We’ve got a couple of days until Christmas in July ends, and then the countdown begins to December 25th. So, what better time to take a trip down Christmas lane and round up the best Christmas movies out there to finish your mid-year Yuletide cheer right.
Let’s start off with an all-time family favourite:
Dr Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
In this live-action adaptation of the beloved children’s tale by Dr. Seuss, the reclusive green Grinch (Jim Carrey) decides to ruin Christmas for the cheery citizens of Whoville. Reluctantly joined by his hapless dog, Max, the Grinch comes down from his mountaintop home and sneaks into town to swipe everything holiday-related from the Whos. However, the bitter grump finds a hitch in his plans when he encounters the endearing Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen). A childhood classic that can warm the heart of any Grinch; I think it’s Jim Carrey’s best comedic performance. One of the very few Christmas movies that will never go stale no matter how many times it’s on repeat.
Let’s add another family favourite Christmas movie to the list:
Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
Santa Claus (Douglas Seale) is looking for his successor, and hapless taxi driver Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney) is just the man to help him out. Traveling to Florida to pass his mantle on to children’s show host Joe Carruthers (Oliver Clark), Santa gets into unexpected trouble, and it’s up to Ernest, along with a teen girl named Harmony (Noelle Parker), to assist Saint Nick with his important mission, or the future of Christmas could be in jeopardy.
Jim Varney brought his loveable quirky character to life in various situations and it was something the whole family could sit down and happily watch. How perfect was Ernest? A childhood memory right there! The Ernest franchise is one thing that I would love to see make a comeback, obviously since Varney’s death I’d settle with it just being re-released.
Now we’ll add two films that understand the pain of Christmas (better to be felt six months away from the actual event:
Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
Finally alone for the holidays, Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora Krank (Jamie Lee Curtis) plan to eschew the Christmas traditions and take a cruise in the Caribbean instead. This doesn’t sit well with their Christmas-obsessed neighbors Vic Frohmeyer (Dan Aykroyd) and Walt Scheel (M. Emmet Walsh), who are determined to win the annual “best decorated street” competition, and the Kranks soon find themselves social outcasts because of their lack of Christmas spirit. As a child watching this film, I never understood the stress of Christmas, but now as an adult, I can see why this movie is relatable especially towards those who try to ignore Christmas but unfortunately can’t.
What about another stressful movie?
Jingle All the Way (1996)
Workaholic Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) wants to make things up to his son, Jamie (Jake Lloyd), and wife, Liz (Rita Wilson). He promises to get Jamie the hottest toy of the season, Turbo-Man — even though it’s Christmas Eve and the toy is practically sold out. As Langston hunts down the elusive gift, he runs into mailman Myron (Sinbad), another father on the same quest. With the clock winding down, Langston’s moral code is tested as he starts to learn the real meaning of Christmas. A parent’s worst nightmare! We can all agree that all year, we save and find the presents we think a child would love until for some nightmare-ish reason that child falls in love with the latest craze and everyone is out there tracking it down for their child. Though sadly, forcing a child to watch this movie to understand your pain won’t work, instead you and the kid will be sitting together watching and laughing.Now let’s go back to the family friendly ones.
The Santa Clause Franchise
Divorced dad Scott (Tim Allen) accidentally kills a man in a Santa suit, and is magically transported to the North Pole, where an elf explains that Scott must take Santa’s place before the next Christmas arrives. Scott thinks he’s dreaming, but over the next several months he gains weight and grows an inexplicably white beard. The sequels continued the adventures, throwing in more obstacles like his son on the naughty list, finding a wife, and even a tussle with Jack Frost. The Santa Clause franchise was something everyone could get into, it had family drama followed by heart-warming resolutions, and the craziness and pratfalls of being Santa. I’m pretty sure that once this movie was released every child wished their Dad was Santa Clause.Though these two aren’t technically Christmas movies, they’re for those who want to celebrate the season without all that overt Christmasy stuff:
Die Hard (1988)
New York City policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and two daughters on Christmas Eve. He joins her at a holiday party in the headquarters of the Japanese-owned business she works for. But the festivities are interrupted by a group of terrorists who take over the exclusive high-rise, and everyone in it. Very soon McClane realizes that there’s no one to save the hostages, but him. This movie is debated about every Christmas. Is it a Christmas movie or is it not? Well it does have the word Christmas in its blurb and it does have Christmas decorations, so to some extent, yes, it can be a Christmas movie. I know for one, this is on my Christmas movie must-watch list.
Batman Returns (1992)
The monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) to topple the Batman (Michael Keaton) once and for all. But when Shreck’s timid assistant, Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer), finds out, and Shreck tries to kill her, she is transformed into the sexy Catwoman. She teams up with the Penguin and Shreck to destroy Batman, but sparks fly unexpectedly when she confronts the caped crusader.
It’s a shocker to see how many movies released closer to December are classed as Christmas movies just because of the word Christmas is mentioned in the movie or the few Christmas decorations thrown across the screen, but it does make a refreshing twist from the conventional Christmas movies out there.To some Christmas is about the presents, to others, it’s about family but for certain people, including myself, Christmas is all about the movies. A Christmas movie can make or break your holiday season. So, get yourself in the spirit by pressing play on your favourite Christmas movie.
At the time of posting, there are only 148 days until Christmas, but it’s not like I’m counting or anything.
Do you agree with the list above or is there something you’d add? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook!