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Top ten Christmas movies

Jordan Gamble | Tuesday, December 2, 2008

1) It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)This classic (the American Film Institute named it the number one American inspirational film) is essentially a revamped version of “A Christmas Carol.” On Christmas Eve, James Stewart’s George Bailey has to see what the world would be like if he’d never been born to realize the value of his own life.

2) White Christmas (1954) In this musical, two army buddies from World War II, now song-and-dance men, try to woo a sister act while the four of them put on a stage show to save a failing winter resort.

3) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)The half-hour television special, the first with Charles Schultz’s “Peanuts” characters, denounces the materialism of Christmas, with Charlie Brown getting a wilting tree instead of an aluminum one and Linus bringing it all to a crescendo when he recites the Nativity story from the Gospel of Luke.

4) The Santa Clause (1994)Tim Allen, then at the top of his “Home Improvement” fame, stars as Scott Calvin, a guy who accidentally kills Santa Claus and because of that, must become the next one, whether he likes it or not.

5) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)The original TV special, adapted from Dr. Seuss’s book, continues in the same vein of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” with the Grinch realizing that Christmas is more than “packages, boxes, or bags!” 6) Home Alone (1990)Macaulay Culkin’s character gets left behind on Christmas, and must fend off boredom, insecurity and burglars until his parents make it home. Hilarity ensues. This movie was the top grossing movie of the 90s, until “Titanic” came along.

7) A Christmas Story (1983)It’s December in 1940s northern Indiana and all Ralphie wants for Christmas is Red Ryder BB gun. “A Christmas Story” turns 25 years old this year, but the sight gags of Ralphie’s friend’s tongue frozen to the flag pole, the bunny suit and the leg lamp probably won’t get old anytime soon.

8) Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)Of all the stop-motion specials produced by Rankin and Bass, Rudolph has endured the longest. It’s got memorable characters (a misfit reindeer, an elf who longs to be a dentist, a gold miner named Yukon Cornelius, and of course, Santa) and catchy music, from the title song to “Holly Jolly Christmas.”

9) Love Actually (2003)Intertwining at least nine different love stories, this movie is a must for anyone experiencing the holiday blues. Sure, there are some downbeat parts, but when the little girl belts out Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” at the end, you’d have to be a real Scrooge to resist the Christmas cheer.

10) Elf (2003)The 6-foot tall Buddy (Will Ferrell), clad in an elf ensemble straight out of “Rudolph,” discovers he is actually a human adopted by the North Pole, and sets out to reconnect with his real father. Ferrell is both convincing and hilarious in a movie that generated such catchphrases as “Santa! I know him!”