Elf (2003). Tonight, we celebrated our annual tradition of watching Elf together as a family. For some reason, I loved it even more this year than in the years past. I always laugh at the same things, because they never grow old: Buddy stretched out on the escalator, Buddy screaming “Santa! I know him!” in Gimbels, watching Walter’s expression as he opens his “special someone” gift, Buddy’s exclamation upon discovering the coffee shop with the world’s best coffee, etc. But, this year, I paid closer attention to the people around Buddy and their reactions, and it made the movie even that much more enjoyable. Elf is a masterpiece of comedy and whimsy- a delight for people of any age.
By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953). It’s not exactly a Christmas movie, but much of it takes place during the Christmas season. I saw it as a young person and never forgot it. Finally, I purchased it, and our family watched it together for the first time last year. It’s a romantic, musical, family comedy, starring Doris Day and Stewart Granger. Children will love the scenes with Day’s little brother (the amateur detective), women will love the romantic drama and the songs, and men, well, they might get a little bored, but my husband chuckled a few times at the family antics. It is a feel good film- a personal favorite.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947). What is not to love about this classic film which “proves” the existence of Santa? Maureen O’Hara and the precocious, young Natalie Wood are lovely, and Edmund Gwenn is wonderful as Kris Kringle. Don’t miss this delightful film; the end will make a believer out of even the greatest skeptic.
Little Women (1994). Here’s another un-traditional Christmas movie, but some of the key moments happen over the Christmas season, which always makes me think of it as a go-to holiday film. It is at times inspirational and comical, and it is beautifully filmed. Whenever I watch it, I feel transported to another time and leave with more love and gratitude in my heart.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1983). The ultimate in absurdity, this film is both horrifying and hysterical in its holiday frenzy. This is one that my husband and I watch on our own, since our kids are still a bit young for some of the more suggestive humor.
A few runners’ up include: The Bishop’s Wife (1947), Love Actually (2003), A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), and The Holiday (2006).
What is your favorite holiday movie?