Friday, December 17, 2010

My Top Ten Christmas Movies


I ran all of the comments through to decide the winner. However, the world must have accidentally tilted sideways at the same moment because my first winner (Danielle Gorman) actually won two online contests, with the same prize, at the same time. So much for all this randomness! Apparently, the universe is fixed. Danielle graciously consented to let me choose another person for this contest. So now, with much fanfare, the true and final winner is:

Catrina Bradley. CONGRATULATIONS! Yay to all winners, near and far!

By Merrie Destefano
I go on a mad mission during this time of year. I feel I must watch each and every one of my favorite holiday movies or I won’t be able to get in the spirit. So, since we're in the midst of the December, I thought I would share a list of my favorites:

1. It’s a Wonderful Life
I first saw this in a film class in college. First, we all heard the story behind the movie—how Jimmy Stewart wanted to quit acting, but the director convinced him to star in one more movie—then we saw the film. We all sat, crowded into it an auditorium, and I couldn’t help but think that this was how movie-goers saw this for the film for the first time. I fell in love with the movie and have loved it ever since.

2. The Bishop’s Wife
Who wouldn’t enjoy watching Cary Grant bumble around as a dangerously handsome angel, falling in love with a woman he’s supposed to be helping. Loretta Young glistens as the object of his affection, albeit always faithful to her husband, the bishop.

3. While You Were Sleeping
Sandra Bullock rescues the man she thinks she loves, although he falls immediately into a coma. In the process, she finds herself enchanted with his family—and his brother, played by Bill Pullman—and for the first time in years, she doesn’t feel lonely on Christmas. This one melts my heart every single time I watch it.

4. Christmas in Connecticut
Did I love this movie because the main character was a writer? In retrospect, it’s hard to say, but over the years this story of a columnist, Barbara Stanwyck, who must pretend she is a great cook and homemaker (I can relate to that dilemma) has become one of my favorites.

5. Home Alone
He’s a brat and he needs a spanking and, yet, you find yourself rooting for Macaulay Culkin before his family even lands in Paris. Completely alone, unless you count that dastardly tarantula (shivers), Culkin sets a trap for holiday thieves that makes me laugh until my sides hurt. Every. Single. Time. I. Watch.

6. Meet Me in St. Louis
Judy Garland at her most charming. She sings, she dances, she falls in love—literally. Her director in this film was her future husband, Vincente Minelli, and this was the first time the two of them met. This tale of a family who lives in turn-of-the-century St. Louis captures al the romance of the era.

7. Scrooged
For some reason, this is my favorite version of A Christmas Carol. Starring Bill Murray and Karen Allen (remember her from Raider’s of the Lost Ark?) star as lovers who went their separate ways years ago. Murray went on to become a lonely, wealthy TV executive, while Allen became a tender-hearted social worker who runs the local homeless shelter. Murray is given a second chance when their paths cross again.

8. Little Women
My favorite version of this movie stars Claire Danes, Winona Ryder, Christian Bale and Kirsten Dunst. Set during the Civil War, this tale of a young woman who wants to be a writer is heart-warming, to say the least. Of course, I never could figure out why Jo (Ryder) didn’t fall in love with Laurie (Bale), but then I can’t figure out why Bella doesn’t love Jacob either.

9. Elf
Adorable. Simply adorable. Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel (one of my favorite actresses) are just so cute in this film about a real, live elf who leaves the North Pole to find his true father. By the end of the movie you just want to give Ferrell a big hug.

10. The Family Man
A little bit like A Christmas Carol, this film stars Nicholas Cage as a rich man who gets a chance to see what his life might have been like, if he had made different choices along the way. Also starring Tea Leoni, one reason I love this show is the fact that it adds that element of an alternate universe—and I do love alternate universes.

So, I encourage you to share your favorite holiday movie with us in the comment section below. I will give away a signed copy of AFTERLIFE: THE RESURRECTION CHRONICLES to one commenter, chosen at random.

Game Rules:
To enter to win, please post a comment below and include your e-mail address. Entries without e-mail addresses won’t be included in the giveaway. You can earn points by:

+1 Posting in the comments section
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+5 Following me on Twitter
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10 Following my blog

Just post the total number of points that you’ve earned in your comment. Contest ends Thursday, December 30, at midnight. Winners to be announced in this post Friday, December 31.


tetewa said...

The Family Stone is my favorite, cry every time!

lady reader said...

My fav's are:
A Christmas Story
Bad Santa ;)

Please enter me in your contest!
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Thanks so much!
Amy aka Lady Reader

RFTC Blog said...

For me my all-time favorie is A Christmas Story. I just can't get enough of the movie. I will actually sit and watch it over and over on Christmas Eve and day. Another of my favorite is both Home Alone and Home Alone 2 Lost in New York. Oh, and I totally agree with you about Jo in Little Women. I could never understand why she didn't pick Laurie. I was so in love with him. I never liked him with Amy. But that's just me. Hope you have a happy holiday.
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Lisa (starmetal_oak) said...

My favorite Christmas movie is A Muppet Christmas Carol! I just love the muppets!


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Casey H said...

Elf is my favorite christmas movie! It's so adorable - I've already watched at least 50 times this christmas and I'm ready to watch it another 50 million times! xDD

+1 commenting
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Cylver said...

I love It's a Wonderful Life. My eyes always get misty when the little girl says "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings." Seriously. My eyes are misting up as I'm typing!

I also love the version of A Christmas Carol that was made in the 50s, starring Alistair Sim. He plays such a mean, nasty Scrooge, that when he finally gets his redemption, it's that much sweeter!

And of course Elf never fails to make me laugh till my stomach hurts, but that's pretty much the way it is with all Will Ferrell movies!

Onge said...

I'm going to have to go with A Christmas Story. It hasn't gotten old yet. :)
Thanks for the giveaway!!

Sharon S. said...

19 points for me!

My favorite show is The Year Without Santa Claus. I love Heat/Freeze miser . I don't have a regular movie I watch every year. Elf is definitely a favorite though.

Book Chatter Cath said...

I love the Home Alone movies, The Family Stone is very funny, my kids will watch A Muppet Christmas Carol with me and Bad Santa is very bad (in a good way!!!!)

total 16 points for me


Elena Gray said...

Mine didn't make the cut! I love Christmas Vacation and Home for the Holidays...I never tire of them.




Helen Lowe said...

"While You Were Sleeping" is definitely a favorite of mine. I also enjoyed "The Holiday" and "Love Actually"--well, parts of it, anyway. :)

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

My fave fave two are A Christmas Story which I always watch 24 hours when its on TBS! And Elf! Will Farrell was just too funny! My fave part is when he's at the Toy Store and is shouting SANTA!!! I know him, I know him! And then later when he "argues" with the manager about what the north pole is like and about singing, how it just goes on and on for awhile!

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12 total


thatonegirlyouknew said...

My favorites are Christmas Vacation, which I watch every Christmas Eve, and Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. I love all the old claymation type movies though. Oh! And Christmas specials, like Shrek the Halls, are fun too.

+1 comment
+10 follow your blog

total: 11

thanks for the giveaway!

Sullivan McPig said...

Not entering, but I just have to share my favourite Christmas movies:

- Assault on Precinct 13 (the new one with Lawrence Fishburn)
- Die Hard
- Reindeer Games
- Love Actually (yes, I know, it's the odd one out)

Cindy McCune said...

If you want a laugh watch Mixed Nuts with Steve Martin...& yes it is a Christmas movie :)

Karyn Gerrard said...

A Christmas Story
Miracle on 34th Street (orignal)
A Christmas Carol (1951)
Die Hard. Yeah, it takes place at Xmas, and we watch it every Xmas!

+1 comment
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A'lina said...

Home Alone 1 & 2 and Elf are my families favorite Christmas movies! And, it might just be me but, I also like to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. I always watch this on Halloween AND Christmas. One of my favs! We'll probably watch Four Christmases too.

linaramz at yahoo dot com

SandyG265 said...

My favorites are Home Alone and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

sgiden at

Samantha Duncan said...

my fav christmas movie was actually a cartoon ha ha ha
Grandma got ran over by a reindeer

+19 points

heatwave16 said...

My favorites are: A Christmas Carol, Meet Me in St. Louis, and a Christmas Story. :)


+5 - follow on facebook
+5 - follow on twitter
+1 - comment

total = 11

Merrie Destefano said...

I LOVE all of your answers! Thank you so much for posting and especially for telling me why you enjoyed some movies so much. Sorry I haven't been here chatting with you until now. A nasty cold/flu bug (which can't seem to decide which one it really is) has been pestering me and I'm not as efficient as I normally am.

Great answers, all of you!

Unknown said...

My favorite is National Lampoo's Christmas Vacation. Christmas doesn't start in my house till we watch it.

Also love Scrooged with Bill Murray and A Garfield Christmas (yes I am still a kid at heart and my son loves it!) Christmas with the Kranks!

There is so many that I like. Hard to write down only a few.

11 points.

Catrina Bradley said...

Hi Merrie! My favorite Christmas "movie" is A Charlie Brown Christmas - it makes me cry every year. And who doesn't like It's a Wonderful Life? What's not to like? And Elf is simply heartwarming :)

Please enter me in your contest!

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catrina at faithwriters dot net

Yvonne said...

No one mentioned A Muppet Christmas Carol. Had to through that one in. I love the music, humor and redemption.

50 points because I get to bug you everyday on facebook and read your "Sugah" excerpts. :O)

Barbara E. said...

Miracle on 34th Street
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Die Hard (what a way to celebrate Christmas-defeat the bad guys)

+1 Comment

Cathy Wellman said...

Mine is the Night Before Christmas.
I follow you on facebook and other sites as well thank you and Happy Hoildays

Mysteriousrose said...

It's hard to choose one favorite movie, but one I always watch every year with my family is Home Alone.

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Total: 28

Mette Jensen

Unknown said...

My all-time favorite holiday film over the years is hands down: The George C. Scott version of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Scott was my favorite actor of all time. He was brilliant, though he claimed to hate acting as if it were some minimum wage job, he excelled at it. This was his triumph. Scott didn't die young, but all the same, he died too soon and he is missed. Blessings all.