Ah, the Holiday season is once again upon us. That special time of year when we fight crowds at the mall to find just the right gift for that special someone, max out our credit cards buying loads of stuff we don’t really need, and return those ghastly gifts we received from relatives that obviously don’t know us very well, if at all.
It is also an occasion for families to take a few hours out of their busy lives to come together (a delight for some, a nightmare for others) to share a meal that took hours to prepare and minutes to consume.
After all that merry making, it’s no wonder that we need to relax. And what better way to unwind than to watch my Top 5 Christmas movies.
5. While you were sleeping No, I have not taken leave of my senses nor is my loving wife holding a gun to my head. Yes, I have included a movie that could and should be included in a listing of men-friendly rom-coms. But since most of the film takes place during the Holiday season, I cheated a bit and included it in my list of favorite Christmas movies. A very enchanting film to watch with your better half.
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation You’ll notice that this list is chock full of comedies. It’s probably because, during this stressful and, for some, depressing time of the year, we need all the laughs we can get. Meet Clark Griswold and his family. They are not as enchanting as the one from my previous pick, but they are every bit as amusing. Very funny.
3. Home Alone This kid is way too smart for his own good. And the adults are way too…moronic. But that’s what makes this classic John Hughes comedy work. My kids are empowered every time they watch Kevin outsmart the two bumbling robbers. I just hope they don’t think it a good idea to implement their own plan to secure the premises. Our insurance wouldn’t cover it.
2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947) Any one who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus after watching this movie is a real Scrooge (hint to my #1 movie). The chemistry between a doubting Natalie Wood and a convincing Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle will fill you up with Holiday cheers. This film has been colourized, so if you are allergic to black and white, you have no excuse to miss this Christmas classic.
1. A Christmas Carol (1951) This is the penultimate version of this beloved Christmas classic from Chuck Dickens. Many actors have taken on this role but, to be convincing in the part, you have to believe that the ghostly visitations were truly transformative experiences for our protagonist. And that is why I love this adaptation above all others. You can actually see Alastair Sim change before your very eyes throughout his majestic performance as Scrooge. A must see for all ages.
Honorable mentions : It’s a Wonderful Life, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Polar Express. The Santa Clause, White Christmas
P.S. Despite my cynical opening remarks, I want to assure you that they are not an indication of my true feelings for this time of year. I LOVE spoiling my kids and spending hours playing with them, then sitting down to a sumptuous feast prepared by my beautiful wife, while I reflect on how lucky I am to have such a Wonderful Life.