I love so much about the holiday season: decorating the tree, baking cookies, singing carols, spending time with family…dressing my baby up in cheesy outfits. (That’s him in the Santa suit and me in the reindeer antlers!) But most of all…I love the way the holiday season inspires kindness from strangers and brings out the best in people.
In the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I get into the holiday spirit by watching classic Christmas movies. While some might find them a bit too sacherine or cheesy, these heartwarming stories with positive messages and happy endings are an essential holiday tradition in my house.
Classic Christmas Movies:
- It’s a Wonderful Life– If you’re ever feeling depressed or as if you don’t matter, turn on this movie. It makes me cry every single time!
- Holiday Inn– Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas.” Fred Astaire dancing. If you watch American Idol or Dancing with the Stars, you’ll love the singing and dancing in this movie. (Warning: please note that there is a short scene in which one character wears blackface makeup as part of a minstrel show. I recorded this movie off of network TV years ago, and the broadcast version does not have this scene. However, TCM shows the original uncut version and some DVDs contain the uncut version as well.)
- The Bishop’s Wife– This movie stars Cary Grant at his most charming.
- Miracle on 34th Street– I prefer the original 1947 version to the big budget one released in the 90s. This DVD set contains both the original black and white picture and a colorized version of it. Only a real Scrooge could dislike this move.
- A Christmas Carol (Ultimate Collector’s Edition)(B/W & Color)– Speaking of Scrooge, the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sim is my favorite version of the classic holiday story by Charles Dickens.
- A Christmas Story– I love how this movie plays continuously on Christmas Day on TNT. I watch it every single year. There are so many good one liners and great scenes. My favorite is when Ralphie meets the department store Santa.
- Elf and The Santa Clause– Always make me laugh.
- Fred Claus– Vince Vaughn stars as Santa’s brother. If your kids have any sibling rivalry, this is a great movie to watch together. Plus…it’s funny.
Children’s Christmas Movies:
- A Charlie Brown Christmas (Remastered Deluxe Edition)– I’ve watched this on TV almost every year since childhood. If you don’t have a chance to catch this beloved cartoon on TV or just want to watch it over and over, buy the DVD. It has a great message about the true meaning of Christmas.
- Elmo’s Christmas Countdown– Adults might find Elmo a bit annoying, but your Sesame Street loving toddler will want to watch this over and over and over again.
- Classic Cartoon Favorites, Vol. 9 – Classic Holiday Stories (The Small One/Pluto’s Christmas Tree/Mickey’s Christmas Carol)– My first introduction to Charles Dickens was through Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Perfect for kids who might be scared by the ghosts in the original movie. This set also contains Pluto’s Christmas Tree featuring Chip and Dale who have taken up residence in Pluto’s tree. Children of the 80s will love watching these classic Disney cartoons again with their own children.
- The Muppet Christmas Carol – Kermit’s 50th Anniversary Edition– Yet another fun retelling of A Christmas Carol for fans of Kermit, Miss Piggy and friends.
- The Original Christmas Classics (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer/Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town/Frosty the Snowman/Frosty Returns/Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol/Little Drummer Boy/Cricket on the Hearth)– It just isn’t Christmas without watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, and Frosty the Snowman. These Rankin/Bass stop motion and 2D animated features might seem a little dated to kids raised on the sophisticated animation of Shrek and Wall-E, but your enthusiasm for them will be contagious. And every child whose ever felt like a misfit can relate to Rudolph.
- Jack Frost (Remastered Deluxe Edition)– I hadn’t seen this Rankin/Bass stop motion “animagic” movie in years, so I was excited to find a re-mastered copy on DVD. In case you don’t remember this classic, it tells the story of Jack Frost who falls in love with a human named Elisa. Jack Frost turns into a human boy in order to woo her, but he’ll need all of his magic power to rescue her from evil Kubla Kraus. A sweet tale of love and sacrifice.
- Classic Christmas Favorites (Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! / The Year Without a Santa Claus / Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July / Rudolph’s Shiny New Year / and More)– Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of my all time favorite movies. This remastered version puts the Jim Carrey remake to shame. In addition to my old Rankin/Bass favorites The Year Without a Santa Claus and Frosty’s Winter Wonderland, I was able to rediscover some great movies from my childhood on this newly released DVD set like Pinocchio’s Christmas and Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. Nestor is a Rudolph-like tale about a misfit. Nestor is teased for his abnormally long ears, but he becomes a hero when he is chosen by Mary and Joseph to take them to Bethlehem. Pinocchio’s Christmas has a wonderful song about how the best Christmas presents don’t cost money which has been stuck in my head for days.
All DVDs are available at Amazon. If you order by December 17th, you can get them by Christmas with free super-saver shipping. Or if you sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime, order as late as December 22nd with free two-day shipping on any size order! Christmas DVDs make great last minute presents and stocking stuffers.
We have a copy of Classic Christmas Favorites (Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! / The Year Without a Santa Claus / Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July / Rudolph’s Shiny New Year / and More)and of Jack Frost to give away. To enter, just leave a comment on this post by 11:59pm EST on December 20, 2008 letting us know your favorite holiday movie. (U.S. Shipping only for this contest)