Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top Ten Christmas Movies

 I've been watching quite a bit of ABC's 25 Days of Christmas but I don't always agree with their choices.  So, I decided to list my all time favorite holiday flicks. 
 If it was up to me, these top ten would be on constant repeat.

10) Eloise at Christmastime:  The precocious six-year-old Manhattanite of Kay Thompson's beloved Eloise books gets into the holiday spirit while playing cupid in this made-for-TV comedy.  Like much of the hotel staff, she's excited about the upcoming marriage of Rachel Peabody, the daughter of the hotel's owner, to handsome Brooks Oliver.  However, Eloise learns that Brook's motivations for marrying Rachel are not sincere, and so the youngster ties to sway Rachel away from her fiance and toward Bill, a good-hearted waiter in the hotel's restaurant.

9) A Little Drummer Boy:  Every time my dad watches this 1968 Christmas classic, he cries.  It's the beautiful story of an orphaned drummer boy.  He hates humanity but finds his life forever changed when he meets the three wise men on route to Bethlehem.  With its adorable animals and sweet storyline, this 30 minute movie is just perfect at helping me remember the real reason for the season.

8) White Christmas:  With its catchy tunes and beautiful costumes, no wonder I love White Christmas.  The storyline follows a successful song-and-dance team who becomes romantically involved with a sister act.  The double couple teams up to save a failing Vermont inn. Starring Bing Crosby and Danny Daye, it features the songs of Irving Berlin, including the title number "White Christmas."  It truly is a feel-good flick.

7) Rudolph:  When I first moved to Manhattan, this was the first movie I purchased all on my own.  By far it's one of my favorites.    This iconic claymation is the story of everyone's favorite red nose reindeer.  Along with Hirby the Elf and the misfit toys, they search to find a place that will accept them for what they really are.

6) The Polar Express:  On Christmas Eve, a doubting boy boards a magical train that's headed to the North Pole.  The 2004 computer-animated film is based on Chris Van Allsburg's book of the same name.  From the crazy conductor to St. Nicholas himself, Tom Hanks provides the voice for six distinct characters.  With its catchy songs and brilliant colors, it's certainly proved itself to be a modern classic.  But, it's the dance sequence of waiters who dispense hot chocolate on the train that ranks it as one of my most favorites.

5) Miracle of 34th Street:  After becoming Santa's replacement at the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Kris Kringle is hired by the event's coordinator, Doris Walker, to play the part for the flagship New York City store on 34th Street.  While Fred Gailey, an attorney and neighbor of Doris,  is babysitting the young divorcee's six-year-old daughter Susan, he takes her to see Kris.  When Doris finds out she asks Kris to tell Susan that he isn't really Santa Claus, but Kris surprises here by  insisting that he is.  It's a family friendly film filled with just enough romance.  And it wouldn't be as good if he didn't have a happily ever after.  Plus, it's available for instant watch on Netflix.

4) It's a Wonderful Life:  An angel helps George, a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman, by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.  Starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, the film has been named one of the most inspirational American films of all time.  It ends with a ringing bell of the tree, signifying that an angel has earned his wings.  George happily confirms this now realizing that while he did not get to follow his dreams of world travel, he truly has a wonderful life.

3) Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas:  ABC Family may play the 2000 Jim Carrey remake, but my favorite story of the grumpy green Grinch is the original.  It follows a hermit who hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville.  But thanks to a few words from Cindy Lou Who, he realizes the error of his ways.

2) Santa Claus is Comin' to Town:  After the truck that delivers letters to the North Pole breaks down, its mailman tells the story of how Santa Claus and several Christmas traditions came to be.  With lovable characters like Kris Kringle, the Burgermesiter, Topper the Penguin, and the Winter Warlock no wonder it's my absolute favorite animated holiday movie.  Whether you're 4 or 84, it's definitely worth watching. Plus, it's not too long.  So if you need a quick holiday fix, it's the perfect movie to watch.

1) The Santa Clause:  Hands down, The Santa Clause is the best Christmas move of all time!  Tim Allen plays Scott Calvin, a man who inadvertently kills Santa on Christmas Eve and finds himself magically recruited to take his place.  I remember seeing this movie in theaters when I was a little girl, and now each time its on (or its two sequels), I always stop what I'm doing and watch it.  Truly, it's the best holiday movie out there.  If you haven't seen it, stop what you're doing this very minute, and check it out on YouTube.

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