10. Bad Santa (2003) - It’s a nice change of pace from the normal Christmas film, with Billy Bob cursing a little kid and genuinely staying a piece of shit throughout the entire film. Plus, Thurman Merman is the most pathetically adorable kid ever.
9. While You Were Sleeping (1995) - One of the few rom coms I commend, Sandra Bullock is adorable in this Christmastime romance about a woman infatuated with a man (Peter Gallagher) and saves him when he is mugged on the El train (Chicago!) and falls on the tracks, then lies to the hospital and his family that she is his fiancée when the hospital won’t let her see him. Of course, it’s even more complicated than that, with her falling in love with the brother instead (played by Bill Pullman, can you blame her?!?) and sticky situations ensue. This film is truly great because of the family, as she falls in love with them, the viewer does too. Watch. Enjoy. Love.
8. Elf (2003) - I am very much over Will Ferrell and his one-note-wonder ways, but this film is possibly him at his best. His blind optimism leads to much hilarity. Because when Santa smells like beef and cheese, Christmas is in trouble.
7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) - No, not the the piece of shit with Jim Carrey that crushed the soul of this film, the Boris Karloff narrated animated short that brings my heart nothing but Christmas cheer. All those Whos down in Whoville make me go, “Woo Hoo.”
6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) - Just this:
“Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.”
That is all.
5. Love Actually (2003) - It’s just pleasant. And very Christmas-y. And one of the few ensemble casts that doesn’t blow ass. It makes me smile. To me, you are perfect. Also, Liam Neeson.
4. Die Hard (1988) - Because nothing says Christmas like bullet holes. Welcome to the party, pal!
3. Home Alone/the end of Home Alone 2 - I use to argue to the death my belief that Home Alone 2: Lost in New York was a superior film to it’s predecessor. But mostly I think I just love that Talk Boy and thoughts of running around the Plaza Hotel. But I came to the realization this year that Home Alone is the superior film overall, but Home Alone 2 has the better ending. This may just be me, but the fact that every hit or trick pulled on Harry and Marv in the sequel is so over the top and ridiculous just rockets the film to greatness. Getting hit in the head with bricks thrown from 4 stories up? Priceless. It would also render you a vegetable or dead. And that’s why it’s better. Also, watch out for tool chests falling down the stairs.
2. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) - A top on most lists, but there is a reason for that. It’s actually a very dark movie for the majority of it. George Bailey contemplates suicide and thinks his life is worthless. It takes the aide of an angel to show him that “no man is a failure with friends.” It warms the soul. I am also comfortable to announce that every year, I get choked up when Harry Bailey says, “A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town.” Tear.
1. Scrooged (1988) - Bill Murray is the only one who could pull off this role this well. The first two ghosts are hilarious (Buster Poindexter as the Ghost of Christmas Past giving Murray shit and Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present beating the shit out of Murray - classic). It’s funny, it’s the best representation of the story and the end is Christmas sappy and great. God bless us, everyone.
*I am aware that everyone considers Christmas Story the best holiday film ever, but I’m over it.