Spread Christmas cheer by watching these family-friendly holiday favorites

Published in the December 7, 2016 issue of The Bells

The Christmas season is finally here, and it’s time to sit back and watch some of the greatest holiday films Hollywood has to offer. From a boy left alone to his own devices to a selfish man who transforms into Santa Clause, there’s something for everyone. Here’s a list of our favorites. Find out if yours made the list.
1. Elf (2003) PG
Plot: Buddy, a human-raised at the North Pole by Papa Elf, travels to New York City after finding out that he was adopted as a baby. His quest to find and connect with his real father leads to hilarious hi-jinx as he attempts to adjust to life outside of Santa’s workshop.
Why you should watch: Movie star Will Ferrell displays his comic genius in every scene, and with one-liners like “I’m just a Cotton-headed Ninny-Muggins,” there’s so much to enjoy. This film is sure to leave both children and adults singing and laughing along.

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) PG
Plot: Everyone in Whoville is excited and full of Christmas spirit. Everyone, except, the Grinch. After a glimpse into the grumpy Christmas-stealer’s past, the audience comes to understand why he feels the need to ruin the holiday for the Whos.
Why you should watch:
From the producers of “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” How the Grinch Stole Christmas gives audiences a chance to laugh and cry as they watch the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes too big.

3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) PG-13
Plot: In hopes of impressing his wife, children and visiting extended family, Clark Griswold sets to have the perfect Christmas. From the picture-perfect tree to the most elaborate light display, Griswold puts everything he has into creating a classic Christmas. But, unfortunately he can’t achieve perfection, and fails to live up to his own expectations.
Why you should watch: This timeless comedy has a cult following, spanning multiple generations, and never disappoints. Despite the dated clothing and décor, this film hits all the right marks when it comes to holiday cheer.

4. The Polar Express (2004) G
Plot: In this modern holiday film, a little boy goes on a journey of a lifetime to the North Pole on a magical train ride across frozen tundra, icy lakes, and windy mountain roads. The boy learns to find his inner strength and learns to believe in Santa and himself once more.
Why you should watch: The Polar Express is the perfect way to relive your childhood and the magic of believing in Christmas.

5. Home Alone (1990) PG
Plot: After his parents accidentally forget him at home while rushing to the airport for a family vacation, 8-year-old Kevin McCallister finds himself defending himself and his home against two dumb criminals.
Why you should watch: Although the concept is somewhat outlandish, this film is a classic Christmas film that combines slapstick comedy and hilarious one-liners.

6. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) PG
Plot: This film follows a man named George Bailey who is displeased with his life and wishes that he was never born. An angel, Clarence, appears and shows George how he has impacted many lives. George then discovers that his life is indeed wonderful and should not be taken for granted.
Why you should watch: It’s a Wonderful Life combines drama and romance, and will give you all the feels this Christmas season.

7. The Santa Clause (1994) PG
Plot: Divorced father, Scott Calvin, who spends too much time at the office, finds himself responsible for delivering the world’s toys when he accidentally scares Santa off of his roof. As he evolves into the man in red himself, he discovers that his son is more important than furthering his career.
Why you should watch: Everyone needs a reason to believe again, and this adorable holiday film will allow you to be a child again as you remember those magical Christmas happenings.

8. A Christmas Story (1983) PG
Plot: Ralphie Parker wants a Red Ryder air rifle for Christmas, to the dismay of those around him. The narrator of the film, who is an adult Ralphie, reminisces on when he was younger and how he and his wacky family celebrated a very odd Christmas.
Why you should watch: This off-center holiday film will not only make you laugh and cringe, but it will also make you realize how normal your fam

Author: Sarah Ifft

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