And check this list twice before watching

It’s the same every year. Among the buzz of Christmas shopping, chestnut roasting and rum-filled eggnog (and uncles), there was always television there to keep us in the true holiday spirit. From Charles Schutlz’s 1965 masterpiece A Charlie Brown Christmas to Parker and Stone’s redefinition in Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo of what is fit to air on television, we have been up to our ears in elbow grease watching countless hours of televised yuletide joy, bringing you the cream of the crop. Merry Christmas, happy New Year, and to all the Kyle’s out there, happy Hanukkah.

"That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
-A Charlie Brown Christmas
This, the final line in Linus van Pelt’s the-meaning-of-Christmas speech, is the definitive moment in Christmas television history. Safety blanket in hand, Charlie Brown’s childhood friend takes us back to a day without the materialism and spectacle of the current holiday seasons. These sentiments are mirrored with the search for a Christmas tree that can only be metaphorical for Charles’ search for the spirit of the holiday. And here, in the mind of Linus, he has found it. Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.
by James Keller

"Ackk. Thpppp."
-Opus ‘n Bill in A Wish for Wings that Work
Berkley Breathed’s ever so intellectually inspired penguin and cat search for life’s purpose in the best half-hour Christmas special since… uh… something else. It may be embarrassing for my perceived masculinity, but Opus is cute for an orphaned penguin and there’s something mentally liberating about watching a cat scratch his buttocks. At the end of the day though, there’s nothing more touching than a pessimistic fowl realizing that "like a thousand mornings before this one, it was plain that a penguin can say the word ‘fly,’ but he simply cannot do it."
by Daorcey Le Bray

"I got into broadcasting because I liked to give. Sometimes I would hurt from giving too much. So I would say to myself, stop it."
Scrooged is a feeble excuse for a Christmas movie, but perfect as a showcase for Bill Murray’s unique talent for playing the cynical bastard. Don’t watch it because you want to see a quality remake of a literary classic. Instead, watch it because Bill Murray gets the snot beat out of him by a fairy in a tutu, or because you need a laugh or an eye-opener to the joys of being an asshole.
by Ruth Davenport

"Oooh, fudge! Only I didn’t say ‘Fudge.’ I said the word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the ‘F-dash-dash-dash" word!"
-A Christmas Story
This movie isn’t really about Christmas; it’s about being a kid. It just so happens that Christmas is the perfect time to place that under the microscope. From Ralphie’s quest for "an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle," to an in-depth look at the intricacies of the double-dog dare to the fatal mistake of saying the forbidden "F" word, the Wonder Years-esque narration digs deep into the mind of this 1940’s childhood–and makes you realize that not much has changed.
by James Keller

"It’s tough to be a Jew on Christmas."
-Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo
When it comes to sensitivity and classiness, the smart money suggests disregarding Matt Stone and Trey Parker completely. The South Park Christmas Special mocks political correctness like nothing before. From excluding and ridiculing Kyle, the Jewish character who doesn’t celebrate Christmas, to a talking piece of poo named Mister Hanky that gets thrown around like a rag doll, this wee cartoon has it all. It may not have achieved the classic status of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The Grinch or A Charlie Brown Christmas yet, but mark my words, this is one offensive item that will soon be loved and cherished by all.
by Lawrence Bailey

-National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Who can dispute that the long drawn-out wail emitted by Chevy Chase as he plows down a hill, across a highway and into a supermarket dumpster on a super-saucer greased up with a silicone-based, non-caloric cooking spray isn’t the last word in comedy. In a movie saturated with slapstick gags, the faster-than-sound-saucer scene comes out swinging, just one of the shots that contribute to this flick’s status as one of the top heavyweight Christmas spoofs of all time.
by Ruth Davenport

"You’re a three-decker, sauerkraut, and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce."
-Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
What’s worrisome about Grinch is not that generations were made to love a green-haired, Boris Karloff-voiced, overall nasty "thing" whose heart was aching with abnormality. What should worry the world is that Dr. Seuss has subtly educated generations in the lost art of poetic insults. Obviously recognizing that our society has gone downhill since Shakespeare’s "barber-monger" and "a pox on thee," the pseudonymed scribe brought us all into the next century of verbal affronts. Try the above mentioned Seussism. I attempted that one on my ex. She was unimpressed.
by Daorcey Le Bray

"Why don’t you kiss her instead of talking her to death?"
-It’s a Wonderful Life
How about a perennial Christmas favourite that plays like a Kafka-esque nightmare for much of its running time? That’s exactly what we get in Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, the most life-affirming, cockles-warming, downright loveable film ever made.

It’s a Wonderful Life is the unusual assortment of story ingredients which Producer-Director Frank Capra smoothly blended into his first effort since his wartime stint in the army. Fantasy, philosophy, some preachment for democracy and much homespun, heart-warming chronicling of the everyday lives of everyday people are foremost among them. A staple in my home over the holidays, and regardless of the cliché, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without it.
by Lawrence Bailey

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