5 Movies to Watch on Christmas Eve

  • By Kim
  • 24 December, 2012
  • Comments Off

Santa’s big night is finally here! For most of us, the Christmas preparations are completed. Cards have been sent, cookies have been baked, tree trimmed and presents all wrapped. What will you be doing on the eve? Going to fun holiday parties? Attending midnight mass with your family? Maybe you’ll be relaxing at home, drinking some peppermint mochas and enjoying a quiet evening before the unwrapping frenzy in the morning. If so, here’s our handy list for the top 5 holiday movies to enjoy on Christmas Eve.

A Christmas Carol – The quintessential movie to watch on the eve. Just about everyone is familiar with the Dickensian tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s redemption. The actual novella is quite dark and many adaptations often gloss over Scrooge’s failed relationship with Belle, his sister Fan and nephew Fred, and even his old master Fezziwig. Then again, I can see how Ghost Marley’s dislocated jaw could be off-putting to those in celebratory moods. Anyhow, this story has many, many adaptations, so which one should you watch? If you have kids, or are looking for a lighter tone, try the Muppet’s Christmas Carol. Michael Caine is terrific as Scrooge. If you are looking for a classic, go for the black and white standard version called Scrooge from 1951.

Home Alone – When Home Alone opened in 1990, it was the first movie I ever had to stand in a long line for. I recall the line wrapping so far outside of the movie theater that it nearly went to the parking lot 600 feet away. My 10 year old self had never seen anything like that before and it only built anticipation. I was rewarded with what I thought was the funniest movie I had ever seen. Thieves getting hit with paint cans! Heads getting torched! Iron in the face! But between the slapstick, there was still a message of family and loneliness. Even as an adult, I have sentimental feelings about this movie and it has become a tradition to watch it. Knowing now that it was written by the great John Hughes only makes it more beloved.

It’s A Wonderful LifeI? confess that it’s been many year since I’ve seen this movie from beginning to end. Still, I always manage to catch a part of it on TV. It is on this list simply because it is one of the most beloved American films ever made. Not beloved holiday movie – but beloved in our history of cinema. Directed by Frank Capra and starring Jimmy Stewart, this movie maybe best represents our emotional need to belong somewhere and affect people’s lives. Set on Christmas Eve, kind-hearted and self-sacrificing George Bailey is about to commit suicide, leaving his wife and children a large insurance policy since he’s “worth more dead than alive.” We look back at his life and see the impact George has made on his town, despite never reaping any rewards or recognition. Of course, in the end, with the help of his guardian angel, George realizes that he has made a difference and the town rallies to help him. *Sniffle* What’s that? No, I just got some tinsel in my eye or something.

I left Elton’s, where there were a hefty number of half-naked chicks with their mouths open, in order to hang out with you, at Christmas.

Love Actually – I’ve found that this movie is extremely polarizing. There are those that absolutely loathe this movie for being a shallow, sanitized, cliche’d romantic comedy. And then there are those that embrace it in all of its cheesiness and fall for the feel-good storytelling of the weeks leading up to Christmas in London. Seeing as how this movie is on the list, you can guess which group I fall under. The movie touts itself as the Ultimate Romantic Comedy, and they are not incorrect. Setup as a series of interrelated stories, the movie follows the lives of Londoners and their different experiences and expectations with love. The movie explores love between children, siblings, extramarital flings, and even a grieving spouse. It doesn’t hurt that it stars major A-list British actors and was written/directed by Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Blackadder). Forget those crappy knock off movies, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. They only serve as a pale imitation of this one, but lack the charm. Quite a bit of nudity and sexiness in this one, so watch it with your girlfriends or your honey.

A Christmas Story – Say it with me: “I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!” Preferably with a compass in the stock and a thing which tells time. A movie set in the 40′s, but made only as movies in the 80′s were made. This fun movie plays on our childhood memories of fervently desiring THE toy of our dreams. Many Americans will identify with Ralphie’s childhood and average all-American Christmas. I grew up in the 80′s, but all the themes remain familiar since it perfectly captures childhood nostalgia – remembered or not. Bullies, cussing, and even commercialization. It’s a fun, heartwarming film to watch with kids, but made for and fondly viewed as a grown up.

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