That being said, Miss Frankie is in the Christmas spirit, full throttle. This spirit is in constant danger from cranky managers, late package deliveries, and terrible traffic, so to buoy it through to the Big Day itself, Miss Frankie will be forced to watch every one of these Christmasy movies at some point:
1. Elf: This is basically a perfect movie and did the world a public service by giving Will Ferrell a proper outlet for his nutty talent. WF is a hit or a miss with his movies (sketch comedy is really his milieu), and this was a big, fat hit. Can you think of a movie that will make you feel as good as quickly? Irrepressibly quotable, touchingly innocent, and an embodiment of what the modern Christmas holiday is supposed to be about. Plus, ever year, I am delighted to remember by that Papa Elf looks exactly like my dad.
Except that Tim wouldn't touch those tights and that tunic with a ten foot pole. Maybe the hat, if I convinced him that it properly trapped his body heat from escaping.
2. The Family Stone: This might not be one that immediately comes to people's minds when thinking of Christmas movies. I really love it, warts and all- because it's not perfect. What it does do very well is capture the cozy feeling of a New England family house resplendent with the New England family Christmas spirit. I want to move into the house they are all coming back to, though maybe not with Diane Keaton or Rachel McAdams. Coach can stay. It also manages to depict that weird familial tension that happens when an outsider is introduced into the dynamic - the presence of someone who doesn't know all the little pettinesses and histories of the group makes those things come to the forefront all the more strongly for those who do know them. Anyways, I'm not sure how many people like this movie (though I was delighted to realize that my roommate shares my enjoyment), but it's a holiday favorite of mine.
3. Love Actually: I remember feeling quite scandalous and European when I first saw (and instantly fell in love with) this movie. There is nudity and British swearing. Good on me for being cosmopolitan enough to enjoy it! Okay, seriously, this is such, such a good movie. I love that it's the cinematic equivalent of interconnected short stories, and there's not a single storyline that I want to skip through. It's got the crisp quality to the cinematography that makes it visually really pretty and the soundtrack is amazing. I still groove out to "Christmas Is All Around" in my car every yuletide season. And the moment after Emma Thompson doesn't get the necklace? I weep like the little girl that I am every time.
4. Meet Me in St. Louis: This isn't a Christmas movie, per se, but it is all about family and it has maybe the best Christmas scene in cinema history. Judy at the ball? Judy singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"? Judy in the snow telling her little sister about the true meaning of family? It's all amazing. And she looks gorgeous:
5. A Christmas Story: Is it really Christmas without this movie? I think not. I will be parked in front of the TV on Christmas Eve watching at least 2-3 hours of the marathon with my Mom. Cliche, perhaps. Necessary, absolutely. Here's to you, Ralphie. Looking forward to spending some QT with you in a couple of weeks.
As far as Christmas day goes, my family somehow has gotten in the tradition of seeing whatever Leonardo DiCaprio movie is out. So this year, J. Edgar Hoover will be my Christmas day movie. That's the spirit...
How about you? What are your Christmas "must-sees"?