I recently posted on my favorite Christmas albums and now it's time to share my favorite Christmas movies. So without further adieu, here are my top seven favorite Christmas movies:
7. Elf (2003, starring Will Ferrell and James Caan) Though I've only seen this movie twice, it is arguably Will Ferrell at his finest while playing a human raised by elves. The child-like innocence of his character, Buddy, can't help but make you laugh.
Favorite Line: "We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup."
6. Family Man (2000, starring Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni) Family Man tells the story of a multi-millionaire who gets the chance to see how his life might have turned out had he married and started a family with his college girlfriend. A great story that demonstrates that success in life is not found in financial success but in the love of family.
Favorite Line: "You see, you're a better person than I am. And it made me a better person to be around you. I don't know, maybe it was just all a dream. Maybe I went to bed one lonely night in December and I imagined it all. But I swear, nothing has ever felt more real. And if you get on that plane right now, it'll disappear forever. I know we could both go on with our lives and we'd both be fine, but I've seen what we could be like together. And I choose us."
5. Home Alone (1990, starring Macauley Culkin and Joe Pesci) What could be funnier than an eight year old getting left all by himself while his family vacations in France? This movie made Culkin a star and his interactions with dimwitted burglars Pesci and Daniel Stern are hilarious.
Favorite Line: "Not for a guy in the second grade. You can get beat up for wearing something like that. Yeah, I had a friend who got nailed because there was a rumor he wore dinosaur pajamas."
4. The Santa Clause (1994, starring Tim Allen and Judge Reinhold) This was Tim Allen's first starring role in a movie and was filmed during the peak of his Home Improvement days. His acceptance of becoming Santa Clause is fun to watch and the adults in his life acceptance of him is even better.
Favorite Line: "We shared a bowl of sugar, did some shots of brown liqour, played with my shot guns, field-dressed a cat, looked for women..."
3. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989, starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo) Another adventure in the lives of the wacky Griswold family, this movie was made back when Chevy Chase was still funny. There probably isn't a funnier character in a Christmas movie than Randy Quaid's Cousin Eddie and nearly twenty years later a home that overdoes their Christmas lights is still referred to as a "Griswold house."
Favorite Line: "He's cute ain't he? Only problem is, he's got a little bit a Mississippi Leg Hound in him. If the mood catches him right, he'll grab your leg and just go to town. You don't want him around if you're wearing short pants, if you know what I mean. Word of warning though, if he does lay into ya, it's best to just let him finish."
2. A Christmas Story (1983, starring Peter Billingsley and Darren McGavin) My wife introduced me to this Christmas classic and I'm glad she did. All little Ralphie wants for Christmas is an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model BB rifle with a compass in the stock. With adult narration in the background (ala The Wonder Years) , the viewer gets a humorous insight into the mind of a child looking forward to Christmas. In addition, an important lesson is conveyed to young and old alike -- do not touch your tongue to an icy flagpole in the winter!
Favorite Line: "Getting ready to go to school [in the winter] was like getting ready for extended deep-sea diving."
1. It's a Wonderful Life (1946, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed) Since its copyright license had run out at one point and was aired like non-stop for years around the holidays, It's a Wonderful Life is probably the most beloved and cherished of all American holiday films. Though blessed with a wonderful wife and children and a lifetime of helping others, a desperate and disillusioned George Bailey is given the gift of seeing what the world would be like had he never been born. The ending to this Frank Capra classic will tug at your heartstrings every time. And if you ever visit my parent's home around Christmas, you'll have to check out my dad's Bedford Falls village that he sets up. It's a classic as well!
Favorite Line: "Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you'll ever be."