As Thanksgiving and Christmas, or whichever holiday you celebrate approaches, we’re all getting into the holiday spirit! I still have my fall décor out, but I’m thinking I might start early with the Christmas decorations. I just want to enjoy my pumpkins a little longer! One thing some of us like to do to get into the spirit is watching holiday movies!
There are, of course, the classics – A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf, Love Actually and the list goes on and on. My favorite types of holiday movies are usually of the more non-traditional variety. Don’t get me wrong, there is always a place in my heart for Home Alone and The Santa Clause, BUT I can’t help but love these few others.
As I was making this list, I started to see a pattern develop. Most of the movies I listed are movies that start around the holidays or Christmastime and then usually end up somewhere else. Maybe that doesn’t even make them technically Christmas movies, but somehow they still always feel that way to me.
There are a few versions of this movie, but the one I’m referring to is the 1994 version starring Susan Sarandon and Winona Ryder. This movie is one of my mom’s favorites. Every year she asks if we can watch it together. The answer is usually a groan because we’ve all seen it so many times, yet we can’t help but love it! At least I do! If you’re not familiar with the story, it’s based on a book by Louisa May Alcott. The story takes place during the Civil War era; a family of four sisters are growing up while their father is away fighting in the war and times are tough for them. The movie begins on Christmas Eve; it’s cold and snowing, there’s caroling – it just feels like Christmastime. Watching this movie, we always related to the four daughters because there are three girls in our family. To us, it’s more than just a Christmas movie, however, it is an interesting story about growing up and finding love and happiness.
This is one of my all-time favorite movies! Starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, it’s a movie that speaks so much to the turning point of a generation. It takes place in the early 90’s when computers were just starting to become a household norm – when the internet was still dial-up and AOL was all anyone knew. This movie has the same feeling as Little Women; it starts out in the winter just around Christmastime and ends sometime in the spring. It’s the classic boy meets girl in a chatroom, boy and girl meet in real life and don’t like each other, boy finds out girl is internet girl and tries to convince her in real life to like him. It’s a movie that could probably be retold these days with a Tinder/Catfish twist!
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Another classic starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks! This movie actually came out 5 years before You’ve Got Mail. I remember watching this movie every year around Christmastime because it starts out on Christmas Eve and it ends on Valentine’s Day. If you’re not familiar with this one KIDS, please watch this movie. It’s about a man whose wife died and his son calls a radio show asking for a new mother. Tom Hank’s character ends up talking all about his situation on air while it broadcasts across the country. Every woman in America falls in love with this man, writing him letters and trying to get his attention. There’s so much more and it’s all so romantic. Although there are some borderline stalker tendencies, I just enjoy it for what it is.
A very small portion of this movie actually takes place during Christmastime, it’s right at the beginning; however, it feels Christmas-y to me. It stars John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. It’s about these two people meeting, sparks fly, and then they leave the next step moving forward in the hands of fate. Well, flash forward a few years and the two are engaged to other people, having never found each other again after that one night. When John Cusack’s character is about to get married, he realizes he can’t go through with the wedding without trying to find this long-lost love. She feels the same way. The entire movie is about tracking down the other person and hoping that destiny will help them find each other again before it’s too late.
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This movie is different from all the others because of the fact that it takes place entirely during Christmastime! Except that neither one of the characters actually celebrate Christmas. It stars Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black (talk about an all-star cast). When both leading ladies are having serious relationship troubles, they decide to swap houses and spend Christmas in completely opposites parts of the world – traveling from California to England and vice versa. And just like any rom-com, they meet beautiful men that help them get out of their funk. Even though the stories don’t center around Christmas, it still feels Christmas-y.
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There are some movies that have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas but still remind me of Christmas. One year I got the Back to the Future saga as a gift and I watched them all on Christmas day that year. Now I always think of these movies on Christmas. Or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – that movie has one small part that features Christmas and somehow I always think of it during Christmastime. We probably all have some of those movies.
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Just writing this post gets me into the holiday spirit. I think it’s time for a movie marathon. What are some of your favorite Christmas or holiday movies? Any non-traditional movies out there that are your favs? Let me know in the comments below, I’m really curious!
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Christina is a twenty-something living with her beagle, Mash, and husband, Nate in their van. She loves traveling, shopping, art, and photography. She’s also a vegetarian, pop-culture enthusiast, book-lover, and Dave Matthews Band fanatic. Catch her somewhere around the country in a converted camper van or at home in Florida for a visit.