Photo still from Home Alone (1990)/Hughes Entertainment
We’re well into November and just a few weeks shy of December. Can you feel it yet? Can you feel the Christmas spirit seeping in, coating everything in a warm familiar glow of happiness and cheer? If not, a little stroll through the Makati streets with the family might help. In addition, watch some of these films too. Don’t forget the hot cup of choco to really get into the spirit of things.
1. Home Alone (1990) For most families, no Christmas would be complete without rewatching Home Alone. As you may already well know, the movie starts with a big family rushing to catch their flight for a Christmas vacation. Turns out they left one thing/person behind, 8-year-old Kevin McCallister. At first he panics for a bit, then he starts to enjoy being by himself doing whatever he wants.
But he soon finds out it’s not such a good thing to be alone on Christmas especially with criminals lurking about. This is a movie about family, Christmas and also the many ingenious ways a kid can come up with to scare away burglars trying to get into his home.
Kate McCallister: How could we do this? We forgot him. Peter McCallister: We didn't forget him, we just miscounted. Kate McCallister: What kind of a mother am I? Frank McCallister: If it makes you feel any better, I forgot my reading glasses.
2. Elf (2003) Here’s another Christmas family favorite. The movie’s about Buddy. Buddy is a human being just like any other. What makes him special though is he was raised by elves, and not just any elves, mind you, but Santa’s elves! He soon figures this out and decides to venture out into the world, into its busy cities and streets, in search of his true human identity bringing along all his elf-ness and Christmas cheer with him.
This one’s a real Christmas treat. If your family’s looking for a good laugh in a movie spilling to the brim with Christmas cheer then pop this one into the DVD player.
Buddy: We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.
3. The Polar Express (2004) Here’s a question to ask your child: what would you do if you found yourself on a train with a final stop at the North Pole, at Santa’s dwelling place? This film was based on a children’s book, now considered a classic, of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. It’s about a boy who finds himself aboard a train called the Polar Express journeying to the North Pole. On his way to Santa he learns about bravery, friendship and the spirit of Christmas.
If you and your family have yet to own a copy of the book, we suggest you watch this movie. If you’re already planning to watch the movie or have already, we suggest you still read the book.
The Conductor: Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see.
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4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Here’s a good movie to watch this November. Technically, it isn’t just about Christmas. If we’re being honest, it’s more about Halloween. But if your family’s looking for a good transition from the spooks of Halloween to the merriment of Christmas then look no further. This movie is centered on Jack Skellington, dubbed the Pumpkin King, and his quest to bring Christmas into Halloween Town. The problem is, he hasn’t quite grasped the concept.
Huddle around the couch for this one. It’s a little spooky for very young ones. The songs in it though are fantastic. Your family’s going to be singing them for weeks!
Jack Skellington: [singing] There's children throwing snowballs / instead of throwing heads / they're busy building toys / and absolutely no one's dead!
5. Arthur Christmas (2011) You might not have known but Santa has a son. His name is Arthur, and on this Christmas, goofy Arthur is in charge of a very special mission. He has to bring one present to one child. Not just any present nor any child though, this is the one child that they’ve accidentally failed to give a present to. The catch? He’s only got until Christmas dawn to get it back! This one’s another feel good movie; one the whole family, even the adults, can enjoy.
Steve: Okay, lets show them people, 'Operation Santa Claus is coming to town!'
6. The Santa Claus (1994) Santa Claus is no more. He has accidentally fallen to his demise from a roof because he was startled by Scott Alvin. Yes, it is all Scott Alvin’s fault. Not to worry, this isn’t the movie where Christmas gets ruined. Scott is appointed take on the now vacant job as Santa Claus to his surprise. (It was his fault after all.) Scott’s son is thrilled! And together they take on Christmas, elves, presents and everything else in between.
Charlie: My dad is Santa Clause.
7. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) Need there be more to say that the title doesn’t? Based on the classic book titled A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens, this movie is a rendition of that with the welcome addition of Muppets. The story is about a grumpy, bitter old man named Ebenezer Scrooge who is shown the error of his ways as he’s visited by the three Ghosts of Christmas: Past, Present and Yet to Come.
Robert Marley: Look, it's Ebeneezer Scrooge! Jacob Marley: Looking older and more wicked than ever. Robert Marley: I knew he wouldn't disappoint us!
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8. Gremlins (1984) Set in the Christmas season, in the small town of Kingston Falls arrives small furry creatures, cute and lovable. There are strict rules to follow in the care and keeping of them however. These are: to never give them water, to never give them food after midnight and to never expose to bright light. Unfortunately, some of the townsfolk are stubborn. And the adorable creatures transform into something altogether different.
This one’s another spooky one, more creepy than the movie at #4 and is not advisable for little kids. It’s tremendous fun though. Your bigger kids are going to love it!
Chinese Boy: Look Mister, there are some rules that you've got to follow.
9. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) An oldie but a goodie, this one was a TV release movie. We all know the story of Rudolph and his red nose. How, because of this, he wasn’t accepted by the other reindeers. What we don’t know is the whole story. Rudolph wasn’t the only outcast. He and other misfits found a whole island of misfit toys. Rudolph makes it his mission to help them by bringing them to Santa. Santa has problems of his own though. It’s too foggy to fly his sleigh.
Yukon Cornelius: This fog's as thick as peanut butter! Hermey: You mean pea soup. Yukon Cornelius: You eat what you like, and I'll eat what I like!
10. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) Here’s one hell of a holiday classic. Released in the 1946, this movie still lives on. Heck, they’ve even come out with a colored version of it (the original was in black and white). Ask the kids’ lolos and lolas if they’ve seen it, chances are they have. The story is about a despairing father named George who finds that his troubles are too huge to continue on living with. Until a kind angel named Clarence shows him what life would be like if George had never existed. Many people around the world hold this dear to their hearts. Watch it and you will too.
Clarence: Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?