Category Archives: christmas faves

Faves: Christmas Movies

I’m feeling extra-Christmasy this year. Despite being behind on shopping, it’s hard to not be in the spirit when you have a True Believer in the house (see: Coraline). There has been much talk of elves coming to prep the house for Santa, which cookies the big man in red would want, white or chocolate milk, and so on.  So in honor of my Christmasy mood, I thought I’d share with you my favorite Christmas movies. This is where my sister will shout, “WHERE IS HOME ALONE?!” Which, while it’s a movie I enjoy, it’s not one of my all-time favorites. She knows which Christmas movie holds that extra-special place in my heart. My whole family knows. Which is why they keep the TV remote away from me on Christmas day.

Note that at least half the movies on my list are not kid friendly. I don’t want to hear it if your kids wake up screaming that gremlins are going to get them or crying about being gifted slipper socks or Advent calendars filled with Nyquil caplets.


Billy gets the cutest, neatest Christmas present ever (Mogwai!), until it’s not so great. This movie could easily be categorized as a horror comedy thanks to some pretty gruesome Gremlin deaths and genuinely scary moments. Which is why this movie will not be watched by my sensitive kid until a few years from now.

Bad Santa

You will never look at Lauren Graham the same way again after the dressing room scene. Trust me on this. And Billy Bob Thornton gives a kid quite possibly the most depressing/disturbing treat-filled Advent calendar ever, which is why he is the titular Bad Santa.

While You Were Sleeping

Cute rom-com? Check. Set at Christmastime? Check. Starring Sandra Bullock? Check. It’s all good.

Sleepless in Seattle

Cute rom-com? Check. Set at Christmastime? Check. Starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks? Double check. It’s all good.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

As much an animated movie about Halloween as it is about Christmas, this is a modern-day stop-motion classic. Which will also not be seen by my sensitive kid for a few years: It can be a bit creepy for the young ones.


Bill Murray makes this movie as Frank Cross, a soulless TV executive (cough) who produces atrocious holiday insta-classic TV specials.Everything about this movie is sarcastic and twisted, which is why I love watching it every Christmas.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Dysfunctional family. A cat chewing through Christmas tree light cords. The best sled ride ever. A classic. Enough said.

The Ref

This is the second most-adult Christmas movie on my list. A deliriously demented look at a miserable marriage made worse by visiting relatives but better by a motor-mouthed criminal, it is not for kids or anyone offended by profanity: It’s Denis Leary at his most Denis Leary. And Judy Davis delivers quite possibly the best line reading ever.


This is such a silly, good-natured, kindhearted Christmas movie, that it’s one we can and will be watching with Coraline. I run hot and cold when it comes to Will Ferrell, but I love him in this as Buddy — he does a great job as a sweet, naive man-child in a world he doesn’t understand.

A Christmas Story

I can’t tell you how giddy I was a few months ago when Coraline saw our DVD of A Christmas Story and asked what it was about. I told her — and how it is Mommy’s favorite Christmas movie EVER — and she asked to watch it right then and there. So. Proud. “The Ralphie Movie” is already a favorite of hers, so my work here is done.

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Christmas Faves: A Charlie Brown Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas specials as a child was a A Charlie Brown Christmas. And although I haven’t sat down to watch it in its entirety in a few years, I thought I’d include it among my Christmas Faves since it still holds a special place in my heart. I also thought I’d share it since I know how much my sister loves it, and it’s nice to share some Christmas cheer with a loved one.

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Christmas Faves: "Christmas in Hollis" by Run DMC

This was a favorite Christmas song during my childhood (still is). I was listening to this song on my stereo Christmas Eve when I heard my allegedly asleep little sisters, then about 5 and 7 years old, in their shared bedroom next door whispering that they heard bells. After a few minutes of intense discussion, they deduced that it was because Santa had landed on the roof. The beginning of this song has bells in it. My sisters swore they heard the bells from Santa’s sleigh at the same time I was listening to it. Coincidence? To this day, I still like to think not.

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Christmas Faves: Steve Martin’s Christmas Wish

I still remember the first time I saw Steve Martin’s Christmas Wish on Saturday Night Live. I was in high school when it first aired, and it’s a testament to this skit’s staying power that it’s still as funny as the first time I saw it. I think this made such an impression on me not just because of Steve Martin’s perfect delivery, but because of how he starts out with seemingly noble, altruistic wishes, but quickly gives voice to the things he really wants. Which is something we can all relate to.

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*After much searching, I found the video on

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Christmas Faves: "The 12 Days of Christmas" by The Muppets & John Denver

You can’t go wrong with puppets. Especially when those puppets are The Muppets. As in The Muppets and the late, great John Denver singing “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Watching this reminds me that I really need to get The Muppet Show on DVD. The only thing that would’ve made this clip better was if Beaker had joined in.

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Christmas Faves: "Oogie Boogie’s Song," The Nightmare Before Christmas

The last few years, I’ve used Christmas song lyrics to celebrate the holidays. This year, I thought I’d try something different. To that end, I’ll be posting a video from a favorite holiday movie or music video of a favorite holiday song. First up: “Oogie Boogie’s Song” from The Nightmare Before Christmas. As someone who never let her inner goth girl fully shine, the dark, twisted humor of this movie filled me with glee the first time I saw it — and it has with every viewing since. What better way to kick off some holiday cheer than with a song about the Oogie Boogie Man holding Santa Claus hostage?

And don’t worry — the rest of my Christmas Faves will go live in the morning starting tomorrow.

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