Guilty Pleasures: Christmas Movies

Guilty pleasures are some of the most sensational things in life.  I grew up with a healthy dose of Catholic guilt, so I am well-versed in the art of feeling bad for something that makes you feel good.  Now I simply don’t feel guilty for finding pleasure in the little things in life.

I always love a good, lazy movie marathon day.  No other season is better for it than Christmastime because all you need is a nice blizzard to leave you with basically no other options for the whole day and you don’t even have to feel guilty about snuggling up on the couch and watching three movies in a row.  Today was just such a day.  Once the initial snow shoveling was completed, a little light cleaning was accomplished and a nice homemade breakfast of french toast was prepared and eaten, I had a full afternoon and evening to fill up with nothing but Christmas movies.  I have been DVRing a ton of Christmas themed movies the past few weeks for just such an occasion.

I have plenty of friends who get all excited about Lifetime or Hallmark holiday movies.  I can not sit and watch them.  The corny dialogue and awful acting skills make me cringe.  Predictable love stories don’t excite me.  There are enough spectacular holiday movies that there is no need to go digging at the bottom of the barrel simply to watch something that celebrates the season.

Without further ado, here are a few of my must-see movies for the season:

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation


You have to love the dickey Uncle Eddie is sporting!

You have to love the dickey Uncle Eddie is sporting!


I can still remember the first time I watched this movie, in the living room with my dad.  The scene where the camera scans the length of their station wagon with the Christmas tree roped to the roof and finally reveals the roots of the tree had us laughing uncontrollably until the commercial break was over.  I knew then that I would love this movie!  It still delivers laughs, even after years of repeated viewing.


Home Alone


I want Kevin's knitted cap and scarf.

I want Kevin’s knitted cap and scarf.


Only the original holds up as a Christmas classic.  Back when I was a kid, going to the movies was a treat.  It was a once in a great while situation.  My bestfriend and I went to see this movie and although I remember most of the good parts were given away in the previews, we adored it!  It was one of the first times we were allowed to go to the movies alone and it turned into a social event.  I also once met a guy that said he was the neighbor boy in the movie who asked the van driver all the annoying questions and was accidentally counted as Kevin.  We were in college, so I’m not sure if he was bluffing (as a party trick, of sorts) to see how many girls would swoon over him or if it really was him.  I think of him every time I see that part of the movie.


A Christmas Story


Poor Ralphie.

Poor Ralphie.


It took me years to realize the genius behind this movie.  I refused to watch it in its entirety because every time I flipped through the channels and it was playing on TBS (it always played on TBS, even before the 24 hours stint), I always caught it on the part where the Santa was kicking the kid down the slide.  The old-school vibe didn’t add to the appeal.  So I stayed away from this movie with a ten foot pole.  Until a friend of mine in college insisted I watch it.  She knew my personality and sense of humor well and was insightful enough to persist, knowing that I would love the movie.  I’m glad she did.


Meet Me In St. Louis


Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.


The same college friend forced me to watch Meet Me in St. Louis because her hometown is St. Louis.  It made me laugh, cry and love Judy Garland even more.


It’s a Wonderful Life


Finding the answer's to life's questions.

Finding the answer’s to life’s questions.


This classic movie always makes me ponder life and appreciate the simple things.  George Bailey one of the most amazing characters brought to the big screen.


The  Family Man


This little girl steals the show.

This little girl steals the show.


This movie is reminiscent of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ in the fact that the main character goes back in time and seeis how his life would be different if he had taken another path.  Always makes me wonder about the what ifs in life.

Christmas with the Kranks


This would be just my luck.

This would be just my luck.


I was hesitant to even watch this one in the first place, but I finally did and loved it.  Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis were spot on as middle aged parents trying to skip Christmas to go on a vacation.  Sometimes I think that might be preferable!


The Holiday


Frolicking with Jude Law?  Yes please!

Frolicking with Jude Law? Yes please!


I have always wondered about those travel services where you switch houses with someone who lives where you would like to travel.  This movie is the romantic comedy about how that would happen.  I especially love the dynamics between Kate Winslet’s character and the old man.  So sweet.  And it always reaffirms my crush on Jude Law and makes me want to cuddle up in the English countryside in a cottage with him.

Do you have any favorite Christmas movies?


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