First of all....MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE! It is after midnight (I was working at American Eagle tonight...we closed at 11...blegh) so I get to say that. So say it I will.
And now for the moment you've all been waiting for! Or at least the moment I've been waiting for since I got up at 7:30 this morning and didn't stop moving until about 5 minutes ago...
the continuation of my Christmas movie countdown (the crowd goes wild)! If you missed numbers 10-6, have no fear, just click here.
#5: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Oh man. I've been craving this movie for the past few days. It's just so darn...cute! I love the songs. I love the characters. I love Michael Caine as Scrooge. I love the story! The whole thing just makes you want to live everyday like it was Christmas - like it was the best Christmas ever! Oh, fun fact - Dallin and I watched this movie on our first date, on December 15, 2006. Ready- 1,2,3...aaaawwww!
Favorite part: Ok this is starting to get hard. Um...probably the song "One More Sleep till Christmas." Or maybe the song "It Feels Like Christmas." How can you not love a song with a line like "It is the summer of the soul in December. It's true wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas!"? Love it.
#4: The Santa Clause (1994)
Yes, just the first one. Not the sequels. Step away from the sequels, people.
The first one is really the only one worth watching. But boy, is it worth watching. I've often wondered if the reason I love this movie so much is just a familial thing...my family really gets a kick out of this one, for some reason. This movie's humor is infinitely better than the sequels'. A total non-believer unknowingly "accepts the duties and responsibilities of Santa Claus" when he scares the old Santa and makes him fall off the roof. He then has to deal with his transformation into Santa Claus, including the weight gain and beard growth. And even though other adults think he's crazy and even he tries to deny it all he can, his son Charlie never loses his faith in his dad.
Favorite part: When Scott catches Santa on the roof. Pretty much from there until they get to the North Pole. "Well, we made good time."
#3: White Christmas (1954)
Oh, I'm so grateful to my mom for raising me on the classics! Seriously, I know this movie inside and out. And it is good. Bing Crosby is just classy. And this story is great too - it's all about giving an incredibly thoughtful gift to an incredibly deserving man. Throw in some awesome song and dance numbers (Mandy! Snow! Sisters!) and mix in a love story, and you've got yourself a goodie.
Favorite part: Hmm...can't choose between two. Either "Sisters," when Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye don the girls' attire to perform their number about what it's like to have a sister, or the end, when General Waverly walks into the ballroom expecting a show and getting a tribute planned just for him. And then it SNOWS! And it's pretty.
#2: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2004)
Oh yes, the original animated one is fine. Classic, even. But Jim Carey is just...better. I don't even like Jim Carey, and I love this movie that is pretty much dominated by him. It still amazes me sometimes how Ron Howard (director supremo) stretched this story out without making it seem stretched. The background they give to the Grinch is entertaining, telling, and heartbreaking all at once. Poor little Grinch. And seriously- this movie has, quite possibly, the most impressive collection of spectacular one-liners/monologues of any movie. And I have them all memorized, thank you very much.
Favorite part: "Even if I wanted to go, my schedule wouldn't allow it! 4 o'clock- wallow in self pity. 4:30- stare into the abyss. 5 o'clock- solve world hunger- tell no one. 5:30- jazzercize. 6:30-dinner with me; I can't cancel that again! 7:00- wrestle with my self loathing...I'm booked! Of course if I moved the loathing to nine, I would still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling, and slip slowly into madness.....But what would I wear?!"
#1: It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
What did you think- that I was going to pull a Moviefone and put this movie- this movie- in anything other than first place? Ok, maybe it is "cliche," or whatever, to list this as the best Christmas movie...but you know what? It IS the best Christmas movie.
A lot of times I wonder what I could be doing with my life- like, really doing with it. I've always seen myself as a pretty capable person- nothing incredibly special, but capable of doing a whole lot. Sometimes I wonder why I'm not doing a whole lot- why I'm not following a steady career path, why I got married so "young," why what I want to be isn't a doctor or a lawyer, but a kick-a wife, mother, daughter, and friend. These thoughts make me think about what really matters, and what really matters isn't the place I've gone or the impressive things I've done- it's the people I've touched, and whom I've let touch me.
The man in this movie had some serious dreams. He wanted to see the world, to build things, to get away, to really make something of himself. What he didn't realize was that he was making something of himself all along, by staying home, by working hard, by being a husband and father and being cooped up in an office and living in a fixer-upper home. He really was living the dream; he just didn't realize it.
I hope I realize it.
"No man is a failure who has friends." Life really is wonderful. Love one another. What better Christmas message is there?
So I hope that, in the next few days, you get to watch a good Christmas movie with some people you love. Turn off the lights, turn on the fireplace, turn up the volume. Watch and love, people.