Not enough people take advantage of the full potential of coziness the holiday season has to offer. Use this time of year as an excuse to treat yourself! Bake some festive cookies. Put on cheesy Christmas songs and sing at the top of your lungs. Build a gingerbread house, and make it look as whacky as possible. Drink cinnamon hot cocoa and put up decorations. Need a little boost to get you in the spirit? Check out these fantastic and cozy Christmas movies!
The Man Who Invented Christmas
I am starting off with a brand new film, but it is a brilliant tale on the making of the most classic Christmas Story of all. Starring the always talented Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens, TMWIC tells the story of how Dickens created his novel A Christmas Carol. Clearly some liberties were taken, but the performance and tone of the movie was absolutely on point.
What I loved about this film was that it really showed the magnitude of literature, the power of the written world. By this point in the mid-1800s, Christmas was no longer a secular holiday. The idea of “Christmas spirit” and “peace, joy, and love” did not exist. It was through the brilliance and heart of Dickens’ novel that the world found the Christmas spirit, and it is no leap to say that with A Christmas Carol Dickens did truly invent Christmas for the world. The fact that a small five or six chapter book can bring about such change is incredible. I can’t think of a more lovely movie to watch to get ready for the holidays!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Jim Carrey is a gift this world does not deserve, a fact more obvious than ever in this Christmas hit. Full of innuendo, puns, and some excellent improvisation from the Grinch, no holiday season would be complete without visiting Whoville. The film added depth and color to the backstory of the Grinch that expands Dr. Seuss’s original story into something more meaningful and special.
My only critique is that I wish a bit more time was dedicated to drumming up sympathy for the Grinch, and maybe just 1 or 2 less scenes less of how greedy and shallow the Whos can be. Rewatching it as an adult I almost couldn’t blame the Grinch for how he felt about the inhabitants of Whoville.
Still, the costumes and sets in this film are stunning. Little Taylor Momsen was an adorable and lovable Cindy Lou Who, and of course Jim Carrey carried this movie on his shoulders like a sack of stolen Christmas presents. Be sure to treat yourself to a viewing this holiday season!
“Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?”
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”
“I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite”.
Elf is truly the Mean Girls of holiday films. Every line is hilarious and completely quotable. While many view Elf to be as big a holiday classic as Grinch, the major difference is that Elf doesn’t solely rely on its star, Will Ferrell. That’s not to say he wasn’t hilarious or that I wish someone else had played the part. Simply that Elf is just an all-around good movie! The writing is witty and genuinely funny. The plot is original and uplifting, and has a real positive message without being (overly) cheesy. The performances across the board were at worst slightly awkward, at best believable and heartfelt.
It‘s a Wonderful Life
As far as classics go, this isn’t just a great Christmas movie. It’s arguably one of the classic great films of all time! If you’ve never seen It’s a Wonderful Life, I don’t want to give anything away. Just do yourself a favor and watch it, preferably with some tissues on hand. I will say it’s a story about love and family. A moving tale of how even one seemingly unimportant person can make all the difference in their world. The movie reminds us of the subtle miracle and joy of simply being alive and surrounded by loved ones. What more could you ask for during the holidays?