Ah, its that time of year we all know and love. The temperature is dwindling down, the snow is calmly falling from the sky, and it is socially acceptable for me to wear my Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson footie pajamas again.[seriously] Whether you’re a Christian, Muslim, Jew, or none of the above, the holiday season is a time that brings us so much sentimental warmth in a cold season, and hopefully encourages us to be happier, more loving human beings.
And what would the holiday season be without some classic holiday films?
You know, those movies that you could just pop in and play on a cold, December night, and enjoy with the entire family. These films bring back all sorts of memories and joy that keep us mindful of what makes the holiday season so special. The feeling of family, bonding, and setting aside differences for the sake of embracing the holiday. There are so many films you could name that embrace and exemplify the pure meaning of the holiday spirit, but I’d like to narrow it down to 25 [What a convenient number!].
So here are picks 25-20 for this week’s holiday movie line-up.
25) The Nightmare Before Christmas
This is a great choice because of its versatility as a Halloween or Christmas option. The scary imagery may be too frightening for the little ones, but for most kids its a fun, lively, and exciting pseudo-horror flick with the Christmas themes hidden inside. A good choice to start out the holiday season rather than later.
24) Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
I wanted to keep away from most of these clay-mated specials, but this is one of the definitive Rankin/Bass productions of the holiday. The 1964 television special was a hit upon its first broadcast and has lived on as an untouchable classic for nearly 50 years. Each year, it has its own exclusive nationwide broadcast, and for a good reason. This may be more enjoyable for the kids, but it will certainly trigger your memories of when you watched this religiously as a kid, and the experience will prove to be charming and nostalgic.
23) Hey Arnold! Christmas Special
This would be more exclusive to those who were kids in the 1990s, such as myself, but Nickelodeon’s Hey Arnold! series showcased one of the most neo-realistic and mature styles out of any children’s cartoon I have ever known. Hey Arnold! continues to show their understanding of the challenges of youth and adolescence through their tremendous Christmas-themed episode. While not without several laughs throughout, Hey Arnold’s Christmas episode is a special that should be seen by all tv-watching children today. Be sure to look on Netflix or Nickelodeon’s internet streaming program to watch this one.
22) The Polar Express
Based off the famous children’s book, The Polar Express is a charming motion-capture animated film that [ahem..] captures each detail of the book magnificently. While not an absolute superb Christmas classic yet, The Polar Express features tremendous animation, thrills, voice-acting, and warm themes within the storytelling. A trip to the north pole is about as “Christmass-y” as it gets, and along with themes of hope, faith, and friendship, this film is more than appropriate for the kids to watch and enjoy while the visuals keep their attention.
21) Bad Santa
With the second film apparently right around the corner, I am very excited. CAUTION!! 2003’s Bad Santa is a vulgar and raunchy film, but with all the right intentions. Billy Bob Thornton pulls off his tour de force performance as a department store Santa who spends his down time robbing stores and guzzling booze. When an awkward, but hopeful boy admires Thornton, there is a slow development of humanity inside this vulgar thief. The film also features charismatic performances from the late John Ritter and Bernie Mac, with the help of an always funny Tony Cox. What transpires is an absolutely hilarious and uplifting story about a hopeless criminal drunk who finds hope in who may be the most strange child in all of America. Not for the faint of heart, but a classic for sure.
Check those out, and I’ll be back next week with another set of great holiday films to watch!