By Meghan Shaffer
Cold weather has started to settle on to Mt. Saint James and there have even been a few sprinklings of snow, which can only mean one thing: Christmas season is upon us. Some will say that it is too early to begin celebrating the most wonderful time of the year, but with less than a week until Thanksgiving I think it’s finally time.
What better way is there to get into the holiday spirit than wrapping up in a blanket and settling in to watch a holiday movie? Maybe you’re not totally ready to accept the fact that Christmas is looming on the horizon and there are presents to be bought, so here are some of my favorite holiday movies to help ease the transition.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Maybe you’re more of a Halloween person and are still mourning the end of Halloween season. There have been many debates over whether “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie, but who says it can’t be both? “The Nightmare Before Christmas” has everything a good movie needs: a mix of drama and comedy, music, a love story, and, of course, Santa Clause.
“Love Actually” has so much going on that it’s easy to forget it’s even a Christmas movie. The constantly changing and intertwining plots keep the movie interesting, and it’s got an amazing ensemble cast of some of the greatest British actors like Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, and Keira Knightly. One of my favorite things about the movie is that not all the characters get the romantic, happy endings you’re expecting. It may be a little cynical, but it causes you to think about where we find love in other areas of life, which is something that is just as important as romantic love.
Let’s be honest: who doesn’t want to watch “Elf” year round? With Will Ferrell in one of his most wonderful and iconic roles, this movie manages to make me laugh every time even though I’ve seen it countless times. It simply doesn’t feel like Christmas until you’ve watched Elf, so grab yourself a bowl of spaghetti and maple syrup and settle in to be delighted.
“Home Alone” is a timeless Christmas classic. What more can I say about it than if you haven’t watched this cinematic masterpiece, it’s time. Macaulay Culkin’s eight-year-old Kevin is strangely relatable as a college student, because I too sometimes feel like my greatest wish is to just be alone for a little while. “Home Alone” is hilarious and heartwarming, and if you finish the film and decide that you need more, the sequel, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” is equally as delightful.
The Polar Express
“The Polar Express” is a beautiful movie that, for me, truly represents the true meaning of the Christmas season. The animation is stunning, the story is inspiring, and every time I hear Josh Groban sing “Believe,” I’m reminded of why it is so important to hold onto the wonder that comes from childhood. We may grow up and stop believing, but if there is ever a time to remember the magic of the world, it is Christmas.
The Year Without Santa Claus
It’s hard to choose which of the Christmas claymation movies are the best, but “The Year Without Santa Claus” is definitely up there. The Snow Miser and the Heat Miser are ICONS, and their theme songs are featured among some of the best Christmas songs out there, like the classic “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Blue Christmas,” which is sung in the movie by a crying claymation little girl and breaks my heart every time.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
If you’ve watched all these movies and still find yourself not ready to accept the descent into Christmastime, you might want to try taking a note from “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” I would recommend the cartoon version from the 1960s, because the Jim Carrey version can be a lot to handle. If you find yourself expressing some of the same feelings toward Christmas as the Grinch, you may find yourself inspired to stop complaining about how it’s too early to celebrate Christmas and just enjoy this magical time with family and friends.