Here we are again. Knee deep in the holidays. Thanksgiving has passed and now everyone is allowed to be hyped for Christmas without receiving the stink eye.
Thanksgiving is my favorite winter holiday, but I am IN LOVE with the month I get to enjoy Christmas. I love the trees, lights, food, parties, wrapping gifts, finding the perfect gifts, giving the gifts, the nights in a blanket, warm drinks. Ah I love it all.
There’s a romance to the holiday. I won’t deny it. A season of potential romance for us singles. Granted it’s the height of cuffing season but I blame the Hallmark movies.
I don’t know about you but I get tired of the clichéd movies and cheesy endings. However, one good Christmas movie is worth a thousand cheesy endings. (I’m looking at you Netflix Ft. The Christmas Prince)
Here’s a list of my favorites that may have clichéd endings but still warm the heart and project the right spirit into the holidays. Enjoy:
The Holiday Calender 2018
This is one of Netflix’s Christmas movies. The story follows a struggling photographer who takes home an advent calendar that starts suspiciously influence her life in the weeks leading up to Christmas. And yes, there is a handsome suitor or two. (Quick shout out to Ethan Peck in this movie, he reminded me so much of someone and I had to look him up. Turns out he is Gregory Peck’s grandson. Since Gregory Peck is one of my Old Hollywood crushes I just had to mention it.)
The classic may not be off beat but its a classic, my absolute favorite, and so near and dear to my heart. Putting aside that Jimmy Stewart is my favorite person in the entire world, It’s a Wonderful Life is the best film you will watch in your life time. It’s got love, heartbreak, loyalty, betrayal, family, death, new life, new beginnings and tragic ends. If you’ve ever wondered what the world would look like without your impression in it, this is for you. The value of life and each persons legacy is just one strong theme in this timeless classic. (also available on Amazon Prime and honestly it made my week when I found it)
This film is one I grew up on. Bill Pullman and Sandra Bullock round off this funny quirky story. A woman (Bullock) is a lonely blue-collar worker for the Chicago subway system secretly in love with a handsome patron whom she’s seen every day for 2 years but has never spoken to. On Christmas Day they both get caught up in an accident and suddenly she’s got a problem AND a family for the holidays.
Love, The Coopers 2015
This is my favorite modern Christmas movie. 4 generations of (star-studded!) Coopers collide in this intertwining story for Christmas. Each individual has a tragic yet loveable storyline that unfolds throughout the film. Things may seem bleak for a while but it’s Christmas, this always turn out ok, right?
Holiday Inn 1942
Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire compete for Marjory Reynolds. Need I say more? Yes, I like to imagine this as another version of the film White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. This movie may have equal parts romance and Christmas but there is double that of musical dance numbers. With a star like Fred Astaire how could the studios NOT? (there is a scene performed in blackface and in today’s age is considered offensive.)
This is such a charming film. A big city reporter who has lied about her abilities for her women’s help column has to suddenly play the part to when her boss and a handsome war hero invite themselves to her home (a quaint cottage in Connecticut) for Christmas. Hilarity and misunderstandings and even romance ensue.
Another Jimmy Stewart film. But you can’t blame me for this one. We know about You’ve Got Mail with the dependable and loved Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. This was the first version of that story. The original story line was from a play and was eventually made into movies. The storyline was so well-loved that its’ been remade a few times in the last century and the latest is a revival of the Broadway musical “She Loves Me” with Zachary Levi. (The soundtrack is absolutely adorable.) In this film two coworkers in a store in Budapest, Hungary. They can’t stand each other at their 9-5 but unbeknownst to them they’re falling in love by mail as pen pals bonding over literature and deep thoughts. What happens? It’s worth the watch.
A homeless man moves into a mansion on NYC’s 5th Avenue- while it’s owners head south for the winter- to squat in style. He begins to offer the spare rooms to others in need for the holidays, before he knows it he’s running a charity house and somehow the homeowner even slips in amongst the numbers. It’s a heartwarming story of getting back on your feet, and remembering your roots. Just in time for Christmas.
What happens when a really young Cole Sprouse spots mom smooching Santa in the living room? A conspiracy to keep mom and dad together and keep santa from coming back –to save the family of course. This is a kids movie through and through but it’s always been cute and funny enough for all ages. Nothing like watching children terrorizing innocent santa’s across town to get you in the holiday spirit.
Holiday Affair 1949
This is another one of my favorites. This is has also been made a couple of times but no one can really hold a candle to this version. The devilishly handsome Robert Mitchum plays a toy store employee during the holidays who busts a holiday shopper illegally returning an item. Developing a crush and wanting to catch her a break he accepts the return and ends up losing his job and eventually spends the day with her while she keeps shopping. They get separated on the bus and he ends up having to track her down to return her packages, only to realize she has a young son and suitor at home waiting for her. He causes some trouble and confusion when he’s mistaken for a suitor and her parent’s take to him over dinner.
I loved the Eloise movies. Watching a limitless 6-year-old girl terrorize The Plaza nannied by the flawless Julie Andrews how could you go wrong? This Christmas movie follows the theme of sticking with true love, no matter financial position or job. It’s such a sweet innocence.
White Christmas– 1954
We’ve all seen this right? I doubt it needs a description. This is the classic that can warm hearts at the drop of a hat. Just as timeless as It’s a Wonderful Life. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, two GI performers who meet and fall for two sisters who are small time performers. Kaye, the more ambitious risk taker of the two decided to follow the girls to Vermont where they plan to entertain for a small Inn. All 4 arrive to find the Inn run by Crosby and Kaye’s former well-loved General in the Army. Unfortunately the Inn has fallen on hard times and needs the support… I guess you could say the support of the Army!
The Bishop’s Wife 1947
This oldie has been remade a time or two too. It’s a sweet, reminder to cherish the ones you love. Cary Grant, and David Niven liven up a drama/ comedy you can’t love more for the holidays. A new perspective from the Bishop wife’s point of view for the Christmas season.
Mrs. Santa Claus 1996
This may be for younger audiences but who else could possibly be Mrs. Claus?? I loved this one when I was young. Mrs. Claus takes the sleigh out for a spin and ends up stranded in a poor area of NYC near the turn of the century. It’s loveable and heartwarming. I promise.
Hopefully these bring you as much or more joy as they did me over the years.
Happy Holidays my dears.
The Mild Millennial