Ellen: You set standards that no family activity can live up to.
Clark: When have I ever done that?
Ellen: Parties, weddings, anniversaries, funerals, holidays, vacations, graduations…
–National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
So the Christmas spirit has caught me a little early this year. We’ve been to a Christmas event at church, had hot chocolate, pulled an angel off the angel tree, and bid (unsuccessfully) on silent auction baked goods. While I’m a little sore about not coming home with the 150 frozen homemade appetizers or the heaven-sent homemade sourdough bread braid, I’m still in the Christmas mood. Even Jeff discussed hanging our outside Christmas lights. Something is in the air.
It’s during this season that I set aside some of my snarky sass and just embrace the idea that the holidays possess magic. There’s no other way to say it. People are nicer to each other, more willing to give, more willing to serve their fellow man, more inclined to put aside differences and celebrate the idea that we are human and we want to be happy and, though we’re often selfish through most of the year, we would like others to be happy, too.
Last night I started my annual holiday movie DVR-fest. Last year, one of my friends Melissa posted on Facebook about her love of cheesy Christmas movies, so I have, therefore, deemed it safe to come out of the Hallmark closet as well. Does Jeff roll his eyes? Yes. Do I care? Nah. Will he (sometimes) risk the icky-sweetness in order to spend two hours with me on the couch watching a sappy Hallmark Christmas movie? Yep.
- Wedding Christmas movies
- Reluctant CEOs who slow down and find the power of love and Christmas
- People who switch houses for Christmas (often because they are reluctant CEOs)…like The Holiday, a Kate Winslet/Cameron Diaz 2006 classic where KW ends up with Jack Black…what?!?)
- The 12 Men of Christmas. Too-cute Kristin Chenoweth moves to Montana, creates a hot guy calendar and (reluctantly) falls for Mr. December.
- 12 Christmases. Amy Smart and Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell. This movie is like Groundhog Day and A Christmas Carol had a baby. See a “12” theme emerging here?
- Anything with a Christmas deadline: married by Christmas, a boyfriend by Christmas, one girl’s choice of keeping the winning lottery ticket or…choosing love (reluctantly) by Christmas
- Talking animals. People, I am willing to suspend my disbelief only so far. Santa as matchmaker? Sure. Two talking dogs who get their masters together…at Christmas? Um, no. I’m an adult. I only watch talking dog movies with my kids.
- Any modern version of A Christmas Carol that doesn’t involve George C. Scott, or on a good day, Bill Murray. I don’t want to see pop star divas, over-worked reality TV stars, disgruntled soccer moms, or Kathy Griffin see their past, present, or future if they don’t change their selfish ways.
- Movies about spending the last Christmas with a sick parent/grandparent/love that should’ve had longer/especially a sick child. I’ve tried this, and I’m just too sensitive about it. I can’t spend two hours and intermittently over the next five days bursting into tears over the sick child in Ohio whose parents hoped she made it to Dec. 25.
- There is a subplot going around Hallmark that involves towns coming together to create a last Christmas for a sick child except it’s a few months early, like October or November. No thanks. You and your box of tissues have a blast.
- Unless the description says that Dr. Santa Claus, with his ER nurses Donner and Blitzen, saves the child at the end, I’m out.
Carrie’s Must-See Holiday Movies that Need No Further Introduction.
- White Christmas (1954)
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
- Love Actually (2003)
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
- The Family Stone (2005)
- Elf (2003)
- A Christmas Story (1983)
- Arthur Christmas (2011)
- Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown (1965)