You guys, we have officially entered the CHRISTMAS SEASON!
I mean, for whatever reason, August is like 105 days long and yet, October and November combined equal about a week. Here we are post-Thanksgiving, and I truly know that I’m going to blink, post my TOP BOOKS FOR THE YEAR, MY CHRISTMAS CARD and be out until 2024.
Things are about to go at lightening speed.
I’m trying to stop and savor as much as I can before the season slips by.
On that note, I couldn’t think of a more fitting way to kick off the Christmas season than with a contentious conversation…
Today, I’m sharing my TOP FIVE, BOTTOM FIVE: CHRISTMAS MOVIES.
Everyone take a breath.
Okay, we will all play nice today, right?
I understand (based on last year!) that these topics get me into a bit of trouble.
I am bracing myself for the drama that is the comment section today 😉 .
In full disclosure, I found this TOP FIVE/BOTTOM FIVE to be the hardest one to date! Why? Because I truly love so many holiday films that I wanted to call this TOP FIFTEEN/BOTTOM TWO. I hated picking favorites today. Hated it. I know, KNOW, that I am leaving out some really amazing holiday movies, and that hurts my Christmas loving heart. I am quite passionate about my Christmas TV watching, so limiting myself to five felt really hard. Nevertheless, here we are.
Ready, set, let’s do this:
#5: The Family Stone
I love this movie. I love the music. I love the cozy New Hampshire setting. I love the messy/festive/cozy home. I love the balance between very serious and comic relief. I love Craig T. Nelson so much it hurts. And you know, know, know Diane Keaton is my favorite actress E-V-E-R. But what do I love most? It’s about a mom and her kids. I love the thought of my imperfect, unique, energetic, loving adult kids coming home for Christmas. This movie gives me all the feels, and I could (and often do!) watch it on repeat.
#4: Love Actually
I could gush all day. This movie fills my heart with so much holiday cheer. I love each and every “grouping” of characters and then especially love how they all are woven together bit by bit. I love that this is about family, about friendship, about new love, old love…all the love. I love Hugh Grant dancing. I love Collin in his sweater by the lake typing. I love Emma crying. I hate Alan Rickman for making Emma cry. I love Liam who is raw. I love Keira who is sweet. I love, I love, I love Love Actually. I remember exactly where I was when I saw this movie in the theater for the first time…in Iowa the night before the Iowa State-Kansas State game my senior year in college. The music, the relationships, I can (and do!) watch this movie on repeat.
#3: A Christmas Story
This one is just quintessential Christmas, no? There is a reason that for years and years and years it ran 24 hours a day on Christmas Day…it’s family, it’s funny, it’s filled with so many quotable lines and iconic scenes. This story never gets old over here. It makes me want to put a leg lamp in my window, buy Smith a Red Ryder, and not stick my tongue to a pole on a cold day. This one is an easy Top Five for me!
#2: White Christmas
HELLO?! This movie came out in 1954 (that’s before my parents were even born!), and yet, all four of my children can sing every lyric of every song (even if they pretend like they can’t) because it’s EPIC and AMAZING and OH SO CHRISTMASY! Not only do I love the story, but I just think it’s brilliant how the entire “show” is woven in throughout the movie as rehearsals so that you get to see the amazing costumes, the singing and oh that dancing without having to watch an hour of it at the very end. To me, that’s brilliant movie writing.
What other movies really have stood this test of time? I know there are a lot of “classics” (Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, etc), but are millions of people watching those every single year? Nope. I love the music, the dancing, the lodge, the message, Bing’s blue eyes…I love it ALL. Any movie that is still relevant and on repeat almost 70 years after it originally came out has to be in my Top Five.
#1: The Holiday
Because Nancy Meyers looks right into my soul and makes movies for me. If I were to list my favorite movies EVER (not just holiday movies), this one would be in my Top Three. This romantic comedy checks all the boxes for me: Cozy cottage, Jude Law, great music, Jude Law, the most beautiful restaurants, Jude Law, gorgeous homes, Jude Law, a happy ending, a sweet story, lovely clothes and women who are strong but vulnerable…and Jude Law. Nancy Meyers makes movies that the world needs more of…especially in 2023. I love this one so much.
And because I cannot help myself, please know that I also love, love, love Christmas Vacation, Christmas with the Kranks, The Family Man, A Christmas Story, Elf, Fred Claus, and of course, both Home Alones 🙂 .
So, that’s my TOP FIVE, what about my…
#5: Four Christmases
I just can’t with this one. Every single year, I fool myself into thinking I should give it “one more try” as it’s a Christmas movie filled with some of my favorite actors, but every single year, I turn it off after about 20 minutes because I’m always reminded that this one isn’t funny. It’s kind of mean, unhappy, and not really comical at all. Vince, Reese…so much potential, so not my favorite movie.
#4: The Polar Express
I really shouldn’t put this one in my Bottom Five because I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the ending. Why? Because it’s so slow and boring that I fall asleep within the first 20 minutes. The next time you’re reaching for that Nyquil to get your zzzzs might I suggest this movie instead?
If I’m being 100% transparent, I don’t love the Ebenezer Scrooge story that much. I know, I know, I know, it’s a Dickens’ classic, but maybe I’ve just seen it too many times on stage (like a million) or maybe I just have a hard time with any story that has a ghost in it (much less three), but it’s not my favorite…so throw in Bill Murray and a wink and a nod to the original, and yeah, I’m out.
#2: Bad Santa
Andrew Shull is not going to like this answer, but um, no thank you. It’s too dark, too vulgar, too not what I want to watch to put me in the holiday spirit. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite of the holiday spirit in my opinion.
#1: It’s a Wonderful Life
Yeah, I’m saying it. I know a lot of you are agreeing with me, but you’re too scared to admit it…this movie is depressing. It’s sad. It’s not cheerful. It’s not really that Christmas-y. And it’s long and slow. I know, I know, I know, some of you are going to name it in your Top Five (my mom and Andrew both love this one), but just the mean pharmacist alone is enough to turn me off. It’s not a terrible movie, but I think it’s highly overrated as a holiday gem. I know, I know, some of you are mad at me, but I’m speaking my truth 😉 .
And of course, I asked my hubby his thoughts on CHRISTMAS MOVIES too…
ANDREW’S TOP FIVE:
5: Daddy’s Home 2
4: Love Actually
3: Christmas Vacation
2: White Christmas
1: The Holiday
ANDREW’S BOTTOM FIVE:
5: The Polar Express
4: The Grinch (with Jim Carey)
3: The Family Stone
2: Four Christmases
1: Any Hallmark Christmas movie
We are somehow exactly the same and yet polar opposites. Ha!
Okay, I’m nervous about the comment section today! Agh! I feel like you guys are about to be suuuper passionate below. Please share your TOP FIVE/BOTTOM FIVE as well!
One last thing, don’t forget to check out these other TOP FIVE, BOTTOM FIVE blog posts:
Merry Monday, friends!
I’ll see you back here tomorrow! xx