With nothing to do, nowhere to go, the sun setting at what feels like noon, and temperatures dropping into the 20s, it’s time to pick your favorite
pair of sweat pants athleisure and settle in for some Christmas movie binge watching.
Looking back on this list after I wrote it I realize there is a trend that probably suggests Christmas fatigue if not outright disdain. I promise I actually do like Christmas, but if you can’t see the humor in all the undue pressure people put on themselves this time of year then you need to have a couple crafties and rewatch these movies.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Hands down my favorite Christmas movie because Chevy Chase transitions seamlessly back and forth from both the coolest guy in the room to completely unhinged as he loses his shit. Something I think we can all relate to when dealing with all the normal stresses of holidays with the family. Add in the fact that this is actually the third movie in the Vacation series and it’s all the more impressive since it’s the best of the franchise.
Another movie that I feel like I can relate to all too much with all the traveling I usually do for the holidays driving to parents, in-laws, step parents, grandparents and experiencing a unique version of family chaos at each stop. Obviously the movie has a heart of gold, but if you can’t relate to concocting an elaborate alibi and learning how to say “Merry Christmas” in Burmese just to avoid your family during the holidays, well then I don’t want to know you.
Have you ever wondered what Christmas would be like if you just indulged every one of your worst impulses? Well look no further than the womanizing, alcoholic, toxic mall Santa that Billy Bob knocks out of the park. A laugh out loud classic that oddly still gets me into the holiday spirit. Plus it’s a great comedy vehicle for the late great Bernie Mac and John Ritter.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Because there is never not a good time for Snoopy and Charlie Brown, especially in a year as depressing as 2020.
My favorite Christmas movies are all nonsensical and completely unrealistic, and that’s a large part of the enjoyment for me.
Jingle All the Way
The cast is phenomenal: Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Jim Belushi and The Big Show. It almost reminds me of how frantic hot-ticket Christmas items were back in the day such as furbies, Nintendo 64 and beanie babies. A Also, “It’s Turbo Time!” is a phenomenal line.
Unrealistic reason: The final 20 minutes of the movie.
Horror + Christmas = what a perfect combination for me. A movie based on an Eastern urban legend that is celebrated with an annual parade. How f’n cool is that! All I will tell you about the movie is it has rebel gingerbread men, which are worth the movie on their own.
Unrealistic reason: The entire movie is bonkers and yet utterly delightful and entertaining.
Home Alone 2
Kevin McCallister’s parents should have been sent to jail twice. How do you leave your youngest child at home not once, but twice and not realize it until you get to baggage claim? The hotel room scene reenacting Angels with Filthy Souls is a classic.
Unrealistic reason: Kevin could’ve called the cops on the sticky bandits at any point in time and every interaction with them begs the question of why didn’t he.
I saw Home Alone in theaters when I was a kid, but it was probably about 20 years before I watched it start to finish again. Don’t make the same mistake I did. While Home Alone is nominally a kids movie, there’s plenty in there for grown ups too.
It’s written by John Hughes and is endlessly quotable.
It features an all-time Christmas soundtrack with superb original music from the legendary John Williams. And it’s got Gus Polinski, one the most underrated good guys in movie history.
It’s been on cable a lot this season but do yourself a favor and get it on Blu-ray or Disney+, order a large cheese pizza just for yourself, and enjoy.
I decided to go a bit against the grain for my selections as I assumed my compatriots would do a better job with the mainstream Christmas movie canon than I would. Both “Happiest Season” and “The Night Before” are holiday movies that involve self-seflection and a huge fear of taking the next necessary big step in life.
With “Happiest Season” I expect a kind of goofy Dan Levy vehicle and instead ran headlong into what can only be described as a guide on how to maybe not be homophobic. It’s actually a pretty depressing watch but possibly a recommend if you need something to help get over an emotional blow.
The Night Before
In “The Night Before” three friends (JGL, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie) in very different places in their life get together for their annual Christmas Eve tradition of finding an elusive party. Things go awry, etc. Etc. and lessons are learned. But it’s just a good bit of Christmas season, drug-addled fun.
Whats your go to Christmas movie? Let us know @the300sboston