“Tis the Season for Holiday Films: Ranking the Top Holiday Movies”

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Sarah O'Moore, Staff Writer

The December holiday season is my favorite time of the year. There is joy everywhere you go, you get to see family you haven’t seen in a while (even if it’s on Zoom this year), and of course, you get PRESENTS! There is just so much to love about the holidays including the movies that come with them. I don’t know about you, but for the entire month of December, I watch holiday movies on TV nonstop. And since some of the typical holiday activities may not be an option this year (no pictures with Santa!), settling in for a Hallmark movie fest is what the doctors have ordered. Over the years I have watched the same movies over and over, so I know which movies are sure to entertain and which movies will leave you feeling grinchy. I have created a list of my top 5 favorite holiday movies below:

5th Place – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

As much of a classic movie as this is, I still don’t love it. I didn’t mind it much when I was younger, back when I loved everything that had to do with Christmas, but I don’t know how many more times I can watch it. The storyline isn’t bad, but I am kind of bored by it now. Almost every kids’ movie has a good outcome and sometimes can be predictable, but this movie is obnoxiously predictable. Also, can we talk about how Rudolph’s entire family and friend group bullied him for his looks? Even his teacher? And then they realize his red nose is actually useful, and suddenly he’s a hero to them? You’re better than them, Rudolph. Also, I’m not sure if this is just me, but when I was younger, the characters were scary. The way the artists illustrated the characters back then were very different from other shows or movies so it always creeped me out. That creepy feeling I got when I was a kid has stuck with me. Overall, it isn’t a horrible movie. It just isn’t my favorite, leaving it in last place for this list.

4th Place – The Polar Express

This movie ranking is going to cause some controversy because it’s such a polarizing (see what I did there?) film. I have heard many different opinions on whether people love or hate it. Some might think it’s so cute to see a child live the dream of seeing Santa and a child finally believing in him. Others might think it’s just another Christmas movie with nothing special about it. I never hated or loved The Polar Express movie. For me, this has always been that one movie I watched just to say I watched it. Of course, when I was younger it was cool because it was about this child who was living my dream of going to the North Pole and visiting Santa Claus. I would have loved to have taken a cool magical train in the middle of the night by myself…but the idea is cooler than the actual execution. As cool as it seems in your imagination, it’s still boring to watch. I have always loved mysteries or something that I needed to find out at the end, not a movie that leaves me sleeping before the credits. 

3rd Place – How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This movie is so iconic. If you haven’t watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas, you should really get on that. It is so cute and entertaining to see how this grumpy creature is convinced to love such a cheerful holiday. His whole plan to take everything and ruin Christmas for the whole town is ruined when he runs into a child, Cindy Lou Who. She, along with the other Whos, restore faith in humanity by rejoicing instead of complaining about the loss of their presents and decorations at the hand of the Grinch. At the rate that 2020 is going, don’t we need to see a little more love like this? I love this movie for its cheerfulness and happy outcome, with some snark and comedy mixed in from the irritable Grinch. In case you didn’t know, the Grinch ends up returning all the presents he stole. The movie says the day the Grinch learned to love Christmas, his heart grew 3 sizes! And after watching this movie, you’re going to want to rewatch it at least 3 times.

2nd Place – Elf

The story goes that young Buddy the Elf (played by the hilarious Will Ferrell) grew up working for Santa Clause until it was decided it was better if he lived a normal life outside of the North Pole. Living his whole life with elves and Santa Claus making presents, it was very hard for him to adapt to our normal day to day life. He doesn’t understand basic social norms, like how normal people don’t put syrup on spaghetti, or get ridiculously excited over small Christmas decorations. I find it hilarious watching him roam the streets of New York City not knowing what to do or where to go. One scene that is stuck in my memory is when he takes gum off the railing in the subway. I know, gross! This movie always puts a smile on my face and will always be near the top of my holiday movie list! 

1st Place – Home Alone

Home Alone has always and will forever be the best holiday movie for me. The film features an eight-year-old boy named Kevin who lives in a big house with all his family members, including his obnoxious big brother Buzz (“Buzz, your girlfriend, WOOF”!) They decide to go on vacation for the holidays when they forget to take Kevin with them. Stuck home alone in the 90s with a cell phone or laptop, Kevin has to do everything for himself. He makes his own food, goes shopping, and puts up his own holiday decorations. Surprisingly, two burglars spent days trying to break in and steal items in the house while the family was supposed to be on vacation. To their surprise, Kevin was home and put various traps to stop them from stealing anything. He almost knew every move they would make before they even made it! It is so entertaining and enjoyable to watch this child trick these adults all by himself. The soundtrack, the spider, the classic one-liners, and Kevin’s scream all make Home Alone the absolute best holiday film out there. It’ll leave you appreciating those annoying family members who you’ve been cooped up with for months during quarantine.