For me, one of the most amazing components of the holiday season is watching Christmas movies. We try our hardest to wait until Thanksgiving, but generally, as soon as dinner is over, we fire up the queue and don’t stop until New Year’s. Over the years, we’ve added a few films to our repertoire, but there is definitely a method to our timing and selections (at least for me – this may be the first Dan is hearing about this).
Preliminary Movies: You can’t just jump into holiday movie watching. We like to ease into it with movies that are more tangentially holiday-focused. For example, Family Man with Nicholas Cage deals with Christmas-type themes, but doesn’t make the holiday it’s WHOLE focus. This makes it the ideal inaugural holiday movie. Other choices perfect for starting the season include The Nightmare Before Christmas, Home Alone and When Harry Met Sally. This is also the perfect time to try something new that might become a favorite in the yearly rotation. We gave Fred Clause a shot this year – we’re not sure whether or not it’s a keeper, but it is a cute one!
After you’ve broken in your holiday spirit a bit, the sea of choices expands. Our favorites for the weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas include the following list (these are just the ones that we would be heartbroken if we didn’t get a chance to watch them):
Muppet Christmas Carol
The Family Stone
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Finally, you have the all important movies that you save to savor on the best day of the year – Christmas Eve. These films truly capture the holiday spirit and serve it up on a screen. There are two options that I find to be truly applicable: It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas. Both movies can be found playing on at least one channel on the 24th or 25th of December, so there’s really no excuse for missing out (though obviously, I recommend owning your own copies just in case). Though, to be honest, any holiday movie is acceptable on Christmas Eve, as long as you’re watching it with family, friends, etc. The true power of these movies lies in how universally beloved they are and the shared enjoyment that ensues, particularly if you serve eggnog as well. Happy Holiday season!