It has not been difficult to get into the holiday spirit this year. Christmas music has been playing constantly in my apartment, the decorations are up, and we just experienced a glorious (and rather lengthy) snowfall. It's a season of red cups from Starbucks, twinkling lights, family, baking, and, of course, hordes of Christmas movies. So, without further ado, I'd like to present (in no particular order) my top 7 favorite Christmas movies. Yes, the number is 7 and not 10. Sue me.
1. White Christmas (1954)
What can I say? I'm a sucker for the classics and this one doesn't disappoint. Starring Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera-Ellen, this timeless film is full of pleasant moments, jazzy musical numbers, and a perfect ending.
2. Home Alone (1990)
This John Hughes-written film is a must-see holiday classic. Macaulay Culkin shines as the young kid whose family forgot him at home when they left on vacation. Hijinks ensue as he must figure out how to take care of himself and deal with a couple of shady characters in the process. It's sweet, funny, and great for family viewing.
3. Elf (2003)
Speaking of a great family movie, Elf is simply perfect. In my opinion, Will Ferrell delivers one of his best performances as Buddy the Elf, who leaves the North Pole in search of his birth father (James Caan) in New York. It is fun-filled and heart-warming with a fantastic cast and probably some of the most quotable lines in holiday movie history. Personally, I'm unable to refrain from watching this one more than once during the season--it's just so entertaining. Oh, and the soundtrack is excellent as well.
4. Christmas Vacation (1989)
This one is a favorite in my family and we watch it every Christmas without fail. It's a dysfunctional-family holiday romp and Chevy Chase's physical comedy really delivers. From uptight neighbors to crazy family members and everything in between, this film has what it takes to keep you laughing--and possibly think a little better about your own family. Note: The clip below contains "strong" language.
5. Love Actually (2003)
This is one of the best ensemble romantic comedies out there. To make it even better, it takes place in Britain during the holiday season. Every story fits together with such seamless perfection that you are left smiling and content by the end of the film. The cast is STELLAR, featuring (but not limited to): Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, and Hugh Grant. See the full cast list here, or better yet, go watch it. It's current available on Netflix Instant Watch. Keep the little ones away though; it's rated R for a reason.
6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
I am, of course, a huge fan of the original animated version of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but this live-action version starring Jim Carrey as The Grinch is a winner as well. Carrey is excellent as the Christmas-hating grump of Whoville and in this version, we get a more in-depth storyline and discover why the Grinch is the way he is. The film features a young Taylor Momson as the adorable Cindy Lou Who, along with Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, and Molly Shannon, among others.
7. Eloise at Christmastime (2003)
This movie is just adorable, and my sister and I look forward to watching it every year. I love the character of Eloise (played by Sofia Vassilieva) simply because she is so fun and has a lot of heart. The little pranks she pulls around the Plaza (her home) are entertaining. Add Julie Andrews as Nanny, a little romance, and some Disney Christmas magic and you've got a sweet movie perfect for the whole family.
There they are, my top 7 favorite Christmas movies. There are many other great films centered around the holiday season, but this list took a surprising amount of time to put compile so limiting it to 7 seemed like the best option. I will be posting more soon, but for now, I'm going to leave off with one of my favorite Christmas songs: