As the old song goes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year as we find ourselves entering into this holiday season of 2012. And while you might find yourself frustrated waiting in line to meet the mall Santa with your kid or struggling to come up with gift ideas for relatives you didn’t know you had, there’s still an undeniable air of happiness that comes alongside the holiday season each year.
And of course, no Christmas is complete without breaking out the movies or catching reruns of A Christmas Story or holiday specials on TV. So in the spirit of mixing things up a bit for the holidays, here’s a list of five must-see holiday movies you might not have caught before:
It’s A Very Merry Muppets Christmas Movie (2002)
Yes, I said the Muppets. They’ve got an impressive and long-standing record of great holiday movies, and this title is the best since the release of the Muppet Christmas Carol.
In the Muppets Christmas Movie, the Muppets are tasked with paying the debt they owe on the Muppet theatre to the conniving and scheming Rachel Bitterman (Joan Cusack). It’s a film rife with parody and humor as only the Muppets can deliver it, featuring an all-star cast with your favorite Muppets and several cameos from top celebrities from around the globe. It’s a film anyone of any age can enjoy, and one I can’t recommend enough.
Santa’s Slay (2005)
In an alternate imagining of the classic Santa Claus myth, Claus is actually a son of Satan who’s been doomed to spreading love and holiday cheer for a thousand years thanks to losing a bet with an angel. In Santa’s Slay, his thousand year sentence is up, and he’s going around and offing both the naughty and the nice in a wacky, twisted tale of violence and holiday cheer.
Eight Crazy Nights (2002)
No, it’s not a Christmas movie, but there’s no harm in showing some love for our Hanukkah fans as well. It’s based around the famed Hanukkah Song performed by Sandler and features a story about Davey, a man with a troubled past sentenced to community service during the holidays. While it’s crude and a bit low brow, Eight Crazy Nights is no less entertaining and a movie worth watching when you need a break from all the reindeer and gingerbread houses on TV.
A re-telling of Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas Carol, Bill Murray stars in Scrooged as a stuffy television exec who’s never been hot on the idea of the holidays. Coupling goofy ghost horror and comedy with a pinch of the season, Scrooged delivers laughs in one of the most creative and interesting Christmas films to come out in years.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Now, this is one you’ve likely seen before, but it still deserves an honorable mention on this list, as it is one of the most beloved holiday comedies in my household. Starring Chevy Chase, the movie details the misadventures of the Griswald family and their antics around Christmastime. Ideas of family, stress, and some small amount of heartwarming cheer run throughout the entire film, making it a holiday classic.
Above all, it’s a must-see for this scene alone: