Favorite Holiday Movies

Hi All. Barb here in full Christmas countdown mode. I love Christmas movies, and I have to admit, I love their familiarity. Since they’re so often an accompaniment to other holiday chores, like baking, wrapping and addressing cards, it helps to have seen them a hundred times before.

So Wickeds, what are your can’t miss movies at this time of year?

christmasstoryAt our house, it’s a regular rotation: Love Actually early in the season to get into the mood. (I admit I still tear up at the closing montage of people at Heathrow Airport), A Christmas Story at some point with our kids, often Christmas night after our twenty-five or thirty guests have left and we’re all too tired to move. While doing chores, like wrapping, I’ll definitely watch White Christmas, and also It’s a Wonderful Life. I love traditions and rituals and the marking of the seasons.

Sherry: White Christmas has been a favorite since I was a kid. My sister and I would sing and act out the “Sisters” song year after year. I also love Miracle on 34th Street — the version where Natalie Wood is the little girl. And Love Actually — I’d probably even like it if Colin Firth wasn’t in it (oh, who am I kidding — Colin Firth is the reason I watch it.) But here’s my big confession. I’ve never watched It’s a Wonderful Life. I’ve seen bits and pieces but that’s it.

Julie: Sherry, I know what we have to watch on our next Wicked Retreat! All of the above. Plus, I am a Christmas Carol addict. A couple of years ago I even wrote a series of blog posts about the different versions. I was EASILY able to get to 25. My favorite movie muppetschristmas carolChristmas Carols? George C. Scott version, Muppet’s Christmas Carol, Allistair Simm’s, Scrooge with Albert Finney, Patrick Stewart (though I preferred his brilliant stage version). Watched It’s Christmas, Carol with Tori Spelling and A Diva Christmas Carol with Vanessa Williams just yesterday with the nieces. Both really fun.

Liz: I love A Christmas Carol in every version – I have the Patrick Stewart version and that’s usually a Christmas Day favorite. Also love It’s a Wonderful Life. Totally puts me in the holiday mood. I also have my traditions from when I was a kid that I just can’t let go – Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and my favorite of all, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without them!

loveactuallyEdith: I’m the odd woman out in this scenario. I don’t watch any ritual movies at this time of year. I am apparently the only one. Have never seen Love Actually, although now I think I should. Saw It’s a Wonderful Life once many years ago. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Muppets’ Christmas Carol, but it’s not scheduled. What can I say? I am looking forward to knocking off work for a couple of days and just reading, though.

Jessie: Edith, I don’t have any annual Christmas movies as part of my holiday traditions either. Since I didn’t grow up with a television I didn’t end up seeing any of the classics as a kid. I never added them to my celebration as an adult either. I do have a basket of Christmas books I pull out every year to read with my kids instead.

Readers, what are your can’t-miss movies at this time of year?

14 Thoughts

  1. I’m with Edith and Jessie. But I do like Charlie Brown’s Christmas and have seen It’s a Wonderful Life.

  2. Love, love love ’em! But there aren’t enough hours in the season to watch them all so there is an unofficial rotation. Love Actually and the 1951 Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol are 2 must-sees. I don’t think anyone has mentioned The Snowman, a gorgeous, not many bells and whistles animated film with hauntingly beautiful music. That’s another tradition. No kid I’ve ever shown it to has gotten it. I think you must have grown up with it. Also love Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (showing my age!) but i have an ancient VHS cassette and i will be sorry when that thing eventually, um…gives up the ghost. Happy holidays, ladies!

    1. You know, Mr. Magoo is available on Blu-Ray. I know because the first time I watched it was a couple years back when I was asked to review it.

  3. I’ve watched most of the movies mentioned at least once, and a couple more regularly (It’s a Wonderful Life), but it’s not a regular part of the season for me. But I’m reminded now that I have a vinyl recording of my grandmother reading A Child’s Christmas in Wales (by Dylan Thomas, in case you don’t know–and she met him at a formal dinner once), which she recorded when she volunteered at Lighthouse for the Blind in New York. It was a special limited issue, and it’s clear red vinyl. It’s hard to listen to, since she’s been gone a decade now, but I treasure having her voice (and I owe my sister a copy!).

    Now, for New Year’s we usually watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Time Warp, anyone?

  4. Christmas doesn’t arrive at my house until we’ve watched the musical Scrooge with Albert Finney. Beautiful sets, great songs and a finale that keeps me singing for hours. A new favorite is While You Were Sleeping. Love that movie.

    But, as I’m a writer, our favorite Christmas tradition is reading aloud “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” Hoping we can fit it in on Christmas Eve this year as my kids have moved out of the house. It won’t be the same without Gladys Herdman yelling, “Hey! Unto you a child is born!”

  5. This is the first year in a while I’ve made of point of watching a bunch of Christmas movies. Usually, I save them for when I’m heading north to see my family and then we don’t watch them.

    I’m a Christmas Carol fan as well. Favorites are George C. Scott and Muppets. I watched Muppets this year and loved it all over again. I also listen to Patrick Stewart’s stage version every year. Really wish I’d gotten to see it. Was so disappointed in the movie version when it was released. My family found a fun version of the story in play form done in Dallas, and we went most years when we were all there for Thanksgiving. But now that my brother and his family have moved, we don’t go any more. I missed it this year, but I’ve also enjoyed the play version put on my Glendale Centre Theatre here in So Cal.

    Okay, moving on.

    I’m not a fan of many of the classic Christmas movies. It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street are okay, but not ones I rush out to see. Same with White Christmas. And more modern films that fall into that category for me are A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation. Just watched Home Alone for the first time this year. I enjoyed it, but probably won’t rush out to see it again.

    However, for me, it’s all about the specials. Love Frosty and the real sequel, Frosty’s Winter Wonderland. Still on my watch list for tonight while packing to head north are A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. And we’re talking about the real version of that one, not the over bloated Jim Carrey version which looked great but took a 10 minute read that was stretched into a 25 minutes special and tried to stretch it even further and failed miserably.

    Gee, I think I could have written a post about this all by myself. 🙂

  6. Long ago “over the river and through the woods” and before I was legal, Steve and I began a tradition the night we met. We didn’t know it would be a tradition then. We’d hardly spoken a word. His mother’s gift was to fly him to California for Christmas. We watched It’s a Wonderful Life together. When I saw he had tears in his eyes I fell in love with him. I realize now that it isn’t the movie itself but that the movie is always there on the holiday, and it brings back that wonderful moment of discovery and special love.

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