Best Holiday Movies of all Time; a Purely Subjective List

Posted: December 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

1)  You’ve Got Mail. Can’t describe my love for it…and though it’s not technically a Christmas movie, it’s filled with amazing shots of NYC at Christmastime and how can life get better than that?  And also, this – Frank:   “Is there someone else?”  Kathleen:  “No, but there is the dream of someone else.”  Perfect.

2)  It’s a Wonderful Life. Yes, it’s old.  Yes, it’s black and white.  Yes, Zuzu’s voice could curdle milk.  And yet…I cry every time.  (Will you get a load of the littlest kid’s face in that shot?  Someone is soooo done with this movie.)

3)  White Christmas.   I like to think if I’d been alive in the 40’s, I would have run into Danny Kaye somewhere and we would have exchanged clever banter and maybe gone on a date or two and it would have been fun until I decided I need someone more serious and grounded and he would have realized that he needed a woman he could dance with at parties and not be embarrassed and we would part company sadly, but happy for our brief time together.  I do shamelessly heart Danny Kaye.  If you aren’t an obsessed fan like I am, you can amuse yourself by staring at the size of Vera Ellen’s waist.  My best friend and I (hi Pam!) had a long discussion recently about how Vera Ellen is not Mitzi Gaynor.  That means nothing to you, I know, but needed to be included.

4)  Fred Clause.  I can’t quite explain why I love this movie about Santa’s bitter brother, but I totally love it.

5)  How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Just the voice of the narrator makes me feel 7 again and on the couch with my hot chocolate and popcorn and my sisters and a fire in the fireplace and the best life ever.  I didn’t know then that I was living the best life ever, but I know it now.

6)  Elf. I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m love and I don’t care who knows it!  That’s all.

Your turn!  What’s on your purely subjective Christmas list?

Dealing with my love for Danny Kaye,


  1. I have a love of Bing in White Christmas, a movie i watch at least once, but usually more, every December. “Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters…” — back in the day, i think, Andrew & Luke danced around to that song. Andrew still sings it. Along with “Snow! Snow! Snow!….”

    Thanks for posting, Bo. Funny, too, that Elf was just on last night. I was laughing just about off the couch at his excitement about Santa.

  2. pam says:

    ok…there’s so much to say i don’t know where to begin.

    First…You’ve Got Mail. Hands down the best. Absolutely the best. SUUUSHI!

    Second. I feel very un-American for saying this but i’m pretty over It’s a Wonderful Life. I think I OD’d on it as a kid and now i just can’t handle it. Still…zu-zu is pretty dang cute.

    Third. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around Mitzi Gaynor NOT being in this movie. Mostly because the thought of being so wrong for so many years frightens me. and not just a little. you’d think finding out Santa wasn’t real (SORRY! SPOILER ALERT KIDS!) would have prepared me a little better.

    Fourth. I am not certain I’ve ever seen that movie. I shall watch it forthwithly.

    Fifth. This is where we part ways, my friend. SO not a Dr. Seuss fan. He scares me.

    Sixth. Oh Elf. Everything you ever need to know about life you can be learned from watching Elf. He is my muse. And that should scare the rest of you.

    Seventh. And here we come to my list:

    An Affair to Remember. The second one…not the boring first one and definitely not the horrific third one where Warren Beatty DARES to step into Cary Grants magnificent shoes. No….the one with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is spectacular. The writing is so brilliant, so witty and so remarkable I find myself still in awe after watching it 40 billionteenth times. And…if pressed and stranded on an island with only a dvd player and the choice between You’ve Got Mail and An Affair…it would pain me greatly but I think Affair would win. Yes…it would win.

    Miracle on 34th Street. I believe…I believe….Oh I love this movie! And not the cheesy remake but the one with Natalie Woods. And please don’t tell me that’s not Natalie Woods…i don’t think I could take the shock. Especially if it turns out to be someone stupid like Vera Ellen or Jennifer Lopez.

    While You Were Sleeping. It’s sweet and that’s pretty much it.

    Serendipity. Watched it a while back but didn’t know it was a Christmas movie so i wasn’t able to enjoy it due to my strictly upheld policy of “NO CHRISTMAS BEFORE THANKSGIVING, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE!) Soo…I watched it last week and I’ve decided it’s a Christmas keeper. Very sweet. (Although the theology is atrocious.)

    Narnia. It’s just Christmassy and sweet and I’ve loved the Chronicles my whole life and I can’t help myself. I can’t.

    Ok…that’s all I can think of. I love Christmas movies!

  3. pam says:

    and one last comment about An Affair To Remember:

    HOLY TOLEDO! The ending! Oh my goodness…has there ever been a better ending in the history of movie making? And dare i say…life? I think not, my friend, i think not.

  4. Christmas-Loving College Daughter says:

    A splendid movie list.:)

    1. You’ve Got Mail, you’ve got my heart. The seamless pairing of quirky and real is just perfection: “You are a lone reed. You are a lone reed. Standing tall. Weaving boldly. In the corrupt sands of commerce.” vs. “I feel as though a part of me has died and my mother has died all over again. And nothing…will ever make it right.” (getting misty eyed at work right now).

    2. I do love It’s a Wonderful Life, however I don’t like watching it because it makes me afraid that my dreams won’t come true.:(

    3. The beauty of White Christmas is the fact that 1/3 of the dialog is merely repeated lines because the ENTIRE thing is one big inside joke. The other beauty of it is Danny Kaye!!!!! I LOVE LOVE Danny Kaye. After reading of your mythical encounter with Danny Kaye, I think I may have a chance. I would sacrifice serious for him.

    4. Fred Clause. A very wonderful movie. Confession: I cry every time I see the seen with the elves running to the snow globe to Enya’s Silent Night.:'( To quote A Bug’s Life, “It’s sooo beautiful!”

    5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas 30 minutes of childlike euphoria. Ok, that might be an overstatement, but then again maybe not.

    6. Elf! So much to say I can’t think of anything. My mind has gone blank…like Kathleen Kelley’s. “Federico, that’s fun to say!”

    I think your list is my list, except I’d trade out George Baily the dream killer and put in A Charlie Brown Christmas the dream birther(that’s kind of creepy, sorry).
    Thanks for planning my next movie night mom!

    Reminding myself that Danny Kaye is really old,
    Christmas-Loving College Daughter.

    Post Script: I really really love you.;)

  5. bolovesjoe says:

    Heather – I feel like I may have fuzzy memories of Luke and Andrew and the Sisters song as well!

    Pam – how could we be friends this long and me not know about your Dr. Seuss issue? This seems like a relationship deal breaker if ever there was one. Except he’s dead, so he didn’t hear you say this and I’m going to pretend I didn’t either. Also, I think we’ll be even when I tell you: I’m not sure I’ve ever made it to the end of Affair to Remember.

    Tori – I really, really love YOU. And I love that our lists nearly match. And I love that we would both happily take off many of these and add every Christmas episode of West Wing ever but we wouldn’t tell anyone because they wouldn’t understand. 🙂 We, my dear, are looooone reeds.

  6. Jamie Schulz says:

    This year, I discovered the Shop Around the Corner which is the movie You’ve Got Mail was adapted from. I never would have imagined myself saying this, but I think I like it better. You have to watch it!

    Also, I rediscovered Holiday Inn this year which can’t compare to White Christmas. But it does help satisfy my hunger for more singing and dancing after having watched White Christmas for the 50th time!

  7. […] Jump to Comments Earlier this week, one of my favorite people wrote a post about her favorite Christmas movies and asked what other people’s favorites were.  Rather […]

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