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With the month of December fast approaching, Christmas is right around the corner. With all the shopping, decorating, cooking, hosting, gift-giving, and other holiday madness, it is easy to seem to forget to actually enjoy the season. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite relaxing Christmas activities is curling up in my Holiday PJ’s with a fuzzy blanket and some hot cocoa, and having a Christmas movie marathon. Here is my top ten list.
1. The Santa Clause (1994)
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This first one may come as a bit of a shock to you, but I promise it is within good reason. It is witty and fun and includes a very successful soundtrack. Besides having all the classic Christmas movie components such as elves, the North Pole, flying reindeer, and Santa, it is actually very well done and detailed. The growth of Scott Calvins Christmas spirit throughout the story is heartwarming and filled with subtle details such as how his apartment is decorated and how he dresses.
2. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
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When my brother and I were younger, our mom would wake us up every morning for school during the month of December by putting Charlie Brown on the T.V. It became so ingrained in our heads that eventually, my brother and I began to be able to recite it by heart. My brother and I are now legal adults and still to this day, we can easily recite the entire cartoon.
3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
Everyone has their personal favorite version of The Grinch. Most prefer the 2000 Jim Carrey edition, but for me, nothing beats the original cartoon. The bright colors, beautiful soundtrack, and Boris Karloff’s Grinchy voice makes for the perfect holiday classic.
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
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Let’s start with the opening number. The song ‘Christmas Vacation’ sung by Mavis Staples is the perfect holiday magic to get you into the Christmas Spirit. Throughout the movie, we see the Griswold’s holiday season start to slowly turn into a disaster. It perfectly portrays holiday stress in a relatable way and plays off it to create a family favorite comedy.
5. ELF (2003)
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Yup, you guessed it. How could I not include Elf on this list? Anyone who has seen the film knows how absolutely goofy it is. It is so purposely silly that you can’t help but laugh. Being set in both the North Pole and New York City, it radiates holiday cheer, while mixing in a bit of comedy as well.
6. A Christmas Story (1983)
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Set in 1940, A Christmas Story tells the tale of nine-year-old Ralphie Parker. The movie is filled with everything holiday from picking out Christmas trees, to decorating the house, to frustrating family members, to receiving annoying presents, to watching Christmas parades. This is a must-see holiday film.
7. Christmas With The Kranks (2004)
As far as I’m concerned, if a Christmas movie features Tim Allen, count me in. He has truly mastered the role of a grumpy middle-aged man that slowly but surely finds his Christmas spirit. The movie tells the story of Luther Krank convincing his wife, Nora to boycott the Christmas season and take a cruise instead. Fighting everything in their path, it proves harder than it originally seemed. When they find out that their daughter Blair is returning home for Christmas, the whole neighborhood pitches in to help throw the annual Krank Christmas Eve party.
8. Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (1970)
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As far as Christmas movies are concerned, original claymation films are a must-see. This classic tells the tale of how Santa Claus came to be. While befriending the Winter Warlock, falling in love, and having a penguin sidekick, Kris Kringle fights to deliver presents to all the children in Sombertown despite the ill-tempered, toy hating, Burgermeister Meisterburger.
9. White Christmas (1954)
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Set in rural Vermont, singers Bob Wallace and Phil Davis join Betty and Judy Haynes to perform a Christmas show to aid in getting General Waverly’s Inn back on its feet. Filled with holiday cheer, singing, winters first snowfall, and love stories, this movie ticks all the holiday boxes.
10. Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)
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Both the original and its sequel continue to impress me every year. I’m not sure if it’s the witty role of Kevin, the main character, or the mere stupidity of the two thieves that does it for me, but all in all, this movie just works.