Posted at 2:30 p.m., Dec. 8, 2015

Christmas classics

Movies to make any Noel cozy

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when it’s OK to binge watch Christmas movies and people won’t think you’re nuts. We’re all pretty familiar with ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas: a marathon of the best (and not so best) Christmas movies to sit and binge watch — nonstop — for 25 days straight — 24/7. So to lessen the pressure and still be able to get a little jolly binge watching in, I’m offering up my top 5 favorite Christmas movies for the season.

1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) (G):

This is by far the most famous and beloved of the Original Christmas Classics. But let’s be honest, who the hell really remembers the Little Drummer Boy or that cricket character anyway? We all know and love the stop-motion classic and there really is nothing more enjoyable than the best sidekick characters ever: the seemingly-greedy-but-actual-peppermint-miner, Yukon Cornelius, and Bumble, the shockingly-cowardly-but-overly-sensitive Abominable Snowman. This movie holds a special place in my heart because I can remember watching it when I was young enough to be terrified of Bumble. The storm scenes were enough to cause a heart attack and I usually ended up with a blanket over my head waiting for the horror to end. But this good ol‘ family classic never fails to put a smile on my face nowadays.

2. A Christmas Story (1983) (PG):

Who wouldn’t want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot range model air rifle? Full of profanity (Fuuuuudge!) and sex (a soft glow of electric sex in the window, to be exact), this famous Christmas classic is definitely a favorite, and not for the traditional holiday reasons. Between Ralphie beating the crap out of one obnoxious bully, Randy’s oversized winter coat, Flick licking a frozen flagpole, Ralphie in his cute little bunny outfit, the disappointing Ovaltine commercial and the hound dogs ruining Christmas, this classic stops nothing short of a full-fledged action/adventure movie. I’m sure everyone has memories of binge watching this romp when it airs for 24 hours on Christmas Eve, but spending the holiday with the Parkers brings memories of Christmas with my grandma.

3. The Polar Express (2004) (G):

Now this incredible animated movie was no surprise when it came out. I grew up reading the book that came boxed in a protective plastic cover complete with one of Santa’s bells and a cassette-tape for reading along. The images in the book were like something out of a dream: foggy and dim and seemingly realistic. And boy did the animators at Warner Bros. capture that feeling. The scenes in the movie feel as if you were just picked up out of the book and whisked away on the train ride with the other children. I remember loving the book so much I’d have my mother read it to me all year long, no need to wait for Christmas. So for me, watching the movie only brings back wonderful childhood memories with my mother.

4. Elf (2003) (PG):

If you don’t absolutely love this movie then you just hate Christmas. There is nothing more hilarious than a childlike Will Ferrell traipsing around New York City in a giant elf costume. My favorite scenes had those stop-motion characters the director so cunningly snuck into the movie. But all nostalgia aside, this classic just makes you happy it’s Christmas. Seeing Buddy so enthusiastic all the time constantly about everything makes life a little easier to smile about.

5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) (PG):

Jim Carrey has become somewhat of a Christmas staple, but this take on the Grinch stacks well next to the original. I love seeing Dr. Seuss worlds come to life since I grew up reading his books. I love the goofy character names and wobbly infrastructure. I love this movie because Carrey does such a great Grinch to the point that he eerily resembles the evil looking cartoon. They were so careful to mirror the original 1966 classic and it worked so wonderfully in a feature-length movie.

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