The Twelve Days of Christmas (Movies)

With Christmas only 2 weeks away (wait, what?!), I thought it high time to unveil […]

R-J Heijmen / 12.11.12

With Christmas only 2 weeks away (wait, what?!), I thought it high time to unveil my own personal top 12 list of Holiday faves. Here goes nothing:

12. Arthur Christmas

Just saw this for the first time last week and was hooked in the first five minutes by a powerful Gospel moment. An elf, delivering presents on Christmas Eve with the help of a “naughty-or-nice-o-meter”, comes across a boy who has been a bit too naughty to deserve anything. The elf frowns, promptly turns the device on himself and imputes to the boy the presents that the elf deserves. Sold!

11. Love Actually

A bit maudlin, of course, but the use of The Beach Boys alone is enough, not to mention the brilliant cast (Colin Firth, Laura “I’m Laura Linney and this is Masterpiece Classic” Linney, Keira Knightley (I like her!), etc…)

10. Scrooged

Bill Murray. Boom.

9. A Christmas Carol (The Zemeckis/Jim Carrey one)

I was prepared to hate this, but was enchanted, mainly because it’s so scary! It really captures the pathos of the Dickens classic, methinks (that’s my new fave word, apparently). WAY better than The Polar Express, which drags on. and on. and on. and on. and on…

8. & 7. It’s a Wonderful Life & A Christmas Story

These are genius, and have to be included, but so obligatory as to be almost mundane. If you’ve never read the Mbird piece about George Bailey and co from a couple of years ago, run don’t walk!

6. Die Hard

Yipee-ki-yay, motha-lovahs!

5. Bad Santa

Do not, under any circumstances, watch this movie with your children, your parents, or anyone else around whom you might get a bit embarrassed. Come to think of it, don’t ever watch this movie.

Which brings us to the big four:

4. Home Alone

It stands up! Ridiculously funny, for the whole family. Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, honey, feathers, singed scalps and cans of paint. ‘Nuff said.

3. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.

Best of the Vacation series. Placed this high, if for no other reason than what it did to my then-7-year-old son. I can’t tell the story here, but suffice it to say that he REALLY liked the lingerie-model-in-the-imaginary-back-yard-pool scene. Big shout out to JL-D, too (“I don’t KNOW, Margo!”).

2. Elf

I actually taught a cooking class that had Daniel Tay (Will Ferrell’s little bro) in it. Watch this movie and try not to think about Tyrion Lannister. Jimmy Caan, Zooey Deschanel… You sit on a throne of lies!

1. About a Boy

Not just my favorite Christmas movie of all time, but perhaps my favorite movie, period. You will never find a more perfect synthesis of humor, music (Badly Drawn Boy), gut-wrenching truth and cathartic grace. A perfect Gospel movie. Watch it tonight, and tomorrow night, and the night after.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


8 responses to “The Twelve Days of Christmas (Movies)”

  1. Stokes says:

    Must agree with Home Alone and I think the second one in New York holds up well, too. There’s a certain amount of kitsch in that no kid is that smart, but the beautiful setting, the preppy attire and the classical music – all presented in an unironic fashion that would never fly today – makes for a very sentimental movie that captures a robust, idyllic view of a childhood Christmas. For fellow Birmingham natives, I’ve always thought the setting of Home Alone reminded me a great deal of Mountain Brook Village.

  2. David Zahl says:

    No Muppet Christmas Carol?!

    • R-J Heijmen says:

      I know, I know. Hate to say it, but I’m not a HUGE fan. Plus, 3 Christmas Carol adaptations felt like a bridge too far. Love you though:)

    • Tricia says:

      Not a “movie” but a tv special is the Muppet Christmas:

      “Is that reindeer?”
      “No, it’s snow honey,” Fozzy Bear … gets me every time.
      And, don’t forget, watch out for that icy patch!

  3. Hawley says:

    I’ve been thinking we need to own a copy of Elf and Love Actually… and now I really want to see Arthur Christmas! Sounds like a gem, indeed.

  4. Yancy Busby says:

    A “Muppet Christmas Carol” is a must…I just love it!

  5. hespenshied says:

    Late to the party…….but, our family has made a tradition out of an annual viewing of Nicholas Cages “The Family Man” at Christmas the past 8-10 years or so. It’s a classic for us.

    It’s up in the my top 3, though I can’t otherwise argue much at all with your list.

    And I am “all in” on About a Boy also.

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