After indulging in our Thanksgiving feast, playing the Wii, eating some more and finally cleaning the kitchen, we officially kicked off the holiday season by watching Elf – the best Christmas movie ever.
This may be a bold statement, but I'm going out on a limb and proclaiming that Elf has become the It's a Wonderful Life of our generation.
Throughout the year, we continually quote the movie. Kids misbehaving? I'll call them "cotton-headed ninny-muggins." When we get a sales call at home, my daughter asks if she can answer the phone, "Buddy the Elf! What's your favorite color?"
We went to San Francisco over spring break, and I can't tell you how many times I heard "Francisco! That's fun to say! Francisco. Frannncisco. Franciscooo…"
I love Elf because it introduced me to one of my favorite words – "ginormous" which has become a regular part of my vocabulary (but apparently not too friendly with the spell check on my MS Word, because it refuses to accept it as I write this column).
I love Christmas movies and cheesy holiday TV specials, and the ABC Family networks "25 Days of Christmas" feeds my addiction. There's something incredibly comforting about curling up on the couch with the kids and watching these shows. So without further adieu, I present to you my eclectic, completely biased list of favorite Christmas movies and specials.
- The Year Without a Santa Claus : Up until Elf, this was my absolute favorite Christmas special. Who doesn't love all the crazy antics of the Heat Miser and Snow Miser and their little minions in this Rankin Bass stop animation classic.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: I still get the warm fuzzies when Santa sweeps down and rescues the misfit toys, including Charlie in the Box, the ostrich-riding cowboy, the train with square wheels and the bird fish. Which leads me to wonder, if Santa's elves made those toys, where's the quality control and how did they get there? Buddy the Elf would never had let that happen.
- Shrek the Halls: A relative newcomer to the holiday special scene, this quickly became a family favorite. The Gingerbread's recollection of why he fears Santa is a classic, and my kids love the ogre triplets and the abundance of bodily noises heard throughout the special.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: Is it a Halloween movie about Christmas or a Christmas movie about Halloween? When I first saw the movie in the theater I wasn't fan, but there's something about Jack Skellington and his quest to perfect a macabre Christmas that I've grown to love.
- Sound of Music: I know this isn't an official Christmas movie, but I remember it being on television every Christmas night, and it was one of my favorite traditions.
- Nestor the Long-Eared Donkey: I'm not sure if many people have seen this special, but it makes my list because it is the first show that made me cry when I was little. "Long" story short, Nestor is the rejected Rudolph of donkeys, whose mother freezes to death protecting him from the snow. He ends up becoming the donkey that Mary and Joseph ride into Bethlehem.