A fun, heartwarming, slightly questionable list of holiday specials

Culture Film
You know this one's making the cut. Credit MGM Television
You know this one’s making the cut. Credit MGM Television

Folks, let’s get festive. How? Movies! When? The whole holiday season, duh. Including exam period (but we don’t suggest that—it’s just recommended for your health). We advise that you include the following movies with one fuzzy blanket, two cups of hot cocoa (which may or may not be alcoholic—remember to anti-stress, people), three different cookies (gingersnap, sugar, shortbread), four massive pillows, and a partridge in a pear tree! Or a vat of mulled wine. Whatever gets you in the spirit!


The Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story, Home Alone (any of them), Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Polar Express, A Miracle on 34th Street, The Santa Clause, White Christmas, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Anna’s recommendation: My family’s in Florida and I’m in New York! My family? Is in Florida? And I’m in? New YORK!? Featuring a pigeon lady, a swank hotel, America’s current president-elect, and the true meaning of Christmas, Home Alone 2 tops them all. We’ve forgotten Kevin again, but this time he’s in New York and he’s getting up to no good! I’d like to note that Home Alone 3 should not be on our list, but I was overruled.

Jennifer’s recommendation: What kid doesn’t dream about owning their own Red Ryder Air Rifle? Or now, as an adult, a fish-net lady’s leg lamp? A Christmas Story is a definite classic—it features getting your tongue stuck to a pole, soap in the mouth for swear words, and the disastrous turkey dinner! Humourous and heart- felt, it’s a must-watch classic for this holiday season.


Christmas with the Kranks, How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), Eight Crazy Nights, Elf, Four Christmases, Just Friends, Rise of the Guardians, Shrek the Halls, A Very Murray Christmas

Anna’s recommendation: Uncomfortably weird, A Very Murray Christmas takes the cake. With special appearances by Miley Cyrus, Chris Rock, Michael Cera, Rashida Jones, George Clooney, Amy Poehler, and so, so many more, you’ll find yourself slightly concerned for the well-being of Bill Murray by the end. But you’ll also feel strangely festive.

Jennifer’s recommendation: What do you do when you’re stranded with your somewhat psychotic pop-star girlfriend outside your hometown where you used to be ridiculed in high school and were once so deep in the friendzone that they may as well have named it after you? Just Friends has all the answers, featuring Ryan Reynolds before he was a Marvel superhero, as well as an iconic, blonde bombshell, Anna Faris.


Anastasia, Die Hard, Gremlins, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Holiday, Legally Blonde, Mean Girls, A Nightmare Before Christmas, Silver Linings Playbook, The Sound of Music, Sleepless in Seattle

Anna’s recommendation:Silver Linings Playbook, a Christmas movie?” you may ask, incredu- lously. That’s right. Let us not forget the pre-dance scene at the family house: J. Law anxiously adjusts Bradley Cooper’s tie, the house twinkles with decorations, and Sinatra croons “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” reminding us all will be OK.

Jennifer’s recommendation: “Yippee ki yay, motherf**ker,” you might say with whisky eggnog in one hand and peppermint Kahlúa in the other. At least that’s what I plan to do, while playing the Die Hard drinking game. The rules are simple: drink every time a walkie-talkie or radio is used, each time McClane is a total badass, and whenever a gun is fired. This will have you in the festive spirit by the second half of the movie! Happy holidays!


Alvin and the Chipmunks, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Doctor Who, Friends, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (Winter Episode), Glee, Gossip Girl, The O.C., South Park, Spongebob Squarepants

Anna’s recommendation: What is more inclusive than an O.C. Chrismukkah special? In season one, we have Ryan’s first holiday with the Cohens and the foreshadowing of Marissa’s drinking problem; season two features an illegitimate love-child scandal; season three has the dance scene to “That’s What Friends Are For” at Ryan’s bar mitzvah, and season four gives us a taste of the supernatural. CLASSIC.

Jennifer’s recommendation: As a diehard Whovian, I leave you in the hands of the Doctor Who specials. Which one? Literally any. My personal favourites are “The Runaway Bride” (2006), “Voyage of the Damned” (2007), “A Christmas Carol” (2010), and “The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe” (2011). You don’t even need to be a fan to dive into these holiday episodes (warning: any exposure to the Who-verse may convert you).