‘Tis the season of bad weather and time to stay indoors. My family loves to watch movies, and the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is prime Christmas movie time.
The thing about watching movies is that it’s not too expensive. If you have a Redbox account, DVDs cost a buck a night. We have a Netflix account, because we watch a lot of movies for school. And even if you don’t rent DVDs, if you have cable or satellite TV, Christmas movies abound on many stations right now.
In no particular order, here are my family’s favorite movies of the season. If I found a TV listing, I listed the day and channel, in case you’d like to watch. I didn’t list times, because I had a hard time finding which time zone the listings were for. Check your local listings for times.
1. The Polar Express. Possibly my son’s favorite movie of all times. Based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express recounts the adventure of a boy who travels to the North Pole on Christmas Eve by train. We own this one and watch it several times every year. Watch on ABC Family on December 23.
2. Elf. If The Polar Express is my son’s favorite holiday movie, Elf is my daughter’s. Will Ferrell plays a man, who was adopted by elves as a baby. Now grown up, he returns to the U.S. to find his father. We’re not Will Ferrell fans, most of the time, but he’s pretty good in this movie. Watch December 18 on USA.
3. The Nativity Story. The kids and I actually watched this one for the first time yesterday. It’s not a lighthearted movie, by any means, and there are some scenes that aren’t suitable for young children. It really makes you reflect on what Mary and Joseph must have gone through in the time leading up to Christ’s birth, though. It’s not completely Biblically accurate, but the relationship between Mary and Joseph is worth watching.
4. The Christmas Shoes. This one is for the sappy movie lovers out there. I cry every time I watch it. Based on a country music song, The Christmas Shoes tells the story of two families. Workaholic Robert Layton works so much, he misses out on his wonderful family. Meanwhile, in another family, mother Maggie Andrews is dying, and her son just wants to buy her a pair of red dancing shoes for Christmas, before she dies. The lives of the two families cross, and you are left with a real tear-jerker. Watch December 24 on Lifetime Movie Network.
5. Miracle on 34th Street. I love the remade version of the classic movie. Mara Wilson is perfect as the little girl, who doesn’t believe in Santa, and Elizabeth Perkins is great as her all-too-practical mother. On ABC Family December 23.
6. It’s a Wonderful Life. Is there anyone who hasn’t seen this classic? It’s the story of George Bailey, who has so many problems, he wants to end his life at Christmas time. An angel comes to earth to show him what life would have been like, had he never been born. You will most certainly find this one on network TV as Christmas approaches. On NBC December 24 at 8:00 p.m.
7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. What’s not to like about the Griswolds? OK, there’s a lot not to like, but they sure are funny! Watching a disaster-prone dad trying to put the perfect Christmas celebration together makes the little things that go wrong in my Christmas season look pretty minor. This movie is a great diversion.
8. The Santa Clause. Tim Allen plays a workaholic, who accidentally agrees to take over as Santa Claus. As he grows (in more ways than one) into his new role, his relationship with his son improves. But his ex-wife and her new husband have their concerns about Allen’s new role in life, and seek to protect son, Charlie, from dad’s influence.
9. Home Alone. I first saw this movie in the theater as a college student, and it’s been on my holiday favorite list ever since. Home Alone is the tale of 8 year old Kevin, who is accidentally left at home by his parents, when they travel to France for Christmas. While waiting for his parents to come home, Kevin must defend his home from would-be burglars. Macaulay Culkin is perfect in the role of Kevin.
10. A Christmas Story. Possibly my husband’s favorite flick. It’s the story of Ralphie, a boy who is on a mission to convince his parents to get him the perfect Christmas present: a Red Ryder BB gun. I had actually never watched this movie until a few years ago. You have to be in a silly mood to “get” this movie, but if you’re in the right mood, it’s hysterical! Our family jokes about portions of this movie all year long. 24 hour marathon begins on Christmas Eve on TBS.
Now that you know my favorite holiday movies, what are yours?
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