Four Holiday Movies to Brighten Your Year
It’s that time of year again; there’s a chill in the air, excitement for the two–week winter vacation, and decorations springing up all around Berkeley.
This can mean only one thing: the holidays are near. And what better way is there to liven up your spirit than to watch some enchanting and funny holiday movies? Whether they are old classics or fresh comedies, these four films are sure to make this winter season just a little jollier.
In fourth place is The Year Without a Santa Claus. This is a clay–animated stop–motion movie that premiered first on ABC Family in 1974. I remember watching The Year Without a Santa Claus along with other holiday specials like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas or A Charlie Brown Christmas as a small child. The Year Without a Santa Claus is the tale of one fateful year when Santa (Mickey Rooney) has an awful cold and decides to give up on working that Christmas.
His devoted elves set out to prove him wrong and in the end show him that people love the holidays everywhere, even in places less snowy and merry than the North Pole. Mrs. Claus (Shirley Booth) narrates the story, and her iconic voice combined with the quirky stop–motion clay figures leaves audiences in delight.
Even adults can still enjoy The Year Without a Santa Claus, as it reminds them of how magical the holiday seasons were when they were young children.
Third on my list is another classic: Home Alone. A “family comedy without the family” sums up this movie’s plot. Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) wakes up one winter morning to find his family gone. Every last uncle, aunt, parent, cousin, and sibling have left on their holiday vacation to France and in the big rush have forgotten one very important thing — Kevin. While his family frantically tries to return and save their little boy, Kevin does just fine on his own.
In fending off two dimwitted burglars with a series of clever booby traps, he realizes the true meaning of Christmas all by himself.
While chuckling and cheering Kevin on, you will realize the necessity and comfort that one finds in their family.
Home Alone is a great choice for family members of all ages to watch together.
It’s a Wonderful Life is the runner up — a close second on my list by only a small margin.
Originally considered a flop in the box office, Frank Capra’s endearing film has became recognized as one of the best American and Christmas movies of all time. Produced in the forties, It’s a Wonderful Life is the story of a tired and worn out businessman, George Bailey (James Stewart). When disaster strikes on Christmas Eve and he thinks his family’s company has gone bankrupt, he considers suicide. But his guardian angel Clarence (Henry Travers) comes to him, shows him all the positive things he’s done for people over the years, and saves his weary soul.
When you watch this film, you will be reminded of all the supportive and loving people in your life and just how wonderful life can really be.
Last but not least, at the top of my list is Elf. A grown man in a green tunic and yellow tights scampering around the streets of New York City is certainly hard to miss, just as you shouldn’t miss out on seeing this hilarious comedy.
Released in 2003, Elf follows the adventures of the unusually tall Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) as he ventures far away from the North Pole to the Big Apple to find his biological father (James Caan), who, after a great deal of hilarious convincing, accepts Buddy as his son.
Not only does this movie bring out the joy of family during the holidays, but it also showcases Will Ferrell at his comedic best. Nearly every scene features a host of laugh–out–loud jokes.
While keeping you in stitches, Elf succeeds in having some more heartfelt moments, such as the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” scene with Buddy and his love interest, played by Zooey Deschanel.
Of course, there are countless heartwarming holiday movies; I’m just sharing a few of my personal favorites. Each of these movies, regardless of the jokes or gags, brings alive the spirit of giving, goodwill and wholeness that only the holidays provide.