My tree is yet to be put up, all my decorations are still freezing in the garage, and I have not made a single cookie. I am a little afraid that my attempts at keeping this Christmas really about Christmas will fail once I begin admitting that it really is the season for celebration. But that target lady that I adore has reappeared on the TV, and it is snowing yet again. It's undeniable, Christmas is here.
Since getting a tree today is out of the question, and I have studying and schoolwork to do rather than baking or decorating... I will celebrate by watching movies, and by sharing with you my top 10 Christmas Movies.
Melinda's Top Ten Christmas Movies:
10. Miracle on 34th Street - I adore the sweetness and innocence of this movie. My brother and I always watched this with my mom as we put up decorations the day after Thanksgiving. I love that sweet Santa, and the mutual adoration between him and Natalie Wood. I don't believe in Santa, and never did but still this is a timeless classic.
9. The Family Man- This is not just a Christmas movie to me, I will watch it anytime of year. I like these types of movies where people can get a glimpse of what their life could have been. My heart melts when the sweet little girl looks at Nicolas Cage after thinking that he had her daddy had been replaced by an alien and says, "I knew you'd come back." I love the theme of love and family, I love how he changes, and I love how they always "choose us."
8. Prancer - I am not sure if everyone knows about Prancer. I have loved this movie since I was a little girl. About a little girl who believes she finds the reindeer Prancer injured in the woods, and hides him in her father's shed and nurses him back to health. She is lost and feels very alone, without her mother around. In saving Prancer, she also ends up saving her broken family. This low budget 80's movie is slow moving and not a strikingly made movie, but it moves me to tears.
7. The Santa Clause - This movie is silly and sweet and heartbreaking and sweet again. It was obviously made for Children and clearly lacks cinematic brilliance. But I laugh and laugh at this movie every year. "Does this look like a little weight to you?" I recently watched this move with some young children who had never seen it before, they were less than amused, which makes me think this movie will lack staying power. But as long as it's here, it is in my top.
6. Love Actually - This is another movie that I don't just watch at Christmas time. It is rated R, and has every reason to be so rated. But movie ratings rarely bother me. It is about Love of all kinds, between friends, between family, between spouses, secret love, unrequited love, puppy love, new love, lasting love, and some sex thrown in there for good measure. It has some of my favorite people in it; Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson. It is British, and funny, and moving, and heartbreaking. Lots of mini stories all intertwined, it is exactly the kind of movie I like. Great at Anytime of year.
5. The Muppet Christmas Carol - We all know A Christmas Carol has been done a million times, by nearly everyone and everything under the sun. This is BY FAR my favorite version. It is sweet and funny and moving. I will laugh, and sing a-long, and tear up not just once. Rizzo and Gonzo are hilarious narrators, and Michael Caine is an excellent Ebenezer Scrooge. I jumped for joy when I finally found this on DVD, after years of watching it recorded to VHS from TV.
4. TheSmall One - Don't even get me started, I am weeping already just thinking about this animated Disney short film. Based on a children's book by Charles Tazewell, it is a sweet story of a boy and his donkey, small one. Small One can no longer carry his weight as a work horse, and must be sold. The boy travels into the neighboring town of Nazareth to try sell his donkey to a good home. The only one who has any interest is the town tanner, and he is almost ready to give him up, when another opportunity arises. The boy sells sweet Small One to a man looking for something to carry his very pregnant wife back to Bethlehem. The boy watches Mary, Joseph, and Small One walk off toward a shining star in the distance. I am crying right now, I am not going to lie to you. If you have not seen this, you really must watch it, you can find it on youtube.
The Top 3 could really be a 3 way tie, but I put them in an order... don't hate.
3. Home Alone - No Christmas is complete without at least 2 viewings of Home Alone. On a side note, this soundtrack runs though my head NON-STOP ALL YEAR LONG. I drive my co-workers crazy humming and singing Home Alone every day. This is easily the most quoted movie in my arsenal, and I wish I could watch it all year long (for some reason I don't feel comfortable watching it all year as I do some others on this list, although I have been known to make exceptions). I believe this movie will stand the test of time, unlike other movies in its era. And I can not wait to introduce it to Asher someday. I will pass on the 2nd and 3rd and 24th.
2. White Christmas - I have already watched this once this year and will most assuredly watch it again. This was my mom's favorite movie from her favorite holiday and her favorite time of year. We grew up watching it A LOT. We watched lots of musicals, and this and Sound of Music reign supreme in my book. I love all of this movie from beginning to end, save one dance number in the show (you all know which one it is, because everyone I know dislikes the same one). I love to hear Bing, he is at the top of my Christmas music love. He and Danny are so funny and cute. Rosemary Clooney, when she sings "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me". Oh my lands, I die. Beautiful. And that Vera-Ellen sure could dance couldn't she, and had the tiniest waist I have ever seen. I love everything about this movie and will watch it over and over again every year until I am no longer blessed with life on this earth.
1. It's A Wonderful Life - This is probably my daddy's favorite movie of all time. Every year since as long as I can remember, he made us watch it with him armed with a bowl of super buttery popcorn and a hand made by dad milkshake. When I was younger, I suffered through it. At some point in my history, I think I was probably in high school, I watched it, and felt something completely different than the boredom and confusion I had previously felt. I laughed when I was supposed to, and I cried when others did, and I fell in love with Jimmy Stewart and I adored every moment of the movie. I have watched it every year since, and I laugh and cry and I am moved beyond measure. I love the authentic relationships. I adore the scene when George is talking to his dad, the last conversation they ever have. I love George and Mary's honeymoon. I love how George is like the rest of us and forgets how loved and appreciated he is in day to day to life. It is easy to forget how blessed we are. And the end, oh the end. "Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?" "George Bailey, I'll love you 'til the day I die." "I wish I had a million dollars... HOT DOG!" "What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary."
And the Runner's Up (While I love you, there was only room for 10 at the top): A Charlie Brown Christmas (duh) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966 TV) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964 TV) Frosty The Snowman (1969 TV) The Nativity Story (if you haven't seen this, watch it. It is Mary and Joseph's story and I loved it) The Shop Around The Corner Scrooged Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962 TV) Heidi (Shilrey Temple--I'll take the colorized version of black and white) The Holiday
And The Bottom 3 Christmas Movies (which so many Love, but I despise, in no particular order): National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (ick) The Christmas Story (gross) Elf (gag)
So tell me, what Christmas Movies can you not wait to watch each year? What Christmas movies do you despise that other love?
Bridget: You are such an encouragement and a light. sometimes being wife and mom is hard isn't it? but oh so worth it. Shelby: Thank You so much for making me feel like not such a putz. You gave me great ideas! Donna: I am a mess every single time I watch that darn thing. It gets me to my core. Axelle: Dear friend, Your comments from a world away make my day. We will try to cherish this Christmas as a fmaily together. I would love your recipe!