12.19.2014

OUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY MOVIES + MUSIC


I've been thinking a lot this week about the movies we always watched as kids every year at Christmas. Tradition type stuff. Growing up we never really got into Christmas Vacation or Home Alone. I don't know why. I guess Home Alone was kind of intense for me (Buzz sort of freaked me out), and I don't know but I think the artistic subtlety of Chevy Chase's performance in Christmas Vacation was completely lost on my parents. ;) Instead we watched a ton of A Christmas Story, Mickey's Christmas Carol, the Nutcracker (featuring Macauley Culkin, of course) . . . and that awful version of Scrooge with Albert Finney (ew mouth makeup). And we never did the Steamroller stuff, either, or even much Bing Crosby. We did mostly The Carpenters, some Mariah, lots of Johnny Mathis and Nat King Cole, and the occasional Barbra Streisand. We once had a Time Life Treasury of Music cassette collection that rocked my socks off. My junior year in high school my dad picked up Piano Winterludes and now that, more than any other album, signifies that Christmas has come at the Lovin house. He puts it on immediately at the end of dinner on Thanksgiving and then it stays on, pretty much constantly, through January 1.

So I sat down with Huck yesterday and we watched Home Alone. It seemed prudent. Huck is at the perfect age for slapstick pain-centered comedy, and it made me see the movie in a whole new light. And then I started thinking about all these other Christmas movies out there that I'd love but have never seen, or that I've seen but have never given their proper due. So then I wanted to know what your favorite Christmas movies + albums were. And so then I wrote this blog post. Maybe we can all beef up our Christmas movie marathon arsenals this weekend! Pass the egg nog! 

(I feel very strongly that egg nog might be the great divider of all holiday tradition-seekers, much like the black olive is at Thanksgiving.)

Some Lovin Favorites:

MOVIES / 
Mickey's Christmas Carol (prepare to cry at Small One if you get the new bonus pack.)

MUSIC /
A Charlie Brown Christmas (get it in vinyl!)

And now your favorites! Tell me all of them, I'll pop the popcorn.

54 comments :

  1. Movies:
    Christmas Vacation
    A Christmas Story
    Miracle on 34th Street
    Love Actually
    The Holiday
    Frosty the Snowman
    The Family Stone

    Music:
    Trans-Siberian Orchestra (only Christmas Eve Sarajevo)
    Any Rat Pack Christmas Tunes
    She & Him - A Very She & Him Christmas
    Seth MacFarlane - Holiday for Swing!


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  2. you should check out Scrooged with Bill Murray

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  3. John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas together. Its the best Christmas album.

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  4. this come in very handy! me and my friend have this weekly section in our blogs (Film friday), for wich we watch a film and post about it (you get it) and we are a bit lost about a xmas movie for next week!
    btw Love actually is probably one of my favorites.

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  5. Celine Dion holiday album has been a staple in my life since forever. So good. you need to listen.My husband loves Amy Grant. I can't ever get into it though too radio Christmas song sounding for me! The nutcracker is what I am named after. So that's a given every year!! Also It's a wonderful life (I'm a sucker for the black and whites) and Christmas Vacation every year on repeat. And sometimes I like those horrible hallmark channel Christmas movies that are so cheesy but so good! -Clara
    Adrifttheblog.blogspot.com

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  6. I found a Johnny Cash christmas record last year while perusing the cheap bins and it's equal parts strange and beautiful. I also think Wes Anderson movies are perfect holiday films.

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  7. Fred Claus
    Elf
    A Christmas Carol
    Mickey's Magical Christmas
    Home Alone 1 & 2
    Miracle on 34th Street
    The Santa Clause
    Jingle All The Way
    The Holiday
    Sleepless in Seattle
    It's A Wonderful Life
    Polar Express

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  8. I am a huge fan of Celine Dion's Christmas album (her version of Oh Holy Night cannot and will not ever be beat) and I have been in love forever with Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton's Christmas album that they do together. Some corny, some romantic, all rolled into one!
    As for movies...It's A Wonderful Life--the original of course, White Christmas & Holiday Inn (both Bing Crosby) & Home Alone

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  9. Movies:
    Elf
    White Christmas
    Holiday Inn
    It's a Wonderful Life (my mom's all-time favorite)
    A Charlie Brown Christmas
    The Holiday
    Love Actually
    Christmas Vacation
    Christmas in Connecticut

    Music:
    Michael Buble Christmas
    Winterlude (the album with the red berries on the cover)
    True Value Hardware's Happy Holidays compilations (my family seems to have a million different volumes of this from when I was a kid)
    Hanson's Christmas Album (this was the first CD I ever owned. I got it as a gift and wore it out listening to it.)
    Dave Matthew's Christmas Song
    Pretty much any rendition of O Holy Night

    Merry Christmas!

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  10. Don't forget the Grinch! Both versions are great. Also, I adore anything Motown as far as Christmas music goes.

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  11. Christmas Vacation is not only my favorite Christmas movie, it's one of my favorite movies EVER. Love that Chevy Chase. And you have to watch Scrooged. Amazing.

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  12. White Christmas and Holiday Inn--both Bing Crosby movies, both featuring the iconic "White Christmas" and I just can't get enough!

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  13. I love Sufjan Steven's Christmas albums (Songs for Christmas is my favorite of the two). A mixture of classics and {quirky} new ones. White Christmas is my favorite "classic" Christmas movie, but I really enjoy The Holiday.

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    1. We also listened to that Barbra Streisand album and only now do I find it a little funny that she even has a Christmas album! haha

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    2. I looooove Sufjan Steven's Christmas Album! Good pick.

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  14. Trans-Siberian Orchestra...loud, so you can pretend you're part of it...and I'll have to second Jingle All the Way because "Who told you you could eat my cookies?!"

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  15. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer- the original one, The Grinch- both the cartoon Dr. Suess one and the Jim Carey one, Christmas Vacation- ILMAO at it every year, Santa Claus I & II and Home Alone. Also Im thinking of revisiting Scrooged with Bill Murray this year.

    As for music, we created a Pandora Christmas Channel and that's been great. Lots of variety from the classics to the old xmas movies and some newer artists too.

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  16. Oh and music--how could I forget?

    Ringo Starr's Christmas album, I Wanna Be Santa Claus, is truly golden. Please seek it out immediately. And Sound Opinions on NPR puts together a Christmas compilation every year that is free to download. This year is an homage to Christmas Pop of the 60s and 70s and is amazing, and can be found here: http://soundopinions.org/christmas

    ^Everyone needs to download it if they haven't!

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  17. Some top choices there, Natalie ;)

    www.absolutelyabi.blogspot.co.uk

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  18. I think my movie comment disappeared! I was recommending The Santa Clause for Huck's age (the first movie is my favorite but I love #2 and 3 as well). The Holiday is cheesy ridiculous romcom silliness. The Family Stone is a true Christmas favorite of mine. I love Christmas movies in general and you listed a few of my favorites. Oh and the old claymation movies are glorious. Also Babes in Toyland ends at Christmas time, though most of the movie is summery.

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  19. I have more movies...Jingle All The Way (has Arnold in it!); the Grinch, both versions but especially the Jim Carey version.

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  20. The Carpenter's will be my number one forever and ever.

    For some reason I hate the Polar Express movie. I can't even put my finger on it, but I will rue the day my three year old decides to be obsessed with it.

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  21. Movies:
    Home alone 1 & 2
    Family Man
    The Holiday
    Love Actually
    Elf
    Shrek the Halls
    Family Stone
    Also (not very christmassy but i love to watch those especially at Christmas):
    Stardust
    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    Bridget Jones Diary
    About Time

    Music:
    Pink Martini Joy to the World
    Tori Amos Midwinter Graces
    Otava Yo Christmas Album
    Diana Krall Christmas Songs
    Michael Buble Christmas Album
    and old goodies such as Wham!'s Last Christmas, Frosty the Snowman by Jackson 5, etc. ( I usually make playlist :))
    Merry Christmas ! <3

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  22. Ohhhh man. Christmas Vacation has ALWAYS been a must-see in our house. Like, multiple times a year type of deal. Also: It's a Wonderful Life, Muppet Christmas Carol, Scrooged (Bill Murray! So good! But we always watched the edited version they played on TV- I just watched the unedited one on Netflix, and it was quite a bit different than I remember! ;), Elf, A Christmas Story, Christmas with the Kranks (a newer one, but so so so good!!), Home Alone 1 & 2, and I think Sleepless in Seattle counts as a Christmas movie, so I'm saying that one too.

    As for music- Perry Como equals Christmas in my house. As does Amy Grant. And Andy Williams. And of course Bing Crosby! And the Carpenters! And my mom had these Victoria Christmas CD's (like from the magazine) with Celtic music that is just the prettiest. She'd always put them on while making Christmas breakfast. :) Mariah of course. Also, my newest favorite Christmas song is "The Christmas Song" by the Raveonettes. LISTEN TO IT. And then have a dance party, because you can't not dance to it.

    This was fun. :)

    xo

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  23. Miracle on 34th Street for sure, The Holiday, ELF, Charlie Brown Christmas, Home Alone, It's a Wonderful Life, Four Christmases. Reese Witherspooon is on fire in that last one if you dig her.

    Music is all about Mariah Carey, Nat King Cole, Michael Buble, Amy Grant (LOVEEEEEE Amy Grant), Gloria Estefan and Bing. Takes me back to my childhood and what better music to listen to at this time of year than music with memories behind it.

    Loved this and thanks for letting us play :)
    xoxo

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  24. Movies:
    The Holiday
    The Family Stone
    Love Actually
    Miracle on 34th Street (new and old)
    The Santa Clause
    It's a Wonderful Life
    Home Alone (1 & 2)
    Any old Hallmark Channel movie (saccharine but heartwarming)

    Music:
    The Carpenters (of course)
    Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas
    Nat King Cole
    All of the classics in any iteration


    MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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  25. Movies//Elf, The Polar Express (with those awfully realistic eyes), The Grinch (with Jim Carrey), and A Christmas Carol (1951 with Alastair Sim).
    Music//Bright Eyes Christmas Album, Raffi's Christmas (ok, Huck would LOVE this, it's bomb!), and Sufjan Steven's Christmas Album.
    And one book for kicks cause it's SO good//A Tree For Peter

    Merry, Merry Christmas Holbrooks!

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  26. Muppets Christmas Carol and Little Women (How has no one mentioned these yet?!). Also Raymond Briggs The Snowman and Father Christmas.

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  27. The Carpenters album is the sound of Christmas for me. I think my dad always encouraged me to sing alto because of how much he loves Karen's voice. And I've never been able to get into Christmas Vacation! I can't figure out why people like movies where everything just keeps going wrong?

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  28. I see nearly all the best music and Christmas movies have been mentioned but what about While You Were Sleeping? (and yes, love Little Women too)

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  29. the ONLY Christmas movie you need to see (ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration) is All I Want for Christmas starring a pre-pubescent Ethan Embry as a good kid who just wants his parents back together for the holidays. Also starring Thora Birch in her pre-goth/angelic child era. It is 90s Christmas movie GOLD. You are welcome in advance.

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  30. I LOVE barbara Streisand....Reminds me of growing up, esp her version of Jingle bells!!!!

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  31. James Taylor's Christmas Album is mindblowingly fantastic... Makes me cry but also makes me crazy happy!

    jemima x

    http://jemimajaneblog.com

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  32. the home alone movies were really big for us at christmas time, so was christopher the christmas tree!

    www.footnotesandfinds.com

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  34. the year without a santa claus - the musical number by the miser brothers just might be my favorite thing about christmas

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  35. ooohhh! Music - TSO, Michael Buble, GLEE, a little Elvis, gotta have Bing Crosby, the Elf soundtrack...
    Movies - Love Actually, The Holiday, Elf, The Christmas Letter (Hallmark), Jingle All The Way (i like it better now than i did when i was little - i can see more of the humor), Five Christmases... :)

    Happy Christmas & a Blessed New Year to the Lovins & Holbrooks! *hugs*

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  36. Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful Life, A White Christmas

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  37. Little Women (with Susan Sarandon, Claire Danes) .. :)

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  38. I always love the Christmas claymation movies!

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  39. I am all about some Christmas Vacation and The Family Stone :)

    Also, the vinyls of Bing Crosby, the Nutcracker, and She & Him. This year I've really gotten into Sufjan Stevens' Christmas songs, too.

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  40. Movies (besides some you posted): Holiday Inn and White Christmas.

    Albums: Barry Manilow, Of course The Carpenters Christmas, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, I have over 50 Christmas Albums and I love them all.

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  41. Truman Capote - A Christmas Memory. Its the story of a little boy (Truman) and his eccentric aunt and all their activities together during the holidays. I've seen it once and still remember it - I need to find it! The Shop Around The Corner - the one with Jimmy Stewart - its my favorite. You've Got Mail was based on this old movie and some of the lines are exactly the same. I enjoy your blog - thanks!

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    1. Also - The Shop Around The Corner is set in Budapest during the Christmas holidays. The man who played the wizard in the Wizard of Oz plays the shop owner - its just a great movie all the way around!

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    2. I found - A Christmas Memory. Its on Youtube and its in color, too. I was astounded that Geraldine Page plays the aunt - she is one of my favorite actresses, no wonder it stuck in my mind all these years. Also, Truman narrates. I cannot understand why this movie is not more well known. After doing some research, I did see that it has almost a cult following though - count me in, I adore this film. The short story won the Peabody award and some other awards as well. OK, I'm done yammering about Christmas movies!

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  42. For music, we're fans of 'The Grinch' and 'Christmas Vacation' and I love falling asleep to 'While You Were Sleeping' at least once during the season.

    As for music, I start with Charlie Brown, move to David Benoit's Christmastime, then onto Smooth Yule, which is a saxophone Christmas, and I end up with Dr. Demento's Christmas for my son Nick and 'A Rock and Roll Christmas' featuring 'The Waitresses.' We end up going whole hog in the end and add Jimmy Buffet, Alligator Records and Nat King Cole. I think my husband Mike got rid of my copy of Burl Ives. So sad for me. Happy Christmas!

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  43. Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas! A classic!

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  44. Ramsey Lewis Trio - The Sound of Christmas!

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  45. We have always watched Holiday Inn every christmas eve! my fave movie of all time. it's better than white christmas, i promise you.

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  46. My dad always got mad when we listened to Barbara's Christmas album. He was always ranting about how nonsensical it was because she's Jewish. I love Barbara, but that jingle bell song on the album is awful.

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  47. It's past Christmas now but have you ever watched "A Muppet Family Christmas"? It was on TV in the 80's and for some reason it's really difficult to find, but there is a full version of it on youtube. All of the Muppets/Sesame Street gang go to Fozzy's mother's farmhouse for the holidays- it is quite possibly the warmiest Christmas movie ever. Also, Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas special will always be in my top 5. It's on Netflicks, and it's weird and wonderful. Happy New Year!

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  48. Have you ever watched "A Muppet Family Christmas"? It was on TV in the 80's and for some reason it's really difficult to find, but there is a full version of it on youtube. It's quite possibly the warmiest Christmas special ever. All the Muppets go to Fozzy's mother's farmhouse for the holidays. Also, Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special will always be in my top 5- it's on Netflicks, and it is weird and wonderful. Happy New Year!

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    1. Sorry my comment posted twice...I typed the first one and thought it didn't take but obviously I feel very strongly about Pee Wee and the Muppets ;p :D

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