In our family we don't put our Christmas tree up until after December 9th because it's my Dad's birthday. It's tragic - for someone who LOVES Christmas I find this to be really hard so to get into the Christmas spirit without having the Christmas Tree up I watch Christmas movies.
I love a really good Christmas movie. My only requirements (to make it a good Christmas movie) is that it's fun, sweet and if there is a bad person they learn the "meaning of Christmas" by the end of the movie. I especially like movies that show Santas is real, or movies that will make me so happy I want to cry by the end (I tear up every time they sing the Christmas carol in the park in Elf - EVERY TIME).
Here is my list (in no particular order) of 21 Christmas movies I watch in the lead up to Christmas (one almost every day people) to get into the Christmas Spirit
1. Elf: If you haven't watched this then we can't be friends. Seriously. There is something about Will Ferrels childlike wonder that is so perfect in this film. So much JOY and happiness wrapped up in this Christmas movie
2. All I Want For Christmas: The story of 2 kids who just want to get their parents back together for Christmas. It helps that their parents are MFEO (made for each other). The best part of this movie is watching a VERY young Thora Birch and Ethan Embry <3 comment-3--="">3>
3. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation: Ok so I'm not being very original right now but I promise this is one of the best Christmas comedies you'll ever come across. Chevy Chase is PERFECT trying to have the best Christmas ever with his family.
4. Love Actually: Emma Thompson, Hugh Jackman, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman, Kiera Knightly - surely that is enough to get you to pop this DVD in the player. This movie just makes you feel all the feels - multiple story lines, amazing characters and heart warming stories.
5. Home Alone: Macaulay Culkin + those robbers. This is the best kind of "boy left behind then house gets robbed and he fights the robbers" Christmas movie. If you're feeling up to it, you can watch the double feature of Home Alone 1 + 2 in one sitting - so much Culkin!!!!
6. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Tim Burton + Danny Elfman + that iconic skeleton. I don't save this movie for just Christmas time viewing, it's a year round favourite. I LOVE that skeleton and his misguided attempt at Christmas.
7. The Holiday: Jude Law + Kate Winslet + Cameron Diaz + Jack Black = a sweet romantic holiday movie.
8. I'll Be Home For Christmas: I'll admit it, I had a massive crush on Jonathan Taylor Thomas (JTT 4eva) back when I was younger. This movie allows me to remember his cute, silliness. It's a classic Christmas tale of one mans attempt to get home for the holiday.
9. Miracle on 34th Street: I have a double pack of the 1947 version and the 1994 version. If I'm being honest I watch the newer version more. It's a story of one cute but kind of obnoxious girls unwavering belief in Santa Claus
10. It's a Wonderful Life: I watched this movie for the first time about 2 years ago. I had heard the hype and I constantly see it on top of the "best Christmas movies" lists. I'm inclined to agree. While it's a LONG movie, it is also a beautiful, tear inducing feel good film. If you only watch one Christmas movie this year I'd suggest you start with this one.
11. Fred Claus: Vince Vaughn plays Santas "naughty" brother who has lost his Christmas Spirit. He goes to the North Pole to borrow some money off his older brother and hijinks ensue. It's funny and silly and if you like Vince Vaughn like I do then this movie is perfect.
12. Eight Crazy Nights: Did you know that back in the day Adam Sandler made this Christmas movie and voiced all the characters. It's silly and rude and still somehow sweet.
13. Bad Santa: The best worst Santa ever. Billy Bob Thornton plays the kind of Santa you never want to run into in a department store. He's oh so bad and filthy. Is it weird that I usually watch this on Christmas Eve??
14. To Grandmothers House We Go: I've finally got a copy of this headed my way. The Olsen twins at their finest. It's another "we're trying to get somewhere for the holidays but end up on a crazy adventure" movie but it's made so much cuter by these two girls
15. A Mom For Christmas: Olivia Newton-John stars in this made for TV Christmas special. A young girl wishes for a Mom for Christmas (as per the title of the movie) and Olivia Newton-John appears. Sweet, funny and full of Christmas cheer - if anyone can link me to a version of this movie that doesn't cost $50 I'd be eternally grateful!
16. The Muppet Christmas Carol: The classic Christmas tale of Scrooge, but with Muppets = PERFECT
17. The Polar Express: Ok, my Mum loves this movie. She watches it every year a few days before Christmas (sometimes Christmas Eve). One of those rare movies that really makes you believe in the Christmas Spirit - plus it's made in that "crazy it's a cartoon but it looks kind of real" way
18. Jingle All The Way: Arnold Schwartzenegger (yeah, you heard me right) plays a dad just trying to get his kid that "must have" Christmas toy. Craziness ensues (of course)
19. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: I refused to watch this movie for so long. There was something about the idea of this movie that just rubbed me the wrong way. I actually sat down and watched it and LOVED it. Jim Carrey is awesome as the Grinch - he's mean, angry but so misunderstood. This movie really shows that even the Grinchy-est (I made up a word shhhh) person can be sweet and nice.
20. Arthur Christmas: I've just added this one to my collection. One of the better animated Christmas movies of the past few years. This one follows Arthur (Santas son) as he tries to take the reins and deliver all the presents in time.
21. Surviving Christmas: Ben Affleck plays a guy who goes back to his family home in an attempt to get through the holidays. The only problem is that his family doesn't live there anymore so he pays the current residents to pretend to be his family and do all the Christmassy things he did as a child. A silly, funny light hearted Christmas comedy.
The only movie I do not own that is on this list is A Mom For Christmas (just because I can't seem to find it for less than $50 + postage). I make an effort every year to watch as many of these movies as I can so that it gets me into the Christmas mood.
I've also picked up a few other Christmas movies this week to check out - one starring Paul Rudd (that is supposed to be more in line with Bad Santa) and one with Kristen Chenoweth. If they are good, they'll get added to this list of movies to watch for next year.
What's your "go to" Christmas movie?