We’re such suckers for the holidays. The lights, the decorations, music, the parties (and party food), the spirit of giving and sharing. And especially the movies.
We’ve already been to see two seasonal movies in the theater over Thanksgiving: Bad Moms Christmas and Daddy’s Home 2. The first was funny and worth seeing once. The second, well, it was heartwarming but I was hoping that it would be funnier. (It’s Will Ferrell, so you know, the bar is high.) Luckily, a couple more new releases are coming down the pike: The Star and The Man Who Invented Christmas starring Christopher Plummer. Frozen’s favorite snowman Olaf has a 20-minute short that accompanies the new movie Coco, too.
Bonus Fun Stuff: 7 Fun Date Nights for Busy Couples in DFW.
So here’s our list of favorites, take it or leave it. I’ve linked clips, trailers, and/or the full movies themselves (YouTube mostly) below for your viewing pleasure. Tell me in the comments about YOUR favorites and WHY.
Andi & Renee’s Favorite Holiday Movies
1) Scrooge the Musical. This isn’t the official title, but because there are so many versions, I call it this because that’s what it is: lots of catchy sing-along. Starring Albert Finney from 1970, this is hands-down my favorite Christmas movie of all time. There are other good renditions of “A Christmas Carol” but none of them are as awesome. The curmudgeon in me can relate to the ol’ Scrooge.
2) Elf (2003). This is such an original. Not sure they could have picked better actors for this one. I quote this movie all year. “Hi, this is Buddy the Elf. What’s your favorite color?” And at the snowball fight in Central Park, when tentative brother Michael looks at Buddy with such admiration for being a master blaster, your heart just swells right? Here are some really fun 107 Facts About Elf on YouTube.
3) Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. It’s amazing to me that these movies came out in 1990 and 1992. Did you know there were three more sequels? Home Alone 3, 4 and the 5th called The Holiday Heist in 2012. I had no idea.
4) The Santa Clause. I like this one a lot. I don’t see it on too many “favorites” lists, but it’s got the right amount of silly intrigue. Tim Allen wraps this up in a nice feel-good bow. It has yet to come out on Netflix or Amazon Prime, so I finally bought it.
5) The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. There’s really only one, in my opinion: the Dr. Seuss 1966 (!) version. Did you know Boris Karloff didn’t sing the theme song? He couldn’t sing, and it was Thurl Ravenscroft, who is still uncredited in the original.
6) Frosty the Snowman. That misplaced (or is it?) “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” and yes, that’s really the voice of John Goodman from the 70s. I remember being in my PJs as a six-year-old seeing this on television. I heart snowmen.
7) The Year Without A Santa Claus. Here’s the Heat Miser/Snow Miser song, which is the best part of the whole thing.
8) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It’s so quoteable and quirky. “Bumbles bounce!” One year I ended up with three of these as gifts. “I…want to be a dentist!”
9) The Family Stone. I don’t recall at all how we came across this movie years ago, but it’s a season staple at our house. Siblings descend on their parent’s home in the snowy northeast for Christmas and one of the brothers is bringing home a gf who unfortunately no one likes. There’s some happy, some sad, and it’s all around a SOLID movie with a ton of great actors: Craig T Nelson, Diane Keaton, Owen Wilson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Clare Danes, Dermot Mulroney, and Rachel McAdams. (See? Solid lineup.)
10) Prancer. I think I love it because my daughter did, though neither of us has watched it in years. A little girl, Jessica, who lives on an apple tree farm with her dad and brother, is feeling invisible as they all hit hard times. She encounters a hurt reindeer that she nurses back to health, convinced it is one of Santa’s. She spends some time trying to convince the townsfolk of this fact, and just maybe, she’s right. (1989)
11) Die Hard (1988). Roger Ebert, the famous movie critic (RIP), only gave this two stars, but in the review he commends most of it, knocking it down because of one character. It’s been tagged as one of the greatest Christmas-themed movies of all time, albeit an unconventional one. It was the beginning of Willis’ “action hero” career.
12) Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town. Even more stop-action awesomeness. Same caliber as Rudolph. Mickey Rooney is voicing the main character and sings “put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking out the door” when faced with a journey ahead. Very catchy tune.
13) A Charlie Brown Christmas, debuted on CBS television in 1965. It’s a bit bland nowadays, compared to so many fast-paced movies out there now, but it’s so sweet, and that tree so iconic, it’s impossible not to love. The music is what I love the best: the Vince Guaraldi Trio. (Link goes to the Spotify album.) Also, kind of a downer, but in 2015, the guy who voiced Charlie Brown in many holiday specials went to prison for making criminal threats. Wow.
14) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I like Randy Quaid’s character the best in this. Clark is a little high-strung for my taste, but the antics and nutty family dynamics are just awesome.
15) This is actually not a movie, but a 10-HOUR YouTube video of Nick Offerman sitting next to his fireplace, drinking whiskey and saying absolutely nothing. It’s so peaceful. And so long. Ten hours. TEN.
Treat yourself to the movies this season
Moviehouse & Eatery is the perfect place to dine & recline while watching a flick over the holiday. Whether you’re ready for a new release or a Big Screen Classic, you’ll cozy into plush seating, tuck into delicious, chef-inspired meals, and relax with grown-up libations.
Leave a comment below that includes a memorable scene in your favorite holiday movie for your chance to win a $50 Gift Card to any Moviehouse & Eatery location: Keller, Flower Mound, McKinney or Austin. Drawing December 11 and again December 28, 2017.
Drawing details and rules
Winners will be drawn at random from comments on this post that include a scene from any movie listed here. Comments will be chosen from those who have not won a prize from any of the FunCity Stuff platforms in the last six months, including Instagram, Twitter, facebook, newsletter or blog. Winner will need to provide a mailing address to receive the gift card, which will be sent by first-class USPS. FunCity Stuff and its owners and Moviehouse and its stakeholders are not responsible for lost, stolen, misdirected or returned mail. Gift cards cannot be replenished or replaced. Drawing will take place by 5pm on Monday, December 11 and Thursday, December 28th. Entries must be received by 4pm on each day of the drawing. You must be 18 or older to enter or win. Proof of age may be required. You can enter simultaneously into this FunCity Stuff giveaway held on any of our platforms but you may not win more than one gift card. Rules and details subject to change without notice. Two gift cards will be awarded.
This giveaway was sponsored by Moviehouse & Eatery who has provided the gift cards to us at no charge. We received a $100 gift card to Moviehouse for our participation.
Catch Big Screen Classics, Die Hard on December 6th and Home Alone on December 13th. Mark your calendars to see your old favorites on the big screen at Moviehouse!
Four Christmases (2008). Lots of family awkwardness and frantic scheduling that is exactly like real life. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau.
Christmas with the Kranks. Oh, this one’s okay. I kind of like this because the main characters are the parents of an only child: a college-aged daughter who wasn’t supposed to come home for Christmas, so they cancelled all their usual holiday accoutrement in favor of a cruise to warmer climates. Shenanigans ensue. But the roles weren’t quite right for either Tim Allen or Jamie Lee Curtis (I find it hard to see her as a housewife of any kind). You can tell they always move mountains for their kid, though, and I can definitely relate to that.
Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Great Santa Claus Caper. I liked it enough to buy it in VHS for Amanda some time ago. I think I liked it mostly for the characters’ voices. I don’t remember what the caper was or why it was great.
Fred Claus. I don’t love everything Vince Vaughn does, but I got a kick out of this. Paul Giamatti as Santa is a sight to see, too.
Polar Express. Something about it is just too unbelievable, too dreamy, too something, and not enough of something else. To each their own, right? “ALLLL ABAHD!” Tom Hanks is consistently good. And I can hear the theme song in my head right now.
Nestor The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. I don’t remember what it’s about, I just remember Nestor’s mom dies to save his life, I think in a blizzard. I was one of those sensitive kids that cried at stuff like that. I haven’t seen it in a looonnnng time, but I’ll never forget it.
Love Actually. Super mushy, but good to watch. I’ve only seen it once so I may pop it into the DVD player again this Christmas.
Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol. A bit of nostalgia, cartoon style.
The Little Drummer Boy. A stop-action 1968 movie that’s a bit hard to follow but sweet.
Remember Ernest Saves Christmas? Me neither, but I do remember how Ernest actually started out as a character created by an ad agency to promote Coca-Cola. “Know-wut-I-mean, Vern?” You 80s kids will remember.
On My Friends’ Faves List
A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Holiday, The Last Holiday, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, Scrooged, several versions of A Christmas Carol (1950s or Muppets or the one with Jim Carrey), Nightmare Before Christmas, Family Man, Bad Santa, Krampus, Yes Man, and a few others. (Thanks also to: Ryan, CL, Patty, Tamara, LaShunda, Morgan, Heather, Roy, Kristi, Trish, Katherine, Dawn, Nancy, and Kelli.)
Don’t forget to comment below with a memorable scene from your favorite holiday movie!