With today being a massive travel day, DBB will take a brief two-day movie sabbatical and return Friday with the game preview and prediction for Bears at Jets. (There’s no preview to write before we have an injury status update.)
I don’t think what follows required much of a preamble. If you like Christmas movies, here is a guide to watching one every single day until Christmas, with a few Thanksgiving affairs to kickstart the series. A few notes:
- I do not like “The Grinch” story in almost any of its forms.
- I tried to make the list a nice mix of modern and classic, but that meant cutting a film like Christmas in Connecticut (Peter Godfrey, 1945) in favor of some of the younger options.
- I find Charlie Brown, generally, to be a sourpuss bore.
- I wanted to include Best Little Whorehouse in Texas because it includes my favorite Christmas song, “Hard Candy Christmas.” But the movie is terrible and has nothing to do with Christmas. So just go listen to that song.
November 23rd: Planes, Trains and Automobiles (John Hughes, 1987)
November 24th (Thanksgiving): Mouse on the Mayflower (Rankin & Bass, 1968)
- A holiday tradition established by Reverend Dave and me over the past several years. Sure, it’s about a mouse taking the Mayflower to the new world. But it’s also so much worse than that.
November 25th: Home for the Holidays (Jodie Foster, 1995)
November 26th: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Jeremiah Chechik, 1989)
- The perfect transitional film between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
November 27th: The Muppet Christmas Carol (Brian Henson, 1992)
- Try to find the original version, including the song When Love is Gone.
November 28th: Home Alone (Chris Columbus, 1990)
November 29th: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (Chris Columbus, 1992)
- Not only an insane Christmas movie; one of the most insane movies ever made.
November 30th: White Christmas (Michael Curtiz, 1954), Die Hard (John McTiernan, 1988)
- This is a double feature of what I call “Christmas-adjacent films.” They are both put over the top by their music. (If you don’t understand what I mean by that, pay close attention to the Die Hard score next time you watch the film.)
November 31st: It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)
- It is a lesser Christmas movie and a lesser Capra offering, but it has achieved untouchable status with a certain generation, so it is the only film I begrudgingly included on this list.
December 1st: A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (Todd Strauss-Schulson, 2011)
December 2nd: Elf (Jon Favreau, 2003)
- The modern gold standard. A perfect Christmas movie.
December 3rd: The Santa Clause (John Pasquin, 1994)
- Avoid the sequels at all cost.
December 4th: Santa Claus: The Movie (Jeannot Szwarc, 1985)
- A movie very few people know. It is a Santa origin story that goes completely off the rails in its third act, with Dudley Moore selling a magic lollipop that makes American fly. (There is probably a drug metaphor in there but damn if I can figure out what it is.)
December 5th: Jingle All the Way (Brian Levant, 1996)
- Hearing Schwarzenegger pronounce the names of the reindeer will make me laugh for the rest of my life.
December 6th: A Christmas Carol (Brian Hurst, 1951)
- The finest non-musical retelling of the classic Dickens story.
December 7th: Noelle (Marc Lawrence, 2019)
- This one genuinely surprised me but it’s a lovely vehicle for the supremely talented Anna Kendrick. Last year was my first watch. This year will be my first rewatch. Will it make the list NEXT year?
December 8th: Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Rankin & Bass, 1964)
- If you’re looking for a wonderful Christmas tee-shirt, CLICK HERE.
December 9th: Office Christmas Party (Josh Gordon, Will Speck, 2016)
- About as truly funny as Christmas movies get.
December 10th: A Bad Moms Christmas (Jon Lucas, Scott Moore, 2017)
- Silly movie with a beautiful church sequence near the end.
December 11th: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, “A Very Sunny Christmas” (2010)
December 12th: The Office, “Secret Santa” (2009)
December 13th: Gremlins (Joe Dante, 1984)
- Why doesn’t Phoebe Cates’ character like Christmas? The answer is one of the great monologues in movie history.
December 14th: The Night Before (Jonathan Levine, 2015)
- It is overly plotted but this is probably the best modern Christmas movie, with Seth Rogen’s church sequence one of the funniest you’ll ever see.
December 15th: A Very Murray Christmas (Sofia Coppola, 2015)
- A throwback to Christmas specials of yesteryear, Bill Murray’s Netflix special has become my number one rewatch of the season.
December 16th: Scrooged (Richard Donner, 1988)
December 17th: Christmas with the Kranks (Joe Roth, 2004)
- My biggest issues with Kranks is the title. It is based on a John Grisham story called Skipping Christmas. It is a movie about skipping Christmas. Why did they change to a title that (a) objectively terrible and (b) the opposite of what the movie is about?
December 18th: Bad Santa (Terry Zwigoff, 2003)
December 19th: Love Actually (Richard Curtis, 2003)
December 20th: Klaus (Sergio Pablos, 2019)
December 21st: Miracle on 34th Street (George Seaton, 1947)
December 22nd: Neil Diamond: A Christmas Celebration (HBO, 1993)
- If you haven’t seen it, see it.
December 23rd: The Year Without a Santa Claus (Rankin & Bass, 1974)
December 24th: Scrooge (Ronald Neame, 1970)
- The Albert Finney musical treatment. A masterpiece, so it’s given the pivotal Christmas Eve slot.
December 24th, after kids are asleep: The Ref (Ted Demme, 1994)
December 25th: A Christmas Story (Bob Clark, 1983)
- It is going to be on TNT all day, you might as well watch it.