Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Top Twelve Tuesday

I am a Christmas movie freak. I unabashedly LOVE Christmas movies. There’s nothing like snuggling up on the couch, grabbing a bowl of (air-popped) popcorn (hold the butter and salt, please), and getting all sloppy and sentimental. I admit, I can sing along to any of the songs on Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (… with razzleberry dressing…). I feast my eyes, ears, and soul and just lose myself in the classics. I become 8 years old again whenever Rudolph is on, and I want to hug the humble bumble before I die.

Now I know these are fantasy escapes, and there’s usually no way to solve all the relationship and world problems within a two-hour time span. But watching George search for Mary, and hearing a bell ring knowing somewhere an angel got her wings, always chokes me up. What can I say? and who doesn't need a bit of an escape during the stress of holiday preparations?? I just love watching all the classic TV specials (Rudolph, Frosty, Jack Frost, Rudolph's Happy New Year... the list is endless).

So, here are my top 12, dandy dozen favorite Christmas movies of all times (in order). Always get the original black and white versions if possible!!! During the course of the next month, may I suggest you exercise your sloppy sentimental muscles, get together with family and friends, and watch a few? There’s sure to give you a case of the warm fuzzies! I hope this list will take you down a happy holiday memory lane walk! I would love to hear your comments as to your favorite holiday movies or TV shows, or if you have a favorite memory with one of the movies I mentioned!!!


1) It’s a Wonderful Life – we all have probably seen this one. George Bailey learns what it’s like if he’d never been born. Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed are great together! I even have the soundtrack!

2) A Christmas Carol – must be the one with Alistair Sim as Scrooge. Others are good, but this tops them all.

3) Miracle on 34th Street – again, must get the B/W original with Edmund Gwynne and Natalie Wood as Susan.

4) White Christmas – A staple for the holidays – love Rosemary Clooney’s dress and performance in the torch song “Love, You Didn’t Do Right by Me”.

5) The Bishop’s Wife – Now don’t get me wrong, I also can watch Denzel and Whitney in the remake over and over, but there just ain’t nobody like Cary Grant!

6) Christmas in Connecticut – Move over Martha Stewart! The premise here is that Barbara Stanwyck is the ULTIMATE homemaker/wife/mother writing a column each month for a women’s’ magazine – only to find out she can’t even cook. Then she has to host a veteran for Christmas dinner, and it’s hysterical what happens next.

7) Heidi – I have been watching Shirley Temple’s classic for years and years, and it just gets better each time.

8) Come to the Stable – a little known classic Christmas movie with Loretta Young (from the Bishop’s Wife) and Celeste Holm (the original Philadelphia Story, All About Eve) as nuns. I actually had the joy of meeting Celeste Holm once – I gushed like a teenager!

9) Mr. Magoo’s Christmas – I grew up with Mr. Magoo cartoons, and this wasn’t shown for years on regular television. When it finally came out on videotape I was overjoyed. It just wasn't Christmas without it!

10) March of the Wooden Soldiers – I can remember being a little girl, decorating the Christmas tree in my grandparent’s home, and watching this on television. It always makes me want to buy tinsel and hang it on the tree – I usually put this one on when… yep… I decorate our tree!

11) A Christmas Story – my favorite character is the father played to perfection by Darrin McGavin, and the FRAGILE line still doubles me over with laughter.

12) A Charlie Brown Christmas – I have worn out a CD playing the soundtrack over and over every holiday season. You have a stake of holly in your heart if you aren’t moved by Charlie and his little tree. This is a theological wonder – listen closely as Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas!

TV Specials Honorable mention:

Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas – back in the 70’s HBO put this “muppet-y” Christmas special out, and it is just so sweet. Unfortunately, it’s fairly expensive to get now, so be sure to see if you can find it on YouTube or borrow a copy. A real cuddle fest.

The Spirit of Christmas - if you grew up in the Philadelphia area in the 60's, chances are you saw this growing up. It was originally a half-hour Christmas special put on by Bell Telephone, and features the Mabel Beaton marionettes. There are two segments - the first is the retelling of "The Night Before Christmas", and the second is the telling of the nativity (in the Bible, Luke 2:1-20). It is simple and so beautiful.

The Snowman - narrated by David Bowie, this animated Academy-Awarded nominated short film is a charming tale of a young English boy who finds his snowman has come to life, and takes him on an overnight adventure. The illustrations and soundtrack are gentle and beautiful.


  1. What a great list! You and I are pretty much kindred sisters when it comes to these things -- I love the majority of these movies, except for The March of The Wooden Soldiers and The Spirit of Christmas. I cannot tell you why but those wooden soldiers and those marionettes even more so just gave me the heebie-jeebies. To this day, I still cannot watch either of them.

    I actually surprised my husband one year by buying him a copy of Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas, which he apparently loved in his younger days. 'We're not birds, we're a jug band!' So cute!

    Too many crazy Christmas movies on anymore -- couples in handcuffs, somebody -- human beings and dogs alike -- always having to 'save' Christmas, and Santa seems to have begotten more children than the Duggers in these flicks:
    Santa Baby
    Santa Jr.
    Once Upon A Christmas
    Twice Upon A Christmas
    Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus
    Mr. St. Nick (possibly one of THE WORST Christmas movies I've seen)

    I hope I get to see The Bishop's Wife this year, I can never seem to catch it.

    This is a great list, Linda, thanks!


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