Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Jill's Holiday Special

It's that time of the year again, when the TV schedule is full of Christmas shows and movies - and I tried to sit down and come up with a "Top Ten", but I just couldn't. I love too many of them. I have managed to narrow it down to fifteen of my all-time favourites, so if you get an opportunity to catch any of them, you should. Chances are, many of them are already favourites of yours, too. So grab a cup of hot chocolate, a bowl of buttery popcorn, your coziest blanket, and curl up on the couch to enjoy some holiday magic!!

15. The Polar Express - This computer-animated movie is a recent addition to my holiday line-up of favourites. Tom Hanks is the voice of the conductor of a train taking children to the North Pole, and they run into many crazy adventures and obstacles along the way. I guarantee you, the sound of bells jingling will forever give you chills after watching this movie.

14. A Flintstone Family Christmas - Who doesn't love the Flintstones? It was a noon-hour tradition when I was a kid. In the Christmas special, Bam Bam & Pebbles are all grown up and married with kids of their own, and they return home to celebrate the season with Fred, Wilma, Barney & Betty. I always knew those two crazy stone-age kids were meant for each other!!

13. The Family Stone - I'm not sure this movie was meant to be considered a "Holiday Classic", but because it is set at Christmastime, I'm including it in my list. Starring such big names as Diane Keaton, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Claire Danes, and Sarah Jessica Parker, it is the story of a family reunited at Christmas, only to learn that their family is about to change drastically, in more ways than one. Just try not to cry in the last scene. I dare you.

12. American Dreams: JJ's Return - OK, so this is just an episode of a cancelled TV show and it probably shouldn't even be counted, but I've watched it every Christmas for the past three years. It has become one of my holiday staples. The Prior family is dreading the holiday season without their son and brother, JJ, who is missing in the midst of the Vietnam War. When they get the call on Christmas Eve to tell them JJ has been found and will be returning home safely, it just gives you the warm & fuzzies. Plus, JJ's dad gets him the '66 Mustang for Christmas - now that's what every hero deserves!

11. A Garfield Christmas - There's something about the Garfield Christmas special that reminds me of my own family. No, we don't have any crazy pets like Garfield and Odie, but the excitement of Jon and his brother on Christmas morning reflects that of the youthful exuberance with which my siblings and I still greet Christmas morning. Plus, Garfield's gift to Grandma is a touching moment that few cartoons could ever accomplish.

10. Eight Crazy Nights - Adam Sandler's animated movie in the spirit of Hanukkah tells the story of a misguided, troubled young man who is headed down the wrong path until he is taken under the wing of one of the local characters, Whitey, who has dedicated his life to volunteering and helping the children of his hometown. It's got Broadway-style songs, big laughs, and some tear-jerking moments that only Adam Sandler could combine into one festive package.

9. A Charlie Brown Christmas - It's not Christmas without Charlie Brown! It's one of those old cartoons that is on every year, but you just can't miss it. All of the Peanuts gang is preparing for the class Christmas pageant in which they are recreating the Nativity story. And then there's that tree. The Charlie Brown Tree. You know what I mean. Everyone's either got one or at least seen one. It's not Christmas without a Charlie Brown Tree!

8. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The story of Santa Claus in claymation, and narrated by Fred Astaire - who could ask for more? It tracks the origins of Kris Kringle from the time he was an orphan adopted by a family of elves, and how he grew up to bring cheer into the lives of children under the oppressive reign of the Burger Meister, who had banned toys from the town. I never miss it!

7. Mickey's Christmas Carol - It's Disney's take on Charles Dickens' classic story of the miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge, who is visited by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, & Future. Mickey stars as Bob Cratchit, with Donald Duck playing the young Ebeneezer, and Goofy as Jacob Marley, and many other Disney characters also appear. It's the only version of A Christmas Carol I've ever been able to sit through. Little Tiny Tim always chokes me up.

6. The Santa Clause - Tim Allen stars as a deadbeat dad who accidentally steps into the Big Guy's shoes and learns how to juggle his new duties with being a good father. It has spawned two sequels, and all three movies are worth a look. You can catch the latest installment, The Escape Clause, in theatres now.

5. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas - I'm talking about the original cartoon, not the crappy remake with Jim Carrey. That old Grinch, with a heart that is two sizes too small, disguises himself as Santa Claus and descends upon the Whos down in Whoville with plans to make Christmas disappear. And he almost succeeds, too. But even the Grinch can't hide from the holiday cheer as he realizes Christmas is not just about gifts, food, and Santa Claus - it's about being with the people you love. Just watch that Grinch's heart grow!!

4. Miracle on 34th Street - Christmas just isn't Christmas without watching the original black and white version. Susan is a little girl whose mother does not believe in filling her daughter's head with such silly notions as Santa Claus. So when jolly ol' St. Nick himself befriends Susan, she struggles to convince her mother that Santa really does exist. Doesn't matter how old you are - after watching this movie, you will believe.

3. Frosty the Snowman - It's the classic cartoon that my friends still tease me about. At a sleepover when we were kids, I threw a fit because no one would let me watch it. I argued with everyone that it was tradition - that I had to watch it! To this day, one of them will inevitably joke about the night I made them all watch Frosty. And to this day, I still never miss it.

2. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - There's an elf that wants to be a dentist. There's an Island of Lost Toys. There's the Winter Worlock. And there's an outcast reindeer with a glowing red nose. Everyone loves this Christmas special! Rudolph is one of the greatest heroes ever - he saves Christmas by guiding Santa's sleigh through the fog with his bright red schnozz. Who cares about Dasher and Prancer and Comet and Blitzen? Rudolph's the only one with his own theme song!

1. Elf - That's right, folks. Buddy the Elf won my heart a few years ago and climbed to the top of my list of Holiday Favourites. Will Ferrell stars as the bubbly, sugary-sweet Buddy who leaves the North Pole to find his real father in New York City, and along the way he finds a lot of people who need some serious convincing when it comes to the idea of Santa. It's absolutely hilarious, and it will warm the cockles of your hearts as Buddy connects with his new family and teaches an entire city to believe.

So there you have it - my Holiday Special Blog, all wrapped up for you to enjoy! Feel free to mention your Christmas favourites in the comments section and let me know if I missed any! If I wasn't in the Christmas spirit before I started this Blog, just thinking about all those great shows and movies has done the trick now!

Ho! Ho! Ho!


Stacy said...

I really like Christmas movies - and if you watch Channel 602 (W Network on Bell) - they are all sorts of sappy, sad - but really good movies - Ricky and I watched Under the Mistletoe last weekend. I have a couple of favorites that were mentioned on your list - but the Number #1 movie I love watching every Christmas, is called All I Want for Christmas - it is an older movie about 2 kids who are trying to get their parents back together for the holidays. Really good movie - it is a 1991 movie - Ethan Embry plays the role of the brother Ethan and Thora Birch actually is Hallie, the little girl but when she was very young. Anyways really good movie if you get the chance to see it. I have been trying to find the movie or DVD but no such luck but i do have it taped I think.
Anyways - just want to point out that last night was America's Next Top Model Season Finale and I told ya's all - Caridee was the winner!! I was so happy - Melrose got what she deserved. I did not like anything about Melrose - she was a fake, a flousy, she smiled too much and then when it's down to her and Caridee, she stands there all confident that she won....hahah in your face Melrose...anyways it was a very good outcome!!
Have a good day everyone

Kenny said...

Well Jill I can't say I totally agree with your list. I think the Grinch with Jim Carey was awesome. And this years The Sanata Clause 3 was the best one by far.

I'm still waiting for the FNL Recap. There better be a Grey's re-cap on Friday.

Meghan said she is going to go to hockey as well. Be prepared to party on Friday

Stacy said...

What is FNL?

Sharon said...

Well Jill I will have to agree with Kenny that the Grinch with Jim Carrey is good. I own it and I love it!

Every Christmas since I have owned both animated and Jim Carrey versions, I watch them on Christmas eve! I love them!

You forgot to mention Blue toes... it's a really old one that doesn't even play on TV and I don't quite remember the story line, I am basically mentioning it for Wayne because he loves that one.

Stacy, you could look on or they have a lot of REALLY old movies on there that you can buy online. You might just find all I want for Chrismtas!

But I loved your Christmas Special recap... except for your number 1 movie, I hated that movie, it was a waste of my movie theater dollars!

I was at the cookie exchange last night and Jaymie A. was there and she wants to get together to scrapbook sometime, she has a project and needs help. I thought I would call her and organize a day at my place. We can use the kitchen table which is big enough and set up a cutting station on the counter.

Anyways let me know what you think

Sharon said...

FNL is Friday Night Lights

Jill said...

Good Morning guys!
Stacy: Don't think I've ever seen All I Want For Christmas...Sounds good tho! And yes, FNL is Friday Night Lights - mine and Kenny's favourite show. (Well, maybe tied with Grey's Anatomy).
Kenny: I checked the Grey's site and I think it's a repeat tonight, which sucks, but I'll check to make sure tonight, and if it isn't, I'll tape it. If there's no Grey's tonight, I'll recap FNL for ya. Very much looking forward to Friday night, by the way, and I'm glad Meghan's coming with me to hockey! I'm already prepared to party...
Sharon: I remember Blue Toes! I don't remember what happens in it, but I do remember enjoying it. And sorry guys, but I really didn't enjoy the Jim Carrey version of the Grinch. We ordered it off the dish the year it came out and my whole family thought it was boring. The cartoon is much better, in my opinion...But hey, to each his own, right?!
And I forgot to mention in my list Home Alone & Home Alone 2 - I love those movies, very Christmassy.
And Sharon, let me know about Scrapbooking - if I'm free, I'm in!! LOTS to get caught up on!
Cheers, gang!

priscilla said...

Chad bought me the Elf dvd last year as a surprise, along with some other Christmas things since I liked Christmas so much. But he fell asleep watching it because he doesn't like Will Ferrell. But I thought it was a good movie. I wouldn't put it at number one though, The Grinch the cartoon would be my favourite.

Stacy said...

Sharon - yea i did check HMV for the movie and found it - i just dont normally do the whole ordering online thing - and like i said, i have it taped so right now it's ok - as long as i get to see it and it always on TV before Christmas. Oh i love Christmas and holiday time - it is snowing a little bit right now as i write - the roads were a little slick this morning - ricky and i saw a near accident this morning on the mountain road - this van was coming down the hill - with her brakes on i think and all of sudden you could see the van spinning and missing the hydro pole and then stopped just before going down this big ditch. There were cars that were coming up the hill that had stopped while she was spinning down - it could have been a lot worse I suppose. We have our cookie exchange at work on Monday, so Hollie and I are going to be baking 7 dozen cookies - Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies all day Sunday i think - LOL and the parade is also this weekend - saturday night - hopefully it is a good one. Sara - seeing how you weren't impressed with Shawville parade (i think it was you) are you going to come and watch the Quyon Parade of Lights? I remember it vaguely last year and it seemed ok, i dont really remember to tell you the truth.
Anyways check in later

sara said...

hi bloggers
I loved the blog Jill- it was great. My definite favorite is The Grinch. I love the cartoon and the Jim Carey one was okay too. I've already watched the cartoon one 4 times so far this year. And listened to my Grinch CD and I read the book once to Matthew.
It's very festive at school today- we are having our turkey was gross I thought. The turkey tasted fake, even though it apparently wasn't. And the mashed potatoes were lumpy. I noticed Mr. Aitken ate and now he is leaving to spend the afternoon at Onslow. Do they have a turkey dinner there for Christmas?
Not much else new...I'm so excited to go home and do NOTHING. maybe laundry and stuff. And I think I'll make a lasagna for supper tomorrow night.
I'm for sure going to the Quyon family really liked it last year. We thought it was way better than Shawville's has ever been.
Anyways I guess that' sit! Have a good day.

Stacy said...

Sara - where do you watch the parade - we'll have to meet up with ya's - Graham working this Saturday? I was going to say you can come and see the baby's room and the baby stuff etc...but if you are with your family, you wont want to make them stop i suppose.

Jill said...

Sara - I just sent you an email and I mentioned going to Atko's tomorrow night - but now I remember that you're going to Graham's...Oops! ;o)
Hopefully we all see each other at the parade! (And hopefully it's a good one!)

Anonymous said...

I love the Garfield Christmas special and I haven't seen it for years. The Charlie Brown one takes the prize for me, though. I'm glad to see an old favourite of mine like Mickey's Christmas Carol mentioned. In terms of movies I've always loved Its a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol...the one from the 50s. I always watch it late on Christmas eve by myself when I am wrapping gifts.
I also like Home Alone.
So tomorrow is gonna be about favourite Christmas songs?