Featured Babymaker, Claudia from Claudia Sells Austin, has some trouble getting into the spirit of things. She’s a New Yorker-turned-Austinite (kind of) and without the snow and New York Christmas happenings, she turns to movies to get her into the groove of Christmas. Here are her top 5 Christmas movies to get your holiday spirit goin…

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Even though the holidays actually, literally, really (really!) start earlier and earlier each year, if you’re anything like me you struggle to get into the spirit. Part of it, for me, stems from the fact that though technically ’tis the season, here in Austin it doesn’t feel like the season. It’s not snowy, icy, or frigid (except, apparently when we’ve scheduled some sort of non-reschedule-able outdoor activity). Sure, it’s cute that people have decorated trees alongside 360, the Trail of Lights is pretty cool and it’s nice that we can wear our elf outfits around without freezing, but something’s missing.

Fortunately, there are things that can be done.

There’s baking and decorating and partying, but also there are movies. You know, those holiday classics that simultaneously catapult us back to our own childhoods while catapulting us forward into the busom of Christmas Present.  And then there are the ones that aren’t necessarily classics, but still seem to help us shake off a bit of our inner Scrooge. Undoubtedly, you have your go-to list. And because you asked (wait, you didn’t? Too bad.), here’s mine…

Photo courtesy of the fw.com
Photo courtesy of the fw.com

1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Yep, I’m talking about the all-time classic, quintessential Christmas movie, resplendent in its jerky stop-motion photography, dated music and cornball characters. Really, what can compete? Not only does it teach an invaluable lesson, but also think of all the lines we inadvertently quote in our daily lives (“from now on we won’t let Rudolph join in any reindeer games;” “weather fit for man nor beast”; “I’m cute, I’m cuuuute!”). And who doesn’t get the warm fuzzies when they see the Abominable Snowman? He’s adorable.

 

Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org
Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org

 

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Grinch, in all his pointy, mean, green-ness, is a Christmas icon. Along with Scrooge, he’s the villain we love to hate. The writing of Dr. Suess is genius, and the story has managed to stay captivating through the years. Who can’t immediately conjure the images of little Cindy Lou-Who, the poor dog in the reindeer horns trying to pull the giant sleigh, or the Grinch himself stuffing the last of the toys and decorations into his bag? Others have tried to recreate it (Jim Carrey, we’re talking to you – too creepy!), but nothing rivals the original.

 

3. A Charlie Brown Christmas. I probably don’t need to say too much about this one. We all know it’s awesome. If for the music alone. In fact, the soundtrack from the Vince Guaraldi Trio is the music that’s playing in our house while we decorate the tree and then open gifts Christmas morning. And maybe it’s just me, but I can’t hear “Christmas Time is Here” without also thinking of George Michael Bluth on Arrested Development moping around, head hung low. Then I have a whole funny moment in my head that most likely makes me seem insane to others. 

will-ferrell-in-elf-wallpaper-

4. Elf. A modern classic for sure, here’s a movie that’s got something for everyone. There’s enough snarkiness in it to appease the grown-ups, enough silliness to entertain the kiddos, and just the right dose of Christmas sap to get us in the spirit. And let’s not forget a young Zoey Deschanel in all her young a-dork-able glory and Peter Dinklage before he became a Game of Thrones badass. You might even get inspired to have the neighborhood kids over for an Elf-inspired party – spaghetti, syrup and all. Our neighbors did!

Looking good, pre-Zobie Apolcalypse. Photo courtesy of atomicpopcorn.net
Looking good, pre-Zombie Apocalypse. Photo courtesy of atomicpopcorn.ne

 

5. Love, Actually. What? Did you think this list would be all about kid movies? I’m throwing this one in for me. Despite the fact that my husband hates it, this movie never gets old. It’s Hugh Grant at his most charming, Andrew Lincoln before the zombies and lack of running water, Liam Neeson before those terrible Taken movies, plenty of other excellent actors and general heartwarming cheesiness. Go on, admit it. You love it too. It’s okay.

 

 

I know I’ve missed plenty.  Like A Christmas Story and A Christmas Carol (or the version I prefer, Scrooged), It’s a Wonderful Life, Polar Express and Home Alone. And what about those sleeper holiday movies – the ones that are, at their core, love-filled odes to all that is Christmas? I bet you’re thinking of some already. Here’s where I have to toss one in to appease my spouse. When asked to name his favorite holiday film, he’s quick to answer, “Die Hard.” Discuss amongst yourselves.

While you’re at it, consider some classics that maybe you forgot were “Christmas” movies:

  • Lethal Weapon
  • Gremlins 
  • Diner
  • Batman Returns
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  • The Ref

I don’t know. I’m not entirely convinced that just because a movie is set during Christmas time, that makes it a Christmas movie. But whatever you choose to watch, turn up the A/C, snuggle up, grab some popcorn and embrace the holiday spirit!

– Claudia

Claudia Weber is a transplanted Austin mom, local realtor and now, apparently Rainbow Loom addict who loves to share the best of Austin with families like hers – whether they’re moving to town or just looking to embrace the best Austin has to offer. Find out more at www.claudiasellsaustin.com. Also, get a super-cool free NEW HOME SEARCH APP by clicking here!