It’s December! And that means it’s socially acceptable to start hanging stockings and decorating the tree! Christmas is coming!!

For you scrooges that are adamant about holding off on Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving, I say phooie. Christmas is an S-rank holiday–the crux of the winter season. Literally winter would have nothing going for it if it wasn’t for Christmas.

I got started decorating my house for Christmas right after Halloween. And when I say “decorating my house,” I mean I put up a little tree on our end table and put a nativity with a snowman by our TV. That’s kind of it.

But with the Christmas season comes Christmas movies. Everybody’s got a favorite–or a list of favorites, such as myself. I’m here to tell you why my favorites are the best and why you’re wrong if you disagree. So here we go.

*NOTE: This will be secular Christmas movies only. I enjoy a good Nativity movie as much as any other Christian, but let’s be real, the book is better.*

Home Alone

Home Alone is one of those movies that has no right being as good as it is. The premise is kind of hokey–a kid gets left behind at his parents’ house while his family vacations in Paris, and the kid staves off a couple of bungling burglars with a series of booby traps. Okay, that sounds cute. And it is. But it’s packed with some iconic lines and some chuckle-worthy physical comedy that makes it fun.

What’s great is the movie is heartwarming, too. There are subtle themes about not casting judgment and not-so-subtle themes about the importance of family. And family is one of the big things that Christmas is all about!! What’s not to love?

Elf

It was pretty bold of Jon Favreau to set out to make a “Christmas classic” when he took the helm of Elf, but shoot, he did it. At the time, Will Farrell also wasn’t taken seriously as a lead actor. Most of the people involved on the movie were nobodies. But the movie was shot on a meager budget, hauled in big at the box office, and everyone involved went on to have promising careers in Hollywood.

Buddy is a human adopted as an elf. Once he comes of age, he sets out to a magical land called New York City to find his birth father. Hilarity ensues. It’s a fun fish out of water story with a lot of heart and some fabulous one-liners.

“Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?”

“Just say it. I’m a cotton-headed ninnymuggins.”

“You sit upon a throne of lies.”

Die Hard

Psyche! It’s not a Christmas movie. It’s an action movie that just happens to take place on Christmas Eve. Christmas isn’t central to the plot, so it’s not a Christmas movie. Go sit in the corner with your hot cocoa and think about what you’ve done.

A Christmas Story

“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid! Ho ho ho…”

Absolutely classic. A Christmas Story is the Christmas story. It feels ridiculous while soberingly grounded in reality. It’s got tons of laugh out loud moments, fun little subplots, and the cute ending that leaves you with a smile. It’s a movie about Christmas when your family is a little dysfunctional but you still love them despite the insanity. And what family isn’t like that just a little bit?

I also gotta give a shoutout to the protagonist, my main man Ralphie. Maybe I love this movie because I relate to him so much. I too was enamored with delusions of grandeur as a child. I hoped my teacher would love my essays so much that I would get A+++++’s and the class would cheer for me. I hoped my parents would rue the day that they punished my foul mouth with soap and gave me soap poisoning. His imagination was insatiable, as was mine. So as you can see, not much has changed.

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