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Snow has fallen, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and holiday lights are already hung on trees. The holiday season is upon us, and just as it is time to enjoy candy canes and eggnog, the time has come to sit down with the family and enjoy one of the many beloved holiday movies.
We here at the Campus Press have asked our staff writers and editors to tell us their favorite holiday movies.
Dan Fatigato, sports editor: “‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ – Steve Martin, John Candy . what more do you need? A classic in every sense of the word, especially when Candy is ‘going the wrong way’ and the two wake up in each other’s arms. ‘So, how bout them Bears?’”
Kate Lams, staff writer: “My favorite holiday movie has to be ‘Jingle All the Way’ with Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is so funny because Arnold runs around town all day looking for this toy for his kid and runs into all sorts of crazy situations, including being the main feature in a holiday parade. But beyond the humor, it gets you excited for Christmas, which is always an important feature in a holiday movie!”
Stephanie Clary, editor in chief: “My favorite is ‘A Claymation Christmas Celebration.’ Singing clay creatures share corny jokes and holiday favorites in this special, which my sisters and I can’t go a Christmas without watching it. It used to air on the Disney Channel every holiday season but now can only be seen on DVD. Highlights include two dinosaur hosts who look like Siskel and Ebert, camels be-bopping on their journey toward baby Jesus, and bells that hit themselves to make sweet music.”
Beth Samek, staff writer: “‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ – the old animated version – though I guess the newer one is OK; it’s got good costuming at the very least. First and foremost, Seuss is a classic. I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone our age who didn’t grow up with the magical rhymes of the doctor. It’s got a great message, a lovable protagonist and some sweet Who-singing action. This is one of the few holiday movies I can stand to watch.”
Bridget Blanning, news editor: “I really like ‘A Christmas Story.’ I grew up with that movie, and each year it was greatly entertaining to watch. Between the tongue stuck to the icy poll to the leg lamp, it has something for everyone. I can still hear it ringing in my head: ‘You’ll shoot your eye out, you’ll shoot your eye out.’ Ah haha!”
Katie Williams, staff writer: “It is a tossup between ‘Elf’ and ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.’ On one hand, who doesn’t love Will Ferrell chugging an entire bottle of Coke. On the other, the Lampoon’s is just so … realistic … kinda. All the crazy shenanigans that go into having ‘the perfect holiday. That, and not trying to kill your relatives. Gotta love it. Also. you gotta put ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ on there. Classic.”
Greg Schreier, managing editor: “‘The Santa Clause’ is quite possibly the essence of Christmas movies. It affirms the existence of Santa Claus, some annoying little twerp gets his Christmas wish, and there’s enough slapstick to shame Abbott and Costello. Plus, it’s the only time I can say ‘I saw Tim Allen fall into a pile of snow’ and have it not be a cocaine reference.”
Michelle Fulcher, Campus Press faculty advisor: “Note that even I wasn’t alive when the first two were made, but they’re great anyway:
‘Miracle on 34th Street’ – only the black and white version with Natalie Wood and Maureen O’Hara will do.
‘White Christmas.’ I particularly like the drag scene.
‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ – a BBC adaptation of the Dylan Thomas piece. It’s sort of like ‘A Christmas Story.’ Actually, it has that dreamy back-to-childhood tone, and the fire scene is really funny.”
Josh Boissevain, online editor: “‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ It’s a classic example of unintentional irony when played on network television. I mean, what better way can you think of for network execs to offload primetime ad space to toy corporations so they can plug their latest Christmas toys than by showing a cartoon dealing with the over-commercialism of Christmas. Also, the soundtrack by the Vince Guaraldi Trio is pretty good.”
Brian Malnes, staff writer: “‘Brazil.’ Why? Terry Gilliam directed it, first of all, which puts it on the top shelf. It is an Orwellian journey into a twisted world in which, ‘We’re all in this together!’ To make it the perfect Christmas flick, it is set during that particular holiday. Everyone gives everyone else the exact same gift. And oh, did I mention Robert DeNiro is awesome as Harry Tuttle, heating engineer?”
Kasia Broussalian, photo editor: “‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ is definitely the way to go. I mean, come on, Charlie has a movie for every holiday, he always gets the crap knocked out of him by Lucy, the dirty kid is always around spreading his dust and Linus with his blanket is just what every girl admires in a guy.”
Luke Morin, online editor: “‘The Santa Clause’ is an amazing movie. It came out right in Tim Allen’s prime, too, back when Home Improvement was big stuff. I love when he goes to the doctor and there’s nothing wrong with him even though he gained 45 pounds (“Just cut back on the sweets”). And then when he shaves about 15 times a day, but he grows a beard again in about five minutes.”
Tara Miller, staff writer: “‘A Christmas Story.’ My dad and I watch it every Christmas morning while we open gifts! I love it! ‘Home Alone’ is awesome, and ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’! I can’t wait till Christmas!!”
Maggie McDermott, online editor: “‘A Muppet’s Christmas Carol.’ – You get to enjoy the wisdom of Dickens and the comedy of Gonzo and Rizzo. Also, it includes amazing songs that get stuck in your head for the whole holiday season. Also, ‘Holiday Inn’ is a great movie from the 1940s, where you get to enjoy both Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby and amazing dancing and singing. The best part is this movie works for every holiday, not just Christmas. Lastly, ‘Home Alone.’ I have to second everyone’s opinions on this! It was one of the highest-grossing movies for a very long time, so apparently people can appreciate a good holiday film every once in awhile.”
Christopher Zabka, senior campus editor: “‘A Muppet Family Christmas.’ – The gang goes to visit Fozzie Bear’s mom on the family farm, a winter blizzard hits and typical Muppet chaos ensues: the Swedish Chef chases the turkey around, Statler & Waldorf (the grumpy old men) square off with Fozzie and the Snowman in a joke-telling battle, everyone slips on the icy patch, and the living room is set up as a stage for a Muppet rendition of ‘Jingle Bell Rock.’ All these antics – and more – combine to make this the second best Christmas movie of all time (just behind ‘Home Alone’).”
Those are the best of the best Campus Press holiday movie picks. Now go home, eat a gingerbread cookie and watch one.