There is something all-encompasingly magical about the Christmas season. In fact, that almost goes without saying. (But apparently I have nothing better to do than to write that statement, and it is also a season of forgiveness and new beginnings. So you may as well just let that one slide.) The season is magical for so many reasons: lights we see all around town an in our homes, dead trees we bring into our living rooms to bring to life, smells of holiday treats that will undoubtedly add another 2 months to our diets, sounds of children shredding wrapping paper to get to the hidden treasure (Or in our case, the sound of a dog shredding the paper because…well, we’re not really sure why Ginger likes playing with wrapping paper), and ultimately the remembrance of the birth of a very special boy – maybe you’ve heard of Him.
One of my favorite joys of the season is cuddling up to a good Christmas movie. Actually, in the spirit of full disclosure – and because if you can’t tell the truth at Christmas, when can you, eh? -, a bad Christmas movie (you know, the overly cheesy ones, typically devoid of any plot twists…or sometimes any plot whatsoever) can be just as much fun. Either way, there’s something that just draws us into the vortex of the story. With that in mind, here are my top 5 favorite Christmas stories. These are the movies that just hold my attention more than the others. I would posit there are a few not mentioned that deserve to be on the list, but when making lists sadly some just don’t make it. Such is life.
5) Charlie Brown’s Christmas – You just can’t keep this one off the list. We’ve all had that moment when we’ve put the lights and other Christmas trimmings on our ugly tree hoping that it transforms into a beauty – just the way the Germans designed them to be. The sad truth of it is that Charlie Brown makes us all feel better about our lives. You know what I’m talking about. If it works out for good ole Chuck, then the rest of us have a chance!
4) Nativity! – For those of you unfamiliar with this title, then check it out at your local Netflix website. For any other Martin Freeman fans – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Love Actually, and many of you will be introduced to him next year as The Hobbit – this is an absolute gem! Who doesn’t love a primary school Nativity play production gone awry? This movie is family-appropriate, which is great, but it’s quickly moving up my list of holiday favorites.
3) Joyeux Noel – Up for a little foreign language action as the family is sitting around the tree on Christmas Eve? Who isn’t, right? Of all the powerful Christmas moments in history – and there are many – this one depicts one of the greatest. Okay, not quite up there with the Birth of Jesus…but it’s not half bad. It’s about the Christmas Truce of 1914. If you don’t know what that is, then I would highly recommend looking it up! I show it each year in my history class because of its historical accuracy, but also because of the way the film illustrates the power of Christmas to transform.
2) Elf – No list is complete without Elf. There’s just something about the childlike nature of Will Ferrell in this role that draws you in. Christmas is a time where we’re all drawn back into a childlike state…but it’s alright. We’re all there together, so spread some Christmas cheer. You know the best way to do that, right?
1) White Christmas – Christmas just isn’t Christmas without Bing Crosby. I know that musicals are not exactly everyone’s cup of tea, but this is an absolute Christmas classic. Yes, the dance numbers do tend to drone on a bit, but that’s why they invented the fast forward function, right? We may not all like driving in the snow, but I doubt there are many of us who don’t enjoy looking out the window Christmas morning to find a sheet of snow covering the landscape. (In fact, I think it’s the one day that many of us do enjoy the white stuff.) At any rate, it is a fantastic story of Fun, Family, and Friendship – apparently 3 F’s get you to the top of the list these days; what a world, eh? But you just can’t go wrong with Bing and Danny. It’s just what I’ve always wanted, a Christmas delight!