In order for me to get in the Christmas spirit, there’s a series of things that need to happen in the weeks leading up to December 25.
And each of these things corresponds to me watching a DVD or blu ray.
That’s right, every year, EVERY YEAR, there are a handful or so Christmas movies and shows that I just need to watch before I allow myself to celebrate the holiday.
If I don’t watch all of these, then you might as well cancel the holiday.
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – This movie is the holidays for me. Growing up, A Christmas Story was heavily played (It still is), and I liked it, but once Christmas Vacation came out, it was much more natural for me to enjoy it than A Christmas Story. It’s not that A Christmas Story is bad, it just strikes all of the cliche feel-good points, and, while it’s funny, it’s not as quirky as Christmas Vacation. The quirkiness appeals to me a little more. Sure, you could argue that it’s just as cliche, but there’s something about the Griswolds that is easier to relate to. Plus, the film is hilarious from start to finish; even the sappy moments have some, sometimes dark, humor. Although, I have to say, this commercial makes me feel like this movie is a little less important this year. It could be just me, but I don’t think it is…
- Seinfeld: “The Strike” – This is the famous “Festivus” episode, and, yeah, it’s played out and was made well after Larry David departed the show, but it’s actually really funny and has lots of classic moments and quotables.
- Elf – Sure, we’re all tired of Will Ferrell, but he got this one in right before he became too much (with the exception of Step Brothers, that film rocks!). It’s kind of a slowly paced movie that takes a while for the conflict to arise and resolves itself in a fairly ridiculous and sudden way, but it’s still a fun movie. My favorite part is the fruit spray.
- Scrooged – This is the all time greatest Christmas movie ever made. Bill Murray is a genius, and his performance makes the classic tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol interesting and fun. I say it’s a modern telling of the Scrooge story, but it’s 24 years old now! I’ve watched this movie every year since it came out, and I don’t see that stopping. Even though I can recite the whole film line-by-line, it still cracks me up. I’m especially keen about the part where he comes back from the encounter with the ghost of Christmas present, and he’s underground with Herman. It’s great when he discovers the door, and he laughs and points in the frozen-to-death Herman’s face.
There are a few other things that I try to get around to watching but don’t really lose sleep if it doesn’t happen. Those include Trading Places, the Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas Special (with the golden harmonica), the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special (where Skeletor and He-Man team up to save Christmas), and “Sonic Christmas Blast” a fairly forgettable cartoon special featuring Sonic the Hedgehog of video game fame.
It seems silly, but watching this stuff really does help me get in the spirit of the holidays. The days go by quickly, especially at this time of year, and the holidays are important. It’s things like these that help to keep smiles on peoples’ faces. Chances are you probably know this.