Tis the season….to snuggle up on the couch and watch holiday movies! Paul McGuire Grimes from Paul’s Trip to the Movies has his holiday themed movies from the 80’s, 90’s, and the 2000’s.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Clark Griswold is at it again. He’s not taking wife Evelyn and kids Audrey and Rusty on a getaway but inviting the whole extended family including the in-laws over to their house to celebrate Christmas. What could go wrong with those conflicting personalities under one roof? Clark irritates the neighbors by igniting a massive light display, invites Cousin Ed in unannounced, and debates what to do with his Christmas bonus from his jerk of a boss.
-Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki, Randy Quaid, Doris Roberts, Diane Ladd, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
-Written by John Hughes who based it on his short story “Christmas ’59” which he wrote for “National Lampoon” magazine
-My favorite from the Vacation franchise. As someone who loves Christmas, I love how excited Clark gets about Christmas and won’t let the stress and family get to him.
-I will laugh out loud every time I watch this whether it’s the antics with the lights, his neighbors Todd and Margo, Clark’s angry monologue at the end, or the crazy in-laws. I think we have all experienced some of Clark’s craziness around the holidays.
-Trivia: Mae Questel, who plays Aunt Bethany, was the original voice of Betty Boop
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – 25th Anniversary!!
Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. All of the goblins and ghouls take their annual traditions very seriously. Jack is feeling a bit bored by all of the hoopla and finds himself in the middle of the woods surrounded by set of doors in trees. He picks the one with a Christmas tree on it and is transported to Christmas Town. He is enamored with all of the Christmas stockings, trees, ornaments, and festivities he finds. He comes back to Halloween Town wanting to bring the Christmas cheer but gets a lukewarm response. Jack decides to kidnap “Sandy Claws” so he can bring presents around the world. Jack’s delivery of Christmas toys gets a shocking response in return.
-Featuring the voices of: Danny Elfman, Catherine O’Hara, Paul Reubens, Chris Sarandon
-Brought to life by stop motion animation from the creative mind of Tim Burton who wrote the story and characters. He was busy with his commitments to Batman Returns to direct the movie.
-With Jack living in Halloween Town and visiting Christmas Town, you can make arguments on whether this is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie. I argue you can enjoy it from October through December as it celebrates the joys of both holidays.
-Composer Danny Elfman is one of the greatest film composers of all time and performs the singing voice of Jack Skellington. It’s an extremely catchy score that plays throughout the entire movie with songs like “This is Halloween” “Jack’s Lament” “Sally’s Song” and the “Oogie Boogie Song”
-Disney released a re-imagined concept soundtrack a few years ago with various rock stars like Fall Out Boy, Fiona Apple, and Marilyn Manson
-It’s Disney, so it’s not overly scary for kids. My four-year-old godson has been watching it and was singing me some of the music this past weekend.
-You can find it streaming on Hulu
The Holiday (2006)
Christmas can be a rough time, especially for those unlucky in love. Iris has the ultimate work crush on Jasper who has led her on over the years. When she learns of his engagement to another woman, it’s a crushing blow to her romantic soul. She decides to leave her English countryside cottage for Christmas and house swaps with Amanda who lives in Los Angeles. Amanda’s a widely successful editor of film trailers who finds herself in somewhat of the same predicament when she catches her boyfriend cheating on her. Amanda and Iris switch homes for Christmas looking for a break from love. What would a Christmas movie be if they didn’t end up meeting new and charming guys in their new environments?
-Written and directed by Nancy Meyers who is well versed in romance stories typically catered to an older audience like It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give
-Starring: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, Jude Law, Eli Wallach, Rufus Sewell
-Lovely and sweet score by Hans Zimmer
-It’s one of those movies that just gets better with age. Upon first viewing I thought it was too long, but I have really come to enjoy both storylines.
-Kate Winslet is one of my all-time favorite actresses. She’s known for making heavy dramas and period pieces, but I love seeing her in a lighter, more comedic movie and she has great chemistry with both Jack Black and Eli Wallach.
Nailed It (2018)
If you love baking shows and you love Pinterest fails, you will get it a kick out of Nailed It, now streaming on Netflix. It premiered earlier this year featuring amateur bakers hoping to recreate show-stopping masterpieces. Let’s just say, the final product doesn’t always come out like the model they’re aiming for.
-There are two seasons plus a new holiday season now on Netflix. Each episode is 30 minutes and consists of two challenges with the winner taking home $10,000
-Hosted by comedienne Nicole Byers with French pastry chef Jacques Torres as the mentor
-If you need a good hearty laugh, you will be addicted to Nailed It! Byers has some fantastic quips for all of the travesties she sees in the kitchen.
-The contestants all seem like inspired bakers, but they will make any home chef/baker feel better about their skills. I often find myself yelling at the screen (in a good way) about the stupid things the contestants are doing in the kitchen.