re named after their holiday? (Looking at you, Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve.) Maybe it’s because they weren’t British films, but I loved the humor, the storylines, the execution. Maybe it’s because it’s Christmas, my favorite holiday, and it just filled me with some holiday cheer.

I especially loved things like Hugh Grant playing the Prime Minister and Martin Freeman playing a sex scene body double.

(Love Actually is on Netflix right now if you have a subscription :D)

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

File:Home Alone 2.jpgFirst of all, the Home Alone movies are pretty great. There’s a reason that MacCaulay Culkin was the highest-paid child actor at the peak of his fame. They were terrific, and I loved loved loved the second one because we got to also experience the magic of Manhattan during the holidays. It is one of the absolute best times to be in the city because it truly feels magical, and I think that this movie captures it pretty well. Plus, Kevin McCallister is not just defending himself but trying to help others in this movie.

The spirit of Christmas is strong in this movie, for sure. Who can forget that theme song?

Jingle All the Way (1996) is not a popular pick, and I don’t know how many people have actually seen it, but I’ve seen a LOT of Schwarzenegger films in my day (don’t ask why) (I have no idea) and this is maybe my favorite one. You’ve got Ahnold and Sinbad fighting to buy this mega-popular toy that has been selling out nationwide so that they can redeem themselves as fathers while also satirizing the crazy commercialization of the holidays. It’s one of Arnold’s family comedies and it’s pretty good for that. It’s just a light and fun movie. I wouldn’t call it a must-see, but it’s fun to watch.

(This is also on Netflix right now!)

The Polar Express (2004)

File:Polar express.jpgI fondly remember reading this book as a kid, although I remember being very surprised with the movie because the book is calm and idyllic and doesn’t have a catchy musical number about hot chocolate. But it’s a really nice film with a great message about believing in Santa and Christmas. You have some adventure, a Tom Hanks-voiced train conductor, and some pretty good CGI at times. (Although the scary-looking children can make you forget that. :P) Definitely recommend if you liked the book, even though, like many adaptations of children’s books, they take a lot of liberty with the story.

“Here we only got one rule, NEVER EVER let it cool!” (Guys, this song is persistently in my head every December.)

(This is also on Netflix right now!)

The Santa Clause (1994)

I’m not as big a fan of the sequels, but I always like watching The Santa Clause, starring Tim Allen as the reluctant new Santa.You’ve got Christmas magic, Santa magic, elf magic, laughs, feels, it’s good stuff and you should watch it if you haven’t already!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie (1998) own this movie on VHS and I kind of love it. It’s not as popular as the other Rudolph movie, but this one is an animated musical. YES. Whoopi Goldberg voices the villain Stormella, and her musical number is, as many villain songs are, great. Watch it if you find it!

Honorable Mentions

    • Elf (2003)
    • Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966 animated TV special)
    • Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
    • White Christmas (1954)

Now don’t get mad. I know I’m missing classics that… I haven’t seen (!!!) (I know I know).

To see:

  • A Christmas Story (1983)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • Miracle a 34th Street (1947)
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) (aka The Island of Misfit Toys)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – I’m still unclear as to if this is a Halloween or Christmas movie but it looks a little too scary for me…

Wikipedia has an interesting list of Christmas “classics”. Not sure how a movie like Deck the Halls (2006) is a “contemporary classic”. (Not sure why I watched it, either…)

What are your favorite holiday movies?
Which ones did I miss that I absolutely MUST watch?

Stay tuned for my holiday playlist! I’m super excited to share that because I count down  from January 3rd to the moment I can play Christmas music without getting hatorade. I am ready. I am so ready.

Turkey Dive

Let’s review how Thanksgiving weekend was, shall we?

[ Wednesday ]
So… I woke up at a decent hour because I didn’t have lab, dragged myself to chem, and went to the library to make copies of a psych journal. (Despite having to pay for copies, I loved how scholarly I felt.)  Went to lunch, frantically packed, and went home, where I did a whole lot of nothing and it was fantastic.

[ Thursday ]
We went to the Philips’ house for Thanksgiving lunch and it was de-freaking-licious. Making everything from scratch really does make a difference. I don’t know if I can ever settle for boxed stuffing mix ever again. My only regret is eating way too fast (because I was kind of famished) and not being able to eat more. So sad, because the food was really amazing amazing. It was nice of Lynne to invite us over so our families could eat together while the rest of our respective families were away. We had a pretty chill dinner since we had already feasted for lunch and the rest of the day was an unproductive blur.

[ Friday ]
Woke up at 4 to take Stone and Angela Black Friday shopping, but we had some setbacks, so shopping didn’t really start until 5:30. Got some earphones at RadioShack and then headed to the mall.
Hit up JCPenney to pick up my Secret Santa gift, but was not really feeling the clothes or shoes. (I think I got all the girly shopping desires out last week, thank goodness.) I lost all motivation to shop when I got to H&M and tried on these dresses:

Seem harmless enough, right? WRONG. The dresses tried to kill me. It was fine when I was trying them on, since it was like “Fashion Finds $5” so I figured, “Why not, it’s Black Friday, right?” Not right. I almost had to rip the dresses to get out of them, I really did. There was a desperate moment where it looked like the dresses had to rip or my shoulders had to dislocate but then I got out and I could breathe and all was well in the world again.
Except I didn’t want to shop anymore.
Because I had a near-death experience with these dresses.

Anyhow, finished up shopping and went home where I had brunch and then fell asleep. I went to take a nap at 11:30, set my alarm for 1:30, woke up at… 6:00. My dad came in to wake me and I asked him, “Why is it dark outside?” “Because it’s dinner time.” “… WHAT.” I had so much planned for Friday! At least some productive procrastination?? Nope, I was passed out for almost 7 hours and got nothing done.

We had hot pot for dinner though! Delicious. Absolutely love it. That used to be our go-to meal for Thanksgiving.

We watched Knight and Day and Flipped. I love Tom Cruise. I always have and you know, just because his beliefs are different from mine doesn’t make him any less handsome. He’s definitely gotten a bit older, but he is still pretty charming and swoon-worthy, in my opinion. Callan McAuliffe looks like a younger, more handsome, Australian version of Zac Efron. His American debut film was so sweet, I absolutely adored it. A fantastic family film about coming of age and love and family and life. I really liked it.

[ Saturday ]

What did I do on Saturday… I woke up, went to pick up my boot that I left at shoe repair a month ago, it was not fixed yet… so I came back home. Tried to work on my 7-page paper but that was a fail. Got a new Tumblr theme that I’m rather fond of, yes. Had some pretty yummy food again and then we went off to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. We had some SNAFUs trying to find a showing that wasn’t sold old or ridiculously late, but we finally got seated at 10:50 (2 hours later than we had intended to go ><). I was really excited when the opening theme played because I really did grow up with the books, the films, and the cast, so it was an important movie for me. For my dad and brother, probably not as much. (Probably.) I was absolutely infuriated when the screen went black as the trio was sneaking into the Ministry of Magic. Audio was fine, but we couldn’t see anything. To make matters worse, the screen then turned magenta, as if the person at the project was mocking the audience. We had a loud audience, so there was a lot of “OH HAYLL NO” going on. I wish they would rewind but of course they didn’t, so I don’t know what I was supposed to be looking at. I was okay since I read the books, but my brother got lost at that point. In any case, I was quite satisfied because of my emotional attachment to the franchise, but my dad seemed a lot less impressed than I was.

[ Sunday ]

Woke up, kind of got to the second page of my paper (which needed to be at least 7 pages long, I remind you) ate some food, didn’t do much else. Picked up my brother from soccer around 3. Er… yeah. Ate more hot pot! Got stuck on I-95 for an hour while trying to get back to school (and I thought I was making really good time, too) and then stayed up to write my paper.

And now it’s today. We have 2 weeks of classes and a week of finals left.
Things are going to be difficult because I’ve been listening to holiday music ALL WEEKEND and it was fantastic but I can’t do anything school-productive while I’m listening to holiday music. I can cook and clean and decorate, but I cannot do schoolwork. Holiday cheer is not conducive to work, it seems.

How were your holidays?