Is there anything better than a Christmas movie, cartoon, concert or special? I don’t think so and no matter how old I get, I will always tune in to see some of my favorites. Although watching a lot of them can leave you with a bit of holiday overload, it is the most wonderful time of the year so why not indulge? Here are a few of my favorites, listed from 10 to 1…what are some of yours?
10. I want a dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown: While I love the original Peanuts holiday special, I can’t help enjoying Lucy and Linus’ little brother Rerun who is so desperate for a dog that he takes in Snoopy’s anorexic brother Spike for a while. Rerun is in Kindergarten, yet he talks like a 45-year-old investment broker and I always laugh out loud when he informs Linus that although he’s younger, he doesn’t suck his thumb or cling to a blanket for security. Without missing a beat Linus deadpans, “Hooray for you.” Classic stuff right there.
9. A Mom For Christmas: Ahhhh the late ’80s and early ’90s. What’s not to love about Olivia Newton John playing a store mannequin who comes to life so that a young girl (who lost her own mother at the age of three) can have the experience of having a mother/daughter relationship for the holiday season. Of course you can practically see the end before the opening credits are finished, but you will still be on the edge of your seat trying to figure out how they will work out the obvious plot resolution.
8. Christmas With the Kranks: Everyone has their cult classic favorite and in my household it’s Christmas with the Kranks. We have nearly all of the dialogue memorized and we have been known to haul out that movie regardless of the season. My youngest son can often be overheard muttering, “Do you know what I find odd? When an Irish pub serves fish tacos. I don’t get that and I have a little heartburn and I don’t think I’m going to do that again.”
7. Benji’s Christmas: This show was on Showtime back when cable was a novelty and I fell in love with this short but charming story in which the lovable mutt Benji ends up taking a field trip to Santa’s workshop. it is definitely a product of its time, but I remember watching it every time it was on to the point that my mother was so sick of it she threatened to ground me if she caught me watching it. LOL
6. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town: In the same vein as Rudolph with the stop motion action, this cartoon is hard not to love. Who wouldn’t want to know the backstory of the jolly old elf himself? It was only recently that I realized that the late Mickey Rooney did the voice of Kris Kringle and since I am a fan of a lot of his movies, that was pretty exciting to know! If you have somehow missed this one, you really need to check it out!
5. White Christmas: This is another movie that (aside from the title) doesn’t beat you over the head with the holiday. There are really only two references to Christmas in the movie and what you get in between is a treat of song and dance numbers including “Sisters,” “Counting My Blessings,” and my personal favorite, “Choreography.” When I was a kid, I always wanted one of those long red velvet dresses that the main women wore but obviously, I never got one! LOL
4. It’s a Wonderful Life: I debated about putting this movie on the list because technically, it’s not a Christmas movie…it’s only associated with the holiday because that’s when we get to see it. It’s plot connection to Christmas is nominal at best. However, Frank Capra’s classic sends a powerful message about how every person matters and even the smallest gesture has an impact on the world. It took me over 20 years to see that movie all the way through (I kept falling asleep) but hands down, one of the best movies ever made!
3. A Diva’s Christmas Carol: Everything about Vanessa Williams playing “Ebony” Scrooge sounds wrong…until you realize that it is a modern retelling that actually works. Once upon a time, Ebony was part of a hot girl group but when one of her hard-partying band members (Marley) died in a car crash, she becomes a selfish solo act with no regard for anyone or anything other than the almighty dollar. Her long suffering assistant (and former lover) Bob Cratchet has his own set of problems which include a young son plagued by a mysterious illness. The ghosts make their appearances and Ebony of course has a change of heart, so while the plot line is familiar, this song does not remain the same!
2. Miracle on 34th Street: “Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to” is at the heart of this story about a Macy’s “float fill-in” who turns out to be the real St. Nick. Starring the elegant Maureen O’Hara and a young Natalie Wood, I first saw this movie when I was 12 and it quickly went to the top of my all-time favorites list.
1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: At 50 years old, this misfit still hits the right note! I have watched Rudolph every year of my life, save for one when something went wrong and I missed the first 20 minutes of it. Needless to say, I didn’t let my mother live it down. I was always fascinated with the stop-action Rankin and Bass cartoons and there is just something so nostalgic about this one that never goes out of style.
That’s it for me…let me know your favorites in the comments and I will be back next week! Until then, keep rockin’!
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