1) It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
If you haven’t taken the time to watch Frank Capra’s 1946 gem because you don’t like watching old films, get over yourself and do it this year. Christmas Eve welcomes Clarence, an angel who presents what the world would have been like had James Stewart’s character George Bailey never been born. Capra ruled early Hollywood and brought forth his ability to tug at the heart strings of the many Americans still reeling from the Great Depression and give them hope and optimism in an otherwise hopeless economy. Pretty sure I still cry when I watch this.
2) Gremlins (1984)
I remember Gremlins being super cool and adorable when I was a kid, I re-watched it recently and let me tell you there is some crazy shit going on in this movie. Billy’s Dad gives him a strange new pet for Christmas along with a few rules not to be broken, but we all know how that goes. Just make sure you don't get your Mogwai wet, keep him out of bright lights, and never, ever feed him after midnight.
3) Elf (2003)
Will Ferrell stars as Buddy the Elf in Jon Favreau’s instant classic and Zooey Deschanel goes blonde and sings Baby It’s Cold Outside in the shower, yeah, swoon. I enjoy Christmas about as much as any other young hipstadult but this movie gets me so happy that it’s kind of ridiculous. My Christmas morning fav.
4) Go (1999)
Sarah Polley, Jay Mohr, Scott Wolf, and Katie Holmes all star in this hilarious feature. Doug Liman, director of the original Bourne trilogy, interweaves characters story lines together for an evening of sex, drugs, Vegas strippers, and a Christmas rave. Not a family film by any means but a fun ride for sure. If this is just christmas, what’s the new year going to be like?
5) Chanukah on Planet Matzah Ball (2003) DVD Release
Pretty much for the strange synopsis on this one, “On a giant Matzah Ball in space lives a family of aliens who just happen to be Jewish.” It’s your average puppet-animated good time having Jewish aliens here to teach us about the festival of Chanukah. For your toddler, if you’re wondering.