In my house, we typically consider Christmas decorating to be fair game anytime after the Santa Claus parade. In case you didn’t know, that parade happened this past weekend, and therefore it is now the Season of Giving in my home. Some people call us mad for this, others agree with our timing. I really don’t care whether or not you think we’re too early to the party for Christmas because it is tied for first place with Halloween for my favourite holiday.
For those of you that celebrate Christmas, you may or may not want this reminder: there are only five Fridays left between now and the big day. That means there are now only five weeks left to get right into the Christmas spirit. What does that entail, you might ask. Well I like to get into the spirit with festive music, decorations, yummy cookies (stay tuned for a few of my favourite recipes in a future edition), and Christmas movies. Today, we’ll be discussing my favourite movies in hopes that some of you will join me in my Christmas-y cheer.
The sweet one: Jack Frost
My mom would never let me down if she knew I actually kind of liked this movie, but that’s okay because she won’t read this article. This is her favourite Christmas movie and she makes a point to watch it every year, usually ending up crying because it pulls at her heartstrings.
Jack Frost opens up with a dad who has to join his family late on Christmas due to an opportunity for his band. Unfortunately in his haste to join his family he passes away while driving to their cabin. The following year his son, Charlie, makes a snowman and Jack ends up coming back and living as the snowman for one last Christmas with his family. Between trying to catch one of his Charlie’s hockey games, helping Charlie overcome his bullies, and trying to help his family let go and come to terms with his death, Jack Frost is full of both funny, sad, and sweet spots making for a heartwarming movie to watch this Christmas season.
The funny one: Christmas with the Kranks
Christmas with the Kranks is about an older couple who are anticipating spending their first Christmas without their daughter Blair, and instead plan to take a cruise. Rather than indulge in any of the season the couple quits the holiday cold turkey and refuses to make any of their charitable donations, host their annual Christmas party, or partake in any gift exchanges. Their plans change rapidly when their daughter calls to tell them that she will be home for the holiday with her new fiance, and the two have to scramble to put together a Christmas party to welcome their daughter home with. The humour is strong with this one as the Kranks work against all odds to pull together a last minute Christmas without their daughter finding out that they had been planning to boycott it.
The one I hate: Elf
There’s a bit of a story to this one. When I was 14 my family drove to Calgary for a cousin’s wedding. At the time my brother was 3 and his favourite movie was Elf. In order to keep the little demon sated and not screaming the entire drive to Calgary (a drive which is about 12 hours long) we had to play this movie on repeat. Now, anything played that many times in a row is bound to instill an unnatural hatred into someone, but this was made worse because this trip took place in July. And even before this incident I had a pretty clear idea that Will Ferrell was one of my least favourite actors of all time. I’d say it’s pretty clear why I adamantly refuse to watch this movie ever again.
That said, this movie has been seared into my mind so I can still give you a pretty good idea of what it’s about (even some nearly 10 years after the incident). Elf is about Buddy, a human, who wanders into Santa’s magic present bag when he’s a baby and gets adopted by one of Santa’s elves. Buddy then grows up as an elf until one day (when he’s a fully grown adult) he discovers that he’s not actually an elf. This is shocking to him for some reason despite the fact that he is markedly different from every other elf, and so he goes on a quest to find his real dad in New York. Buddy’s story culminates in him saving Christmas and bringing Christmas spirit back to the people of New York.
My all time favourite one: The Santa Clause
I’ve always been enamoured with this movie and can remember watching it so many times it’s unreal. While the effects are beyond cheesy and unbelievable in today’s age (give the movie some slack, it’s as old as I am), I can’t remember not thinking that this movie was great.
The Santa Clause is about Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) who accidentally scares Santa off of his roof and has to become the new Santa Claus. This movie documents how he becomes the legendary gift-giver over the following year, as well as how this turn of events affects his strained relationship with his son Charlie, and his ex-wife and her new husband Neil (a psychiatrist who thinks this Santa stuff is bologna [Editor’s Note: Neil’s a dick]). The result is a feel-good funny movie that always makes me break out in a grin from ear to ear.