The Twelve Viewings of Christmas

Here is a diverse and fun viewing list of 12 movies and TV shows to watch during the TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS. The traditional 12 DAYS start on Christmas day and runs to Jan. 5 – Christmas to Epiphany. But, choose your own time frame, and for twelve consecutive nights here is your viewing list.

Day One: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS

charlie brown xmasThis never gets old and never fails to charm. Just listening to the music of the great Vince Guaraldi makes it feel like Christmas.

Day Two: A MIDNIGHT CLEAR

a midnight clearAn obscure film, which should be a holiday tradition. Set in 1944 France, an American Intelligence squad locates a German Platoon in the Ardennes wishing to surrender rather than die in Germany’s final war offensive. The two groups of men, isolated from the war at present, put aside their differences and spend Christmas together before the surrender plan turns bad and both sides are forced to fight each other. Sad, but powerful.

Day Three: RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER

rudolphCome on, we all love it. The Snowman (Burl Ives) sings one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” in a show based on one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time.

Day Four: THE SANTA CLAUSE

To me, one of the better modern Christmas movies. Funny and sweet. Tim Allen is wonderful as the befuddled new Santa. 

shop around the cornerDay Five: THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER

The great pairing of Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan in a quirky romantic comedy set in Budapest during Christmas season. This was the basis of the Tom Hanks / Meg Ryan remake You’ve Got Mail, which is an excellent update. If you’ve never seen it, you’ve missed one of the great Jimmy Stewart performances.

Day Six: HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS

how the grinchNOT the Jim Carrey / Ron Howard-directed disaster, but the REAL Grinch narrated by Boris Karloff.

Day Seven: HOW THE GHOSTS STOLE CHRISTMAS, X-Files Episode

x-files season 6Mulder and Scully visit a rumored haunted house on Christmas Eve and get more than they bargained for. One of the all-time great episodes of a great TV show. Funny, scary and romantic at the same time.

Day Eight: THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

nightmare_before_christmas_posterTim Burton’s ingeniously dark romantic view of the Yuletide.

Day Nine: THE BISHOP’S WIFE

bishops wifeNOT the Whitney Houston remake, but the original 1947 Cary Grant classic. Funny and irreverent while being very mainstream traditional. Grant is sparkling!

Day Ten: LOVE, ACTUALLY

love_actuallyThis follows the ups-and-downs of several characters’ lives in London in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Alternately hilarious, sad, touching, heart-breaking and joyous.

Day Eleven: IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

wonderful lifeOne of the all-time great movies, period. It is a testament to everything Christmas embodies: family, friends and the joy of life.

Day Twelve: A CHRISTMAS STORY

christmas storyTHE Christmas movie. The story of a young boy’s epic quest to get his hands on a Red Ryder BB gun provides the hilarious backdrop for a timeless tale rife with family hijinks, frozen tongues and, of course, sex-oozing leg lamps.