I remember young holidays back home like they were yesterday.
In my parents’ house, nothing Christmas came out each year until the date of the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, and we didn’t live in Toronto. It was a wonderful tradition; amazing floats on the TV, favourite albums waiting to be played (Neil Diamond was the best), me ‘n’ Mom decorating the tree and Dad adding the homemade star at the end.
I still remember waiting for that particular TV guide to come out, the one with all the Christmas movies in it so I could highlight them all and find them on our cable TV. Some I still have on VHS, some I upgraded to DVD, some I still need to hunt for today.
Which of these must-watch holiday movies from childhood will you be watching this year?
Christopher the Christmas Tree
Released in 1994 and not aired as often as once remembered, this 25-minute holiday special about a skinny tree wishing to be a bigger, more beautiful Christmas tree took kids and adults alike for a ride on the feels train. (He’s a lonely tree with feelings, hello empathy!)
The scene of Christopher crying little icicles as everyone around him has been (happily) chopped down and put in the back of a truck for holiday delivery is forever ingrained in my brain.
Unleashed on the ending edge of the 90’s, movie-goers, myself included, took absolute pleasure from watching a deceased dad (played by Michael Keaton) becoming reincarnated as his son’s (somewhat creepy) snowman in Jack Frost. Jack had died in a car accident coming home from a music gig, and was seemingly brought back to life by his son playing a harmonica Jack once told him was magical. AW.
But what happens to dear ol’ Dad when winter’s finally about to end? Watch and find out.
Random Fact: Hanson performed live at one of the public release events for the film. Mmmm-BRR!
Merry Macaulay-mas – Home Alone & Home Alone 2
For many years, Macaulay ruled my holiday watching, and I loved every minute of it. My mother and I still cringe every year during that nail scene in Home Alone like it’s the first time we’ve heard the sound it made. Not to mention the giggles for the Tim Curry “I love you!” scene in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
An often forgotten addition to Christmas lists? Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish. Although it’s not McCauley reprising his role as the loveable Richie, it deserves an honourable mention for the inclusion of David Gallagher (as Richie) and Eugene Levy as a crazy lab scientist alone. A rich kid wishes he hadn’t been born after being assumed to have ruined Christmas as Levy invents a magical wishing machine, what could go wrong?
I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Remember 90’s teenage heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas. At the height of his being every young girl’s man-crush-everyday, JTT released a Christmas film to keep us obsessing through the holidays, I’ll Be Home for Christmas.
Playing college student Jake, JTT is left stranded in the California desert with no cash and a deal with his father in which he’d receive a Porsche in exchange for making it home in time for Christmas. Did I mention he’s dressed as Santa?
A Flintstone Christmas
As I got older, I missed the days/nights of Flintstones and Jetsons back-to-back on YTV. First introduced to me by my Dad, A Flintstone Christmas became a yearly staple in my house.
Getting ready for a children’s Christmas party, Wilma has yet to convince Fred to treat the kids to a visit from Santa. Upon arrival at work at Bedrock Quarry, good ol’ Mr. Slate makes the same request to which Fred immediately agrees. Fred is given the rest of the day off on the threat that he must show up as Santa on time or he will be fired from the Quarry.
Similar to the concept of The Santa Clause, the real Santa makes an appearance at the Flintstone house during which time he becomes simply injured, needing someone to finish the job. Talk about a top holiday experience for Fred and Barney, but what about the party?!
A Flintstone Christmas Carol
A perfect watch-next film after A Flintstone Christmas, A Flintstone Christmas Carol shows an Ebenezer-playing Fred acting equally scrooge’d once he’s off the stage, leading to his own sequence of ghostly events.
In the film’s original concept, grumpy Mr. Slate was the proposed Mr. Scrooge but the studio wanted more emphasis on the beloved Flintstone family.
Who could possibly resist Bamm-Bamm Rubble as Tiny Tim?
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
Set during the original Beauty and the Beast, before the rescue of Belle and the final battle, there was the added story, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. Belle and Beast have yet to fall in love, and Beast is still in his furry form, so Lumiere, Cogsworth and the enchanted servers of the castle see Christmas as the perfect opportunity to make love happen.
Belle LOVES Christmas, but the Beast is bitter about the holiday coinciding with the anniversary of the evil spell being cast upon him, making him into said beast.
I know, let’s get Beast on a pair of ice skates in the cold winter snow! That’ll cheer him up, right?
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Because you can’t have a holiday movie list without A Charlie Brown Christmas, you just cant.
Now that you’re feeling the holiday nostalgia, let’s finish that present-day holiday shopping!
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