BY TABATHA RENEGAR
Here we are—knee deep in all things-holiday! The shopping, the baking, the entertaining, the ugly Christmas sweater-wearing! (Hopefully…) And please, do not forget the holiday movie watching! For many of us, sitting down with friends and family to watch a beloved classic or modern Christmas tale, has become as much of a tradition as mistletoe and holly. And with good reason! From deep, emotional tearjerkers to silly, special effects-laden films, there really is something about a holiday movie that warms the heart. To help you make the most of your movie watching this season, here is a list of suggested movies to pair with your activities. Consider it a curated guide to your December movie night!
While trimming the tree—Deck the Halls (PG) starring Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick. A hilarious story of two neighbors who are as opposite as Felix and Oscar, trying to compete for the brightest, most outrageous holiday house in the neighborhood.
During or After Cookie Baking—nothing can lighten your mental load like spending some time with Bill Murray in a Muppet Christmas Carol (G). Laugh along, cookies in hand, as they revitalize the classic fable in the delightful way that only Jim Henson’s Muppets can.
After a Day of Shopping—nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Music or Comedy Score, The Preacher’s Wife (PG) is the perfect story to help keep things in perspective. Pair it with the movie it’s based on, The Bishop’sWifefrom 1947 and starring Cary Grant, and you’ll have a perfect double feature!
When Family Arrives—whether you all hunker down in your PJs or sneak away to your room for a good cry, The Family Stone(PG13) is the ideal blend of romance, humor and heart-wrenching family drama that we can all relate to. A great ensemble cast makes this a delight, even as you reach for the tissues.
During Hanukah—inspired by true events, Disney’s Full Court Miracle(G) is a heartwarming film that centers on a group of young Jewish basketball players who search for a coach to help them out of a slump. Gather kids of all ages for this one!
On the Day You Visit Santa—amid the green screen, CGI, and pyrotechnics of today’s blockbuster films, step back into a simpler time by watching the Rankin Bass stop-motion, magical classic Santa Claus is Comin to Town(G). Not only does it tell the TRUE story of Santa Claus, it just makes you feel good! In fact, cue up ALL the Rankin Bass shows for a truly nostalgic night.
With your sweetheart—The Holiday(PG13) Unrequited love, passionate longing, love-at-first-sight, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz…could there be a more perfect holiday date-night movie?
With Your Gal-pals—pour some Christmasmosas*, throw a Duraflame in the fireplace and cozy up with your besties to watch Four Christmases(PG13), starring the ever-adorable Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn. Completely against the idea of marriage and kids, the couple spends their 3rd holiday season together experiencing a zany Christmas day visiting divorced parents and dysfunctional family. Can you relate? Bonus appearance by Tim McGraw!
When All Tasks Are Complete—Love Actually (R) works the theatrical magic of following and then entwining multiple stories, each unique in its depth, but then brought together in one of the best family gathering scenes of all time at a school Christmas pageant. I mean it has a Christmas Lobster in it, for Pete sake! Be aware of the “R” rating though…watch after the kiddos have gone to bed!
On Christmas Eve—you’ll find it on multiple channels, and there is a good reason for that…. It’s A Wonderful Life(PG) is a timeless story of redemption and second chances, made all the more precious by its black-and-white imagery and a whimsical, endearing, trainee-angel named Clarence.
Here are a couple resources for finding these, and many more terrific holiday movies! Happy Watching and Happiest of Holidays to you and yours!
*Christmasmosas Recipe: ⅔Cranberry Juice, Prosecco. Add thin slices of lime and floating cranberries to garnish. By the glass or pitcher.