12.05.2008

Yay, it's going to be Christmas

GH and I just picked out and set up our beautiful, beautiful tree. When we walked onto the lot I asked one of the employees what the pricing scale is and he said it depends. So I pointed to the nearest tree (about 7 feet high) and said "Okay, how much would that tree be then?" He answered, "I would say about $63 for that tree, but it's negotiable."

Okay. Sixty-three dollars? Seriously?? Anyone want to take any guesses about where on earth he was pulling $63 out of? Nothing even adds up to 63! And for a 7-foot tree???

"Yeah, okay then, where would the $30 trees be?"
"Oh, those are in the back and to the left, but everything's up for discussion."
"Uh huh."

Later two other employees found us and said that their colleague was new and basically talking out his ear--that those nice big trees were actually $39. So I told them I loved those trees but I only had $30 to spend. And they said we could have one as long as we tell 5 friends. I'm going to go above and beyond though and tell the WORLD. Check out the Christmas tree lot at 1128 E Fort Union Boulevard in the Ross/Michael's parking lot. You can talk them down, and they'll tie the thing on your car for you.

Now that my duty is finished, let us speak of Christmas movies. I would like to make some suggestions that are not part of the usual roundup. Do not even get me started with White Christmas and their odd songs about liverwurst and generals, because you just don't want that.

Here is my list:

Joyeux Noel. I saw this for the first time last year and love, love, love it. It's about the temporary Christmas truce between British, French, and German troops during WWI. Have Kleenex handy, and be ready to fastforward over Diane Kruger's boobies if you don't actually need them to be a part of your festivities. (Also, Amazon may try to tell you it's rated R but it's really not, they're on crack. It's PG-13.)


Under the Greenwood Tree. It opens on Christmas Eve in 1870s England with the Christmas-caroling Dick Dewey getting his first glimpse of the new village schoolmistress and falling into deep smit. Heady, heady stuff.


The Muppet Christmas Carol. You probably already know about this one and watch it every year, but whatever, it's my blog. I'm including it. Keep an eye out for the part where Beaker flips off Scrooge. You know, if you're 12 like I am.


Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone. Remember that one time when Harry Potter was little and cute and didn't go up on stage nekkid to stab horses? Yeah, me too. The Christmas scenes in this movie, especially when he sees his parents in the mirror of Erised, are so sweet.


Meet Me in St. Louis. You just try watching Judy Garland sing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas on Christmas Eve to her sad little sister without losing it. Try.


Little Women. It'll make you want to go awassailling, especially if Laurie (Christian Bale) is along for the ride. Just be sure you take some ibuprofin about 1 hour in so that when Beth dies you don't get a motherawful headache trying keep the tears back, gentlemen.


Love Actually. I saw a Cleanflicks version of this film and they hacked it all to pieces. I need to give it another go, if only because look who all's in it! Seriously!


And here two alternative Christmas movies that did not make the cut.

Gremlins. I can't actually watch this movie because it traumatized me as a child. And my sister Jenny can't watch it either because I used to creep up over the edge of her bunkbed in the middle of the night while making Gremlin sounds. So, you know, we're both victims here.

I know everyone puts the first Die Hard on these lists, but I say whatever to that. The only reason I would watch that movie would be for Alan Rickman, He Who Uplifts and Betters All Things.

Does anyone have any others to add to the list of must-sees?

38 comments:

Liz Johnson said... [reply]

Elf, A Christmas Story, and the old-school Rudolph movie. And The Muppet Christmas Carol is seriously underrated, in my opinion.

Janssen said... [reply]

Well, I was just going to say THANK you for not putting on A Christmas Story, but I see I am alone in this among the commenters so far. Oh well.

I LOVE the newer version of Miracle on 34th Street. That movie IS Christmas to me.

Jenny said... [reply]

Elf and the Snowman. And I really love the Family Man with Alf and Don Cheadle.

sakhmet said... [reply]

You did NOT just disparage "White Christmas." I LOVE songs about liverwurst and generals. Also: Bing. Also: tea-length dresses.

AmandaStretch said... [reply]

I watched Joyeaux Noel last year on your recommendation. So good!!

In case you want to know: As for Love Actually - there is one story line wherein the characters are naked most of the time (lots of this girl's breasts). And simulating sex. They are stand-ins for some very sexy movie it seems. Their story is charming, and it's the only story in the movie about a couple meeting for the first time. However, you don't miss anything by skipping their parts. Otherwise, the most you get from anyone else is the f-word a few times. And a couple bums in an art installation.

I love it, and was just thinking this morning about how I need to watch it again.

My sister and I watch "Borrowed Hearts" every year whilst playing Fluxx. It's way cheesy, but it's tradition now.

daltongirl said... [reply]

Scrooged, You've Got Mail, and Babar Meets Father Christmas.

Muppet Christmas Carol is my absolute favorite.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

9 X 7 is $63. I'm just sayin'.

* I love the original rhythm of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in MMISL. It is quirky and speedier than the 18 Celine-Dion-wanna-be versions played on FM 100 beginning after Halloween.
* Little Women. Yes, of course. Jo is an idiot, though. Good grief, how could you say NO to Christian Bale?
* Lord of the Rings. For three years running we saw this movie open on or around Christmas. I just feel the need to get my Aragorn fix during the holidays.
* How the Grinch Stole Christmas. NO, NOT THE JIM CARREY VERSION.
* Elf makes me laugh until my sides hurt. This fact makes me slightly embarrassed, but Will Farrell'ss earnest face when he talks about the four food groups being "candy, candycanes, candy corn and maple syrup" drops me to the ground every time.
* The Christmas Story. Which I'll have to take issue with Jannsen over, thought I do love her other pick.
* I liked last year's "The Holiday" with the fantastic Kate Winselt (who I want to be reincarnated as).

I hung out for a long time to catch Love Actually on TV for the rated R-ed ness of it. I was disappointed. It should have been called Sex, actually. Except for the adorable Mr. Darcy/Colin Firth attempting to speak Greek (?) so he could woo a beautiful woman and her family, I say meh.

Rachie said... [reply]

I'm all about Better Off Dead at Christmas. All of the awesomeness with none of the cheese. And I'm so with you on the Muppets. My family still quotes Miss Piggy's "It does, doesn't it?" and laughs like the giant nerds we are.

But I can't get behind Little Women. The spit string... the spit string. I think you know what I'm talking about.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Liz, will definitely be watching all three of these. The scene in Elf that pretty much makes the movie for me is when he leaps at the Christmas Tree like a cat. Cannot even take it.

Sorry, Janssen, looks like all of us were indoctrinated by those 24-hr TBS marathons of A Christmas Story.

Jen, I couldn't figure out who you meant by Alf at first. Then I remembered, and snorted my drink. The hair in National Treasure is certainly a match.

Sakhmet, I knew this was going to hurt you. I hope we can still be friends.

Good to know, AmandaStretch! I've never heard of Borrowed Hearts before.

Daltongirl, You've Got Mail is a perfect addition. Perfect.

Oh FINE, STM, just show up with your math skills or whatever.

Crap. Yeah, Rachie, I know. I know.

Kelly said... [reply]

I'm going to overlook your White Christmas comments. I memorized the Sisters song and have always had to sing the whole thing myself because I have no sisters. Yet you have a plethora of sisters and don't appreciate the song. Where is the justice in that?

I actually don't like Love, Actually. There are way too many boobs for my comfort. Also, if you love Alan Rickman as I do, you will want to purge his character in this movie out of your mind immediately. Yeah, there were a couple of cute bits, but for all the amazing people who were in it, I was really disappointed.

Kelly said... [reply]

Oh, also, While You Were Sleeping is around Christmas time and is just so darn cute.

cooldad said... [reply]

I refuse to watch "A Christmas Story" anymore. Too much fowl language. Also, I cannot beleive you skipped A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott. That is a must see. Another fav is Miracle of 34th Street with little Natalie Wood.

cooldad said... [reply]

That would be FOUL language

Sherry said... [reply]

I had never seen ANY version of A Christmas Carol until about two, maybe three years ago. Now Spouse makes it a point to make me watch on each year. Last year was the Muppet one, which I'd heard great things about, but I think it was a bit over-rated, unlike Liz.

I love A Christmas Story. Janssen doesn't know anything.

I luuuuuuuuuurve Little Women. So. Much. (Growing up I used to watch it almost every day in the summer time. I generally put it as one of my two favorite movies).

Hated Love Actually. I saw it unedited, and I thought it was crass and vulgar. Will have to agree with STM on the new title of "Sex Actually."

Also, I saw Joyeaux Noel last year, and it was awesome. I approve that recommendation.

Anonamom said... [reply]

So - when was the last time you actually sat down and watched AND listened to "Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer?" Because as much as it was a holiday tradition to watch it, a couple of years ago Cicada and I watched it together and were amazed at the non-political-correctness of it all. As pertaining to the women-folk in particular. I have to say it made my hackles rise more than once.

j said... [reply]

I'b cuuuuuuuute! She said I'b cuuuuuuuuuute!

(One vote for Rudolph and his non-PC Christmas. Wait doesn't them island of misfit toys count for something?)

Th. said... [reply]

.

I'm still trying to find a copy of Santa Clause versus the Martians.

FoxyJ said... [reply]

My family always watched White Christmas and Holiday Inn (I like that one better), so I have a soft spot in my heart for both of them.

We also both really like "The Preacher's Wife", with Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington--we love the soundtrack and have it in our Christmas music rotation. It's a remake of a movie from the 1940s that's called The Bishop's Wife, and is pretty good too.

I really liked Love, Actually the first time I saw it, but then didn't like it the second time. STM--the maid is actually Portuguese (but Colin Firth is in France when he meets her)

Azúcar said... [reply]

Elf and A Christmas Story.

All the other Christmas movies can go jump in the lake.

(Excep The Grinch.)

Azúcar said... [reply]

t


that's to add to the "Excep" above.

abby said... [reply]

Don't forget Home Alone and it's various unfunny sequels. Charlie Brown's Christmas is great for retro Christmas cheese.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

$9/foot right? Now if he had said, "Hm . . . 7 feet, that'll be $53.27" or something then I'd understand your snarkiness. As it is, it just seems that your are cheap. ;)

Hee. Hee. Love, Actually was on TV today (right after I posted my first comment) and I caught about 30 minutes of it. The section I saw was actually quite charming--Liam Neeson in his adorable (real) accent that is usually hidden, Hugh Grant knocking on 100 doors and singing Good King Wenseclas, the amazing child singer at the school, and Emma Thompson turning even the simplest performance to perfection. . . .

I let my kids watch Home Alone this year. Talk about fowl language, or foul, or whatever. It was probably a big mistake though I wish I could have bottled their giggles to listen to any day I'm sad.

jeri said... [reply]

Oh I love Elf. It's so funny and sweet and I get teary at the end every time.

My kids really like the original Grinch, the Muppet Christmas Carol and Olive the Other Reindeer (Dan Castelenetta is the voice of the bad guy and he's hilarious)

Maleen said... [reply]

You have probably seen it before, but it is always worth watching again.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_57f5DngOg

Merry Christmas

Mad Hadder said... [reply]

NO It's a Wonderful Life??????????? Off with ALL of your heads! And add to that The Bishop's Wife. I also love the Christmas Carol musical version and will forever play the Minister's Cat to teach adjectives in my classroom!! New one--Stalking Santa--premiered last year. My adorable nephew is the one mistaken for an elf. "I'M NOT AN ELF!!!!!!"

Pie said... [reply]

I feel it in my fingers...I feel it in my toes! (this refrain can be heard in our home throughout the year) How can you not love the part where the best friend tells Keira-Hipbones-Poutyface-Mcknightly he loves her with just signs?

Anther great Christmas movie is The Family Stone. Watch it. Luke Wilson is cute, Rachel McAdams is quirky, and Sara Jessica Parker is bearable. It's about a big opinionated family all getting together for Christmas and not accepting the outsider dating a family member. The end makes me cry.

It just isn't Christmas without It's a Wonderful Life, though I know you were looking for movies outside the box.
-"Come on Gabriel."
-"Clarence!"

And yes, the spit string in Little Women is bad, but it is NOTHING compared to the slobber rope coming out of Kate Winslet's mouth in Sense & Sensibility when she's standing in the rain "Willhouby...Willhouby!"

shelbs said... [reply]

A Christmas Story and the Family Stone. And I've got a question: how come you're so close but you never come to visit us? Seriously. We're like ten minutes away from that tree place.

Kristeee said... [reply]

How can you not love Bing Crosby, is what I want to know! I love White Christmas and Holiday Inn. I also am a fan of the Claymation Christmas special that I have taped on VHS from when I was a kid. It has the old school commercials on there, too, which makes it even more fun to watch.

Ann-Marie said... [reply]

I saw you guys at the Festival of Trees tonight. I was volunteering by the wooden tree, but was helping someone when you were by me. This was my first year to go to that event and it was really cool!

Mad Hadder said... [reply]

I thought of two more--Polar Express. Such a good one! And the Creature Comforts Christmas one. There's also a great Little House on the Prairie on on video where they get snowed in. Very homey. Makes me want to knit!

chosha said... [reply]

Elf was surprisingly good. Of course it was a Will Ferrell comedy so my expectations were low. Both versions of Miracle on 34th Street are delightful.

Kelly beat me to it with While You Were Sleeping, which was going to be my suggestion. I love, love, love that movie and the Christmas parts are so sweet. I like that it shows a family that has all the usual weirdnesses but where the members of the family are still loving to each other. I really don't want to see Four Christmases because I feel like it's just going to be four portrayals of the most irritatingly dysfunctional families they can come up with. Just smacks of 'lowest common denominator' type comedy to me.

Can I just high 5 Pie? That bit in Love Actually brought me (who has experienced the unrequited love phenomenon) to tears. That storyline of the couple who meet on a porn set (their jobs are to stand in before the real shoot so that they can get light readings and do blocking, that kind of things - and yeah, tres stupid) is meant to be sweet (like here they are surrounded by this superficial world that is all about lust, and they are experiencing this very innocent and beautiful love) but there's no denying it's not a storyline for everyone. The movie as a whole though is very beautiful and human.

beckyww said... [reply]

We just watched "Nativity" tonight. Next week: It's either Polar Express or Christmas Vacation.

april said... [reply]

not much left to say, but since i love to hear myself (or rather read myself) speak, i'll add my two cents.
-thanks for the joyeaux noel suggestion. i saw the trailer a while ago, but hadn't forgotten about it. i'll look forward to seeing it.
-it ain't christmas until i've seen "it's a wonderful life"; i even like "mr. krueger's christmas".
-"a charlie brown christmas" is my fave kid christmas movie, but "grinch" (cartoon) is high up there too.
-"elf" and "the family stone" are more recent ones i love. "about a boy" ends on a christmas scene - i'm always up for any little excuse to watch that movie.
-glad i'm not the only one who never got into "little women". i saw it once in the theatre and liked it ok, but have never felt the great need to see it again.
-i had to smile when i saw you had put "love actually." obviously, you had only seen a clean version. i saw an edited for t.v. version and i liked it a lot. i hated that they added that porn setting love story.

Barefoot Cassandra said... [reply]

I love Christmas in Connecticut. But be warned, watch the Barbara Stanwyck version, not the remake directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Pie, you made me bray like a donkey with the "slobber rope" comment. Although I'm just going to take a stand and insist that it's RAIN. Lots and lots of RAIN.

Shelbs, name the date and we'll be there!

Ann-Marie, I'm so sorry we missed you! I'm sure it was mostly my fault--I was too transfixed by the wooden tree and probably wouldn't have noticed Alan Rickman if he'd been standing there.

Azúcar said... [reply]

I love Stalking Santa too!

Th. said... [reply]

.

Um. Actually, Charlie Brown is necessary because of its astonishing lack of cheese.

Nells-Bells said... [reply]

so this is totally late but i thought i would still add to your already awesome list. i noticed someone already mentioned elf, which is a definite holiday must-see. it's a wonderful life is always so good.

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