Well, it’s officially a Minnesota Winter™ — it snowed last night, and this morning, and it’s still snowing. Now, snow is pretty and all, especially as it’s first falling, but once it’s on the ground (unless you live for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding and snowmobiling) it’s a major pain in the ass. Traffic begins to creep more slowly, as everyone has forgotten how to drive, parking lots become some abstract art piece, as everyone has forgotten how to park properly … and patches of ice hide under those pretty white flakes waiting to ruin the rest of your day.
But still, it looks gorgeous, and what’s more, it feels right for December and for Christmas.
I’ve always loved Christmas, but some years the way my holiday spirit manifests fluctuates. Sometimes the Christmas tunes playlist on my iPod starts getting heavy rotation on the day after Thanksgiving and sometimes it won’t make an appearance until I’m driving to my folks place a couple of days before Christmas. Christmas movies always make an appearance, however, and I’ve got quite the eclectic collection, a collection that I’m supplementing with flicks I’m finding on Netflix and Amazon Instant this year. The most important element of my movie watching is, very similar to a proper mixtape (hey kids, remember those, they were like a hard plastic version of an iTunes playlist, but much harder to create … ask your parents), variety. Some Christmas movies are all about elves and Santa, some are about families, some are overly sentimental and some are biting and cynical. Variety keeps the list fun and fresh.
So, my DVD collection (√ next to the ones that I’ve watched already):
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Family Stone
√ Die Hard
Die Hard 2
√ Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
√ The Long Kiss Goodnight
√ This Christmas
√ Unaccompanied Minors
√ Fred Claus
√ Just Friends
√National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Additionally, I’ve already watched Christmas Cupid, The 12 Dates of Christmas, Rare Exports and Toys on Netflix/ Amazon Instant. I’ve got a ton more queued up, including Meet Me in St. Louis (which, I’ve never seen), Santa Claus: The Movie, Snow, Snow 2, Noel, One Magic Christmas, Holiday in Handcuffs, Eight Crazy Nights (I’ve got to represent Hanukah too), Jack Frost, A Christmas Tale, Joyeux Noel and others … there are a lot of ABC Family flicks represented, but those can be a lot of fun too. I did a double feature one night of The 12 Dates of Christmas, which is like Groundhog Day set on Christmas Eve where Bill Murray is played by Amy Smart and Andie McDowell is played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Rare Exports, which is a Finnish film about reindeer herders who, led by a young boy, have to prevent the real Santa Claus from folklore (evil bastard who steals naughty children and punishes them) from being released from his mountain prison by an idiot billionaire American. Nice counterpoints, and two good flicks (though, of the two, Rare Exports is the only one that’s also a good film.
I’ve also got a handful of Christmas movies on reserve at the library (hopefully, they’ll be available in December …) including Bad Santa, A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas, Prep & Landing and a few others. I’m first reservation on each (if a flick had more than one ahead of me, then I didn’t bother because there’s no way that’s getting to me before February).
There are a couple more flicks that I’ll probably watch when I get to my folks place, because my mom will want to watch them too (White Christmas, Holiday Inn, It’s a Wonderful Life) but that’s it in a nutshell. I’m not adding A Muppet Christmas Carol to my list this year, because I don’t have a copy (the last time I saw it was on a copy that I bought as a gift for a friend).
So, what’s your favorite Christmas movies? What about your favorite Christmas traditions? Let me know in the comments below!
More later …