Is A Christmas Story the best Christmas movie?


Let’s talk about why A Christmas Story should be crowned the greatest Christmas movie. Holidays are ostensibly about family and the memories we make when we are with our family. The plot of A Christmas Story is not a big, showy production. It is simply about young Ralphie’s Christmas with his family and his hopes for the perfect Christmas present. Remember your childhood? Remember when you thought about what you would get for Christmas for at least a month? This is the highly effective hook of A Christmas Story. The story is told through the unique story device of an adult Ralphie providing the voiceover in retrospect.

As a child, my father sat the family down to watch A Christmas Story. I was initially uninterested. In the years holidays that ensued and the highly effective 24-hour cable marathons, pre-cutting the cord, watching A Christmas Story at least biannually became one of my family’s traditions.

This film is intentionally dated and intentionally cheesy. It is a way to connect to the child you were. When I watch this film with my father, it takes him back to his childhood. This is not because his childhood was exactly the same as the film. As an adult, I too experience nostalgia with this film.

This movie touches on many childhood struggles that a lot of us went through: the perfect Christmas toy, wearing giant snowsuits against your will, performing like a monkey at your parents’ request, meeting Santa, childhood fights, and dares. Most importantly, A Christmas Story is so effective at putting us in Ralphie’s shoes that we get to experience our own childhood again, even if it was actually superficially different. It is family friendly fare that is perfect to put on when everyone is gathered together this holiday season.

C’mon, let’s choose A Christmas Story as the greatest Christmas movie! Please join me in checking out the rest of the contenders over on the LAMB

“a major award”

Movie Review: Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws

Credit: Disney DVD Copyright:
Credit: Disney DVD

I do not watch many children’s films because I am not a parent. When I do, I prefer them to be like this one, without any cursing, double entendres or a bunch of pop culture references. This film succeeds on all counts. The only thing I would make sure to make clear to children is not to feed dogs candy or cookies. Most importantly it features adorable puppies and a Christmas story.

It’s your basic “We need to save Christmas story” but with a twist, told from the perspective of puppies. The protagonist is Puppy Paws, soon to be successor to his father Santa Paws. Santa Paws is Santa’s (George Wendt) right hand dog. Puppy Paws is bored with North Pole life and decides to see how normal puppies live.

These “normal puppies” are the infamous Buddies. I’ve only seen one other of these series of films (so far), the not as good but still adorable Space Buddies. However, if you’ve never seen any of them you still get a brief introduction to the characters. They are Budderball (likes to eat), Mudbud (likes to get dirty), B-Dawg (enjoys rap and dancing) and Rosebud (fashionista). Human co-stars include Christopher Lloyd as the evil dog catcher and Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld) as an Elf.

Puppy Paws tries to fit in and make friends but stirs up trouble. Of course Puppy Paws learns that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t about toys. I smiled a lot and even laughed out loud at some of the puppies antics.

Many movies tend to drag in the middle, including the aforementioned Space Buddies but this one was pretty entertaining all the way through. I could be nitpicky and mention that the film didn’t include enough reindeer screen time and that I’m not sure of Wendt as Santa. Why complain about an awesome holiday movie though? The film clocks in at 88 minutes so if it isn’t your thing, you won’t be bored for too long.

You can buy it from on DVD or Blu-ray, the super cute Santa Buddies Gift Set (DVD + Five Plush Buddies) or as a part of the Buddies DVD 4-Pack (Air Buddies, Snow Buddies, Space Buddies, Santa Buddies).

Notes: This originally appeared on Yahoo on November 5, 2009. This review includes Amazon affiliate links.

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Playlist: a very punk xmas

I’m usually all about putting together my own playlists on 8tracks but when this one was auto suggested to me, I just had to share it with all of you. There is some crossover between this and my recent Christmas mix, but hey great minds this alike. Plus there is enough difference that I think including this is definitely warranted. This playlist is by rynow.

a very punk xmas from rynow on 8tracks Radio.

1. Christmas Wrapping-The Waitresses
2. Don’t Shoot Me Santa-The Killers
3. (Christmas) Baby Please Come Home-Anberlin
4. Blue Christmas-Elvis
5. Making Christmas-Rise Against
6. Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass-All Time Low
7. Christmastime-Smashing Pumpkins
8. Virginity for Christmas-Future Idiots
9. Yule Shoot Your Eye Out-Fall Out Boy
10. Winter Wonderland-Phantom Planet
11. Xmas-Corey Taylor
12. Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)-The Ramones
13. What’s This-Fall Out Boy
14. Last Christmas-Jimmy Eat World
15. Oi! To The World-The Vandals
16. Father Christmas-The Kinks
17. I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas-The Drifters
18. Sock It To Me, Santa-Bob Seger
19. A Great Big Sled-The Killers featuring Toni Halliday
20. 2000 Miles-The Pretenders
21. Christmas in Hollywood-Hollywood Undead
22. Xmas Eve (She Got Up and Left Me)-Rancid
23. My Christmas List-Simple Plan
24. I Won’t Be Home For Christmas-Blink 182
25. Cold White Christmas-Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
26. Happy Holidays, You Bastard-Blink 182
27. One of Those Christmas Days-Third Eye Blind
28. Happy Christmas (War is Over)-Street Drums Corps featuring Bert McCracken
29. Evergreen-Switchfoot

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Playlist: Christmas Rock
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Playlist: Christmas Rock

This post is for those of you who also enjoy Christmas songs that rock. I grew up listening to a cassette of Christmas rock songs and will always think of Happy Xmas (War is Over) when Christmas (rocks and) rolls around.

Christmas Rock from Emma_moon on 8tracks Radio.

1. Happy Xmas (War is Over)-John Lennon and Yoko Ono
2. Blue Christmas-Elvis
3. Back Door Santa-Clarence Carter
4. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)-U2
5. Father Christmas-The Kinks
6. Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)-The Ramones
7. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree-Brenda Lee
8. Merry Christmas Baby-Otis Redding
9. My December-Linkin Park
10. Don’t Shoot Me Santa-The Killers

Photo is by paparutzi (Christina Rutz)

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and elsewhere on the web:
Buttkickin’ Holiday Songs over at Hokeyblog
My Favorite Healthy Christmas Recipes on Chocolate Covered Katie

Top Christmas Movies On Netflix Streaming

…and now it’s time to have a Christmas movie marathon!

TV movies have (TV) next to the title.

Click the show’s title to visit it on Netflix.

Dreamworks Holiday Classics (2011)

The specials included are Merry Madagascar, Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury, Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular and The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper. These specials would be a good fit if you have small children.

Mrs. Miracle (2009) (TV) (Available Until November 1, 2012)

Yes, I watched this flick cuz I still have a thing for James Van Der Beek. Two people who are grieving begin a relationship with the help of Mrs. Miracle (who may be some sort of guardian angel).

Snowglobe (2007) (TV)/Christmas Cupid (2010) (TV)

(Both Available Until November 1, 2012)

Both of these ABC Family Channel movies star Christina Milian. In Snowglobe she longs for romance and a traditional Christmas. She also has a loud, stubborn family. She ends up visiting a magical Christmas land that is inside of her snowglobe. She meets a guy there (Matt Keesler) but will she keep seeing him or fall for her new neighbor down the hall? Christmas Cupid is a take on A Christmas Carol. Milian is a workaholic who is haunted by a dead client who tries to get her to find love. Chad Michael Murray costars.

Holiday In Handcuffs (2007) (TV) (Available Until November 1, 2012)

Melissa Joan Hart is a struggling artist and waitress who’s told her Christmas crazed mother that her boyfriend would be joining them this year. Instead he dumps her. She snaps and kidnaps a slick looking Mario Lopez to pose as her boyfriend. Markie Post costars. This movie is so much fun.

Snow (2004) (TV)/ Snow 2: Brain Freeze (2008)(TV)

(Both Available Until November 1, 2012)

These movies were adorable. I watched them in one day, in fact back to back. Tom Cavanagh (Love Monkey) stars as a newbie Santa Claus who has had a reindeer stolen. While on a mission to retrieve it he meets and falls for Ashley Williams (Huff), who works at a zoo. She also has an evil, interfering ex who acts like a caricature of a character from The Most Dangerous Game. The first film features a lot of cute reindeer scenes. These would be fun for a family to watch together. In the second film Santa has amnesia. Both films operate under a time crunch. What will they do? Christmas is in a couple of days.

The Hebrew Hammer (2003) (Available Until September 29, 2012)

Yes, this one is about Hanukkah. I adore Adam Goldberg so I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to watching this movie. It’s hilarious and he’s fantastic in it. It’s a Jewish take on Blaxploitation movies. Goldberg has to stop the evil Andy Dick (the new Santa) who is trying to get rid of Hanukkah. The very talented Judy Greer costars. The cast also features Peter Coyote, Mario Van Peebles, Sean Whalen, Rachel Dratch and Tony Cox (Bad Santa).

Friday After Next (2002) (Available Until April 24, 2012)

This is my favorite in the Friday series and it’s set during Christmas. Ice Cube and Mike Epps get jobs as security guards. A robber who dresses as Santa Claus robs their home and steals from stores in their strip mall. Katt Williams and John Witherspoon costar.

The Santa Clause 2 (2002) (Available Until June 28, 2012)

In this sequel Santa Claus finds out about the wife clause which requires him to get married ASAP. This film stars Tim Allen, David Krumholtz, Judge Reinhold, Kevin Pollak and Molly Shannon.

Reindeer Games (2000) (Available Until January 1, 2013)

Ben Affleck’s character is fresh out of prison and has decided to pass himself off as his cellmate, who was having a relationship through the mail with Charlize Theron’s character, which seems like the thing to do. However he doesn’t know what is in store for him. Gary Sinise costars. (Also appears in Top Action Movies On Netflix Streaming)

Go (1999) (Available Until March 1, 2012)

This comedy is told in the Tarantino style of separate plot lines for intersecting characters, told out of order. I’ve watched this film so many times and it’s still fantastic. It takes place on Christmas Eve. The lead is played by Sarah Polley. She is a grocery store cashier who decides to do a one time drug deal to make her rent money. Timothy Olyphant plays the hottest fucking drug dealer. Other plot lines revolve around her fellow cashiers. One is a hot Brit (Desmond Askew) who goes to Vegas and ends up on the run from some really shady characters. Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr play adorable soap actors. Pretty much the only peeve I’ve ever had with the flick is that initially Katie Holmes is irritating in it. The film costars William Fichtner, Taye Diggs, Breckin Meyer, James Duval and Jane Krakowski. It was directed by Doug Liman. (Also appears in Top 1990s Movies about Twentysomething on Netflix Streaming)

The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) (Available Until January 1, 2012)

This Coen brothers film that was co-written by Sam Raimi stars Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Newman and Bruce Campbell. The inexperienced Robbins is put in control of a failing company as part of a stock scheme. However he invents the hula hoop which becomes hugely popular.

Miracle on 34th Street (1994) (Available Until February 1, 2012)/

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) (Available Until January 1, 2012)

Both of these are about a court case to prove the existence of Santa Claus. The 1994 remake was what caused my initial crush on Dylan McDermott. Elizabeth Perkins and James Remar costar in the remake.

Babes in Toyland (1986) (Available Until January 1, 2012)/
Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) (Available Until March 1, 2014)

A young Drew Barrymore finds herself in the magical Toyland on Christmas Eve. Keanu Reeves costars.
In Santa Claus: The Movie a toymaker finds out about the North Pole. Meanwhile an elf goes to work for a rival toy baron. Dudley Moore and John Lithgow star in this film.

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