I’m not a big fan of a lot of the activities leading up to Christmas. I hate shopping because of the Christmas music in the stores, and don’t really enjoy the city streetlights being wrapped in fake wreaths of holly. Christmas special deals at 6 a.m. in the morning are not for me. You might think me a bit of a Scrooge.
But one thing that always gets me in the Christmas spirit is watching Christmas movies. I start getting nostalgic for the Christmases I spent as a kid watching these movies, and finally—finally!—get into the Christmas spirit. Here are my picks for the best Christmas-themed movies:
The Muppet Christmas Carol. The Muppet Christmas Carol is my favorite Christmas movie of all time. Starring a host of Muppet characters and Michael Cain as a wonderfully-transformed Scrooge, The Muppet Christmas Carol retells Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol almost to a tee. Except that Gonzo is Charles Dickens. And Scrooge works for Mr. Fozziwig (Fozzie the Bear). Eh, it’s pretty close. Come for the music and stay for the holiday good cheer.
Little Women. Little Women isn’t officially a Christmas movie, but the characters celebrate the holidays several times in this movie based off of the Louisa May Alcott novel. In it, we watch four little women grow up into young ladies, marrying, moving out of state and growing apart. The movie is primarily about the bonds between a family—the most important thing to remember at Christmas—but also has some seriously touching Christmas scenes, as well.
A Christmas Story. I think they play A Christmas Story for days on end on TBS every year, so you really don’t have a reason for missing it. This is the quintessential American Christmas movie—really hoping for something cool, but getting something lame instead, embarrassing families, sticking your tongue to a frozen post. It’s like childhood and Christmas all rolled into a short movie (that you can watch for 24-hours if you really didn’t get it the first time).
Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer. I don’t care that Rudolph was originally created as an advertisement for Montgomery Ward! He’s still the cutest thing on four legs in this 1964 movie. The movie was shot using stop motion technology and little furry, felt-looking creatures, but still has played every year, or several times a year, during the Christmas season. How could kids not want their Christmas presents after watching the Island of Misfit Toys inhabitants? I always wanted to rescue Spotted Elephant and take him home.