‘Tis the season — well, almost. Fathers begin to have their yearly near-death experiences, stringing Christmas lights up along the eaves. Christmas carols filter through the tinny PA systems of shopping malls. Dusty boxes of decorations are heaved from attics and crawl spaces. The first “test-batches” of Christmas cookies appear on plates.

But more importantly (not really), all the old-school, classic Christmas specials start showing up on the television. Christmas movies for parents and kids alike. For me, the classic shows are best. Part of it has to do with the animation, and the effort required. But the rest of it is all nostalgia. And what is Christmas if not a time for nostalgia? Heaps of it. So, here are five great Christmas flicks worth looking out for.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) – Stop motion animation mixed that I imagine resembles what it would be like for your kids’ stuffies to come to life. Old-school cool and great music too.

Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town – Some more vintage Christmas goodness. This one finishes off with an animated version of Fred Astaire doing what he does. Chipper…perhaps slightly nauseating. But nostalgia all the same.

The Nightmare Before Christmas – An unusual spin away from the usual fluff. Great animation and sets and still reminiscent — if not respectful — of the classic genre of Christmas specials. Darker and perhaps with a few moments that might give young ones the willies.

Elf – Alright, there’s no animation here. Simultaneously terrible and awesome. Will Ferrell’s slapstick and over-the-top schtick makes for some pretty funny moments.

A Christmas Story – One of my all time faves. Endearing, funny, and rough around the edges. Complete with the burlesque leg-lamp and cussing father…and of course the Red Rider BB Gun.

There are plenty more out there. Post your favorites and suggestions in comments.


Harry Tournemille strings up his own Christmas lights, thank you very much.