(Besides watching Twilight for the 8th time. And updating your Twitter.)
If you aren't thrilled at the idea of risking life and limb to buy me presents at the mall on Black Friday, I have a suggestion. Rent some Christmas movies!
Rahhh! Cheers! Happiness!
C'mon, don't be a Grinch. Watching Santa films gives you a reason to:
1) ...buy copious amounts of eggnog. And spike it.
2) ...cry for hours about how amazing the Christmas Spirit is. And then drink Christmas Spirts. See #1.
3) ..cuddle with your lover/hubs/boyfriend or bff and reminisce about how you had a crush on some of the Christmas cartoons long ago. Or last year.
4) ...sing some awesomely bad Christmas songs at the top of your lungs. After you've had a lot of #1.
5) ...remove yourself from ridiculous conversations about sweaters with your Aunt Ethel.
Now, before you go out and start getting all crazy at Blockbuster, remember it is very important that you watch the right Christmas movies. This is essential. Throw a bad movie in your X-mas flick mix and you might just ruin the whole cinema extravaganza for years to come.
(Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, anyone? What is up with that Abominable Snowman?? Creepy Claymation-ville, USA.)
So here, because I love all of you, I made a list of the best holiday films. You aren't required to agree with me.
(Hubs has amazing amounts of practice at this.)
If I missed one of your faves, that's what comments are for! Delurk yourself and let me know what I missed. No one will yell at you.
(Except maybe me. Especially if you remember a good one that I forgot.)
(Oh, you will notice there are no black and white films on the list. I get that they're classics and all that, I just can't watch them. I need Technicolor and superior sound quality. Sorry.)
Anyhoo, enough anticipation.
The following are my top 16 (because I hate odd numbers) picks for Christmas/holiday movies to watch when you just need to chill out. Grab some popcorn (or Aunt Ethel's leftover fruit cake), put your feet up and pop one of these guys in.
Drum roll, please.
Kim's Must-See Christmas Movie List
16. Polar Express: This one almost didn't make it. I have loved the book (beautiful illustrations) since childhood and therefore struggled with the animation of the film. Tom Hanks looks a little....Botox-y and he doesn't translate well as a cartoon. The essence of the children's book does ring true, though, and the message of "Believe" has never been more convincing. This is a good one to watch with the kiddies. You might just find yourself hearing bells, too.
15. Funny Farm: The first of two Chevy Chase appearances on my list.
This time he stars as a novelist who takes his wife and moves to the country in an effort to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. They both soon realize the simple life is quite simply driving them mad.
Can the spirit of the holiday season set things right, or put them in an early grave? I've loved this movie since I was a kid and it gets better every time I see it. If you aren't sure what Mountain Oysters are, eat some first, then watch the movie.
14. Mickey's Christmas Carol: I've seen this cartoon so many times the tape is starting to fall apart. No summary needed. It's "A Christmas Carol" with beloved Disney characters. And it's fabulous. (Daisy Duck is such a dirty tramp. We would be bestest friends.)
13. Serendipity: Sap alert! John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, two of the most beautiful people on the planet, destined to be together if only they can find one another.
If you need a cuddle fest with your significant other (or your new favorite handbag) this is the movie to watch. For boys that aren't interested in swimming through sap, they can laugh at Jeremy Piven, who provides the much needed Alpha Male comic relief. Shocker.
12. Die Hard: What's Christmas without blazing guns, albino bad guys and Bruce Willis screaming horrific obscenities? The first film in a series that ironically won't die, "Die Hard" will always have a special place in my heart. Mostly because Alan Rickman's hotness is in it. Yippee-Ki-Yay!
11. The Santa Clause: Tim the Toolman Taylor takes a break from hammers and hack saws to fill some pretty big shoes - er, boots. Santa Claus's, that is.
Our daughters love this Christmas movie series (there's like, 30 of them) and you will, too. Tim Allen is a pretty believable as an unwilling Santa Claus replacement, and the movie has an overall heart of holiday gold.
10. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: You know the words. "Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse." Ehhhh- not so true.
This brilliant musical cartoon about a town of mice hoping for a visit from Santa may be hard to locate at the vid store, but it's totally worth the search. Kids and adults will love this one, as the music is phenomenal and has just the right amount of cheese. We are talking mice, after all.
9. Elf: You know a film is going to be good if Bob Newhart is in the credits...alongside Will Ferrell. The breakout SNL star doesn't disappoint either, as an accidental orphan elf searching for his true identity in the big city. Loads of one-liners abound in this Christmas comedy. Careful you don't laugh your yule tide off.
And no- Tina Fey does not appear as Sarah Palin in the film. Maybe in the re-make.
8. Scrooged: Bill Murray as a miserable grump executive who hates Christmas? Can that really work? You bet your sweet holiday nuts it can. Speaking of nuts, Murray's get punched in them a few times by the Ghost of Christmas Present in this holiday hoot with a heart.
7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon): Dr. Seuss always gets it right. This one also brings a tear to my eye, both from childhood nostalgia and from the crescendo of God-awful singing. (You know the words. Don't try and lie.)
"Ba Who FOR AY Ba Who DOR AY, WELCOME CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS DAY! "
On second thought, you might want to turn down the volume a notch or two. If you absolutely can't stand cartoons, the Jim Carrey version (2000) will do as a substitute. I suppose.
6. Home Alone: an 8-year-old kid accidentally left behind while his family takes a Christmas vacation to Paris? Burglars being booby-trapped left and right? This is the stuff of genius. Catherine O'Hara is an absolute stitch as Kevin's neurotic and irrational mom. I think I might be like her one day....
5. A Charlie Brown Christmas: "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?"
Good question, Mr. Brown. Not many movies focus on the true reason we have a Christmas, and I'm glad there's still at least one that isn't afraid to tell the story. Snoopy's imitation of cracked-out farm animals is not to be missed, either.
4. Love Actually: I actually love the British. They know how to pull every heart string I have clean out of its socket and then lovingly put it all back together again. This is the only holiday movie that Hubs voluntarily watches and even gets a little teary on. So, if you're going to make your macho macho man watch a holiday movie, this might be it.
What else could you ask from Santa?
(Except maybe one of them naked in your living room. I'm just thinking outside the box, here.)
3. The Family Stone: Boy brings girl home to meet his family for Christmas. Simple right? Not so fast.
Fall in love with the Stone's, a family who isn't afraid to be themselves- no matter who they piss off in the process. An unconventional Christmas film, I think this one should be a classic. You will laugh out loud and bawl in your popcorn bowl. But in the end, it's just a darn good time.
(Starring SJP...you know I love it.)
2. A Christmas Story: This was my #1 pick until TNT thought it would be cute to run the movie 24 hours each Christmas. Regardless, I never tire of Ralphie and his mountains of Ovaltine.
And really, every home should have a big ol' leg lamp in its family room. "Electric sex gleaming in the window" adds character to every house.
1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: Love to laugh? Hang on tight. Christmas Vacation is a slap-stick roller coaster that teaches us the importance of Tylenol and ear plugs around the holidays.
(It also reminds me of my childhood because Clark Griswold is my father masquerading in Chevy Chase's body.)
With constant one-liners in every scene ("I don't know, Margo!"), Clark Griswold delivers an old fashioned family Christmas yule never forget.
So there you go, my movie recipe for holiday delight! Some fights for love, some fights for blood, a few cartoon animal, British chaps and a BB gun.
That's what Christmas is all about.