When it comes to watching Christmas movies, we can achieve that rare, mystical blend of indulging in holiday cheer while also taking it easy. What a time to be alive! Holiday films are the perfect way to take in bright colors, cheerful songs, and favorite traditions without leaving your couch (and suits our theme for the month, slow, quite nicely). Allow us to share some of our favorite moments.
Full disclosure: since favorite Christmas movies are, in fact, subjective, and because the two of us — shockingly — overlap very little in the Christmas movies we’ve actually seen, we opted not to crown the films themselves as all-time favorites, but rather our favorite scenes. However, perhaps this can work in your favor, if in fact you are too bogged down to view seven films this month, you can take in the best scenes and still enjoy your share of warm fuzzies.
Love Actually’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” Performance
Ah, Love Actually. This movie is not without its problems. While the progressive in me shudders at how little attention is given to consent and, well, women’s autonomy in general, I can’t help but still enjoy it…as long as I suspend my disbelief and pretend that all characters are happy with all turns of events (*cough*). Still, problems aside, this scene manages to capture both the excitement surrounding Christmas, and the butterflies-in-stomach build-up that comes to first kisses and budding relationships. And, there’s over-sized confetti, choreography performed in seasonal sweaters, and an adorable drummer boy, literally.
I’m normally not a huge fan of slapstick comedy, but Home Alone is a glorious exception. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are perfect opposite Macaulay Culkin’s mischievous yet creative Kevin. Really, any number of scenes could have made this list (how many ’90s kids great up quoting this movie, and recreating Kevin’s first use of aftershave?), but since these two back-to-back scenes include Home Alone’s classic comedy and touching family moments, I had to give them the spot.
Like Home Alone, it was not easy to pick just one section of this movie to highlight. However, seeing as nearly every year, someone in my family makes a reference to Clark Griswold’s overenthusiastic albeit gorgeous light display, this one takes the (fruit)cake. I appreciate this movie more the older I get, and the more effort I find myself putting into the holidays. And, the light display gets my utmost respect because, despite how enthusiastic I can be for Christmas decor, I would never go that big with the lights…especially if it meant a full day’s work in frigid temperatures.
The Nativity Scene From Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean
I have a soft spot for the bit in Mr. Bean’s Christmas when he gets distracted by the manger scene in the department store. It starts quietly enough with shushing coughs around a sleeping baby Jesus but escalates quickly to a Dalek, a T-Rex, and eventually baby Jesus needing to be airlifted by an angel to the dollhouse set up next door. If I had to pick a scene that perfectly sums up Christmas as an adult (who still has a very active inner child), this is definitely it.
Charlie Brown And Linus Pick A Tree In A Charlie Brown Christmas
If anything defines my ability (or lack thereof) to pick a Christmas tree, it’s Charlie Brown’s rationale when he says, “besides, I think it needs me.” Growing up, I went for, let’s call them “unique” looking trees, because I so desperately wanted them to have a home. I argued that I liked my trees to have character, when in fact, I just didn’t like the idea of any of them not being picked and therefore not filling their raison d’être. Let’s just say many a tree bald spot was hidden by large plushy ornaments over the years.
Kermit And Robin’s Aca-Awesome Duet In The Muppet Christmas Carol
It is practically impossible for me to pick any one scene of The Muppet Christmas Carol because aside from it being one of my favorite Christmas movies, it’s probably up there as being one of my favorite movies of all time. The family history behind it notwithstanding (I think my brother and I watched this every Christmas morning while waiting for the acceptable time to wake our parents up), it is about as heartwarming and giggle-inducing as it gets. AND Michael Caine sings. If I have to pick a favorite (fine, twist my arm), I love the scene where Bob Cratchit (aka Kermit the Frog) is walking home with Tiny Tim (aka Robin the Frog, Kermit’s nephew IRL) on his shoulder and they are singing an acapella duet. Firstly, I love any visual trick of seeing Kermit walking or riding a bicycle, but in this scene, I always forget I’m watching only muppets because the song is sweet and they are so obviously enjoying themselves.
This one is practically a no brainer. Growing up in the Puget Sound area, white Christmases were truly something that happened to other cities. Over the years I have dampened that knee jerk wish for snow in late December and channeled it into an annual viewing of White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. The final scene, when (spoiler alert!) all the couples are coupled, the inn is saved and everyone is generally feeling pretty great, they look outside and the snow they have been waiting for the whole movie is coming down. The stage dressings are lifted away, the large barn doors are opened and everyone gets to sing along to White Christmas while watching the snow flutter. Magic.
Bing Crosby And Danny Kaye Lip Sync In White Christmas, Hilarity Ensues
Bonus: There is a scene that was not in the original script where Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye lip sync to a song originally sung by the two female leads, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen. For this bit, Crosby and Kaye have on sequined headbands, gigantic fluffy feather fans, and their gray slacks rolled up to reveal their sock suspenders. Danny Kaye’s dancing is so funny, he can be seen cracking Bing Crosby up throughout the scene, which is absolutely as delightful as it sounds.