28 November 2008

Christmas Movies: A Treatise

I've been sick for almost five days now, and this afternoon is the first time I've had the energy to even turn on my laptop. It has been a dark week. In an attempt to soften the blow of a Thanksgiving week illness, I've been watching as many Christmas movies as possible. Jenny and I have lots of Christmas movies. LOTS. But at the end of a week, my options were running low. This is where ABC Family comes in. Some of you may be familiar with the network's traditional 25 Days of Christmas movies. But since we're not quite there yet, they've been playing horrible made-for-tv, mentions-Christmas-at-least-once-so-we-can-sell-it-as-a-holiday-movie nonsense. (I'm looking at you, Christmas in Boston). This got me thinking about the hierarchy of Christmas movies.

The only "poster" I could find of Christmas in Boston

1. The Classics. Everyone has to love these. It's Christmas requirement. Try telling someone you can't stand White Christmas or think It's a Wonderful Life is overrated. Doesn't go over well.

2. Family Christmas Movies that you're Tempted to Watch Year-Round (and if you're a Willardson you do.) Home Alone (1 and 2--there are no others), The Santa Clause, Christmas Vacation, Muppet Christmas Carol (does anyone have the soundtrack for this? I'm serious.), Miracle on 34th Street (the 1994 version. The original belongs above), etc. These are respectable. No one can make fun of you for watching these, at least between Thanksgiving and New Years. The rest of the year, no Willardson will make fun of you. Well, maybe Wendy.

(Bonus points if you know what parts Dr. Cameron and Deputy National Security Advisor Kate Harper play in this movie.)

3. Regular Movies with a Christmas Element. My favorite movie falls in this category: Meet Me in St. Louis. Since the movie takes you through a year in the life of the Smith family, and only 20 minutes or so take place at Christmas-time, this isn't technically a Christmas movie. The fact that Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas was written for this movie lends it some credibility, but there's not so much as a Christmas tree or snowflake on the cover. Still, my family watches this one every year, and it feels distinctly Christmas-y to me. Other good ones that fall in this category are all the Harry Potters, The Family Stone, and While You Were Sleeping. Anything that takes place at Christmas or shows Christmas in more than a passage-of-time montage will do.

4. Too Cheesy Family Christmas Movies that Pass Only at Christmas. These are Christmas movies that you still watch every year, but only when you run out of the good stuff. I'm talking about Christmas with the Kranks, Jingle all the Way, Deck the Halls, etc. Maybe they're in this category only because they haven't been around long enough to become classics (not to be confused with Classics). Only time will tell.

5. Waaaay Too Cheesy Movies that have No Other Redeemable Quality Other than they Take Place at Christmas. You watch them only once. Ever. And even then you regret it. If you're smart you stop watching thirty minutes in and know that the guy and girl get together under the mistletoe, the workaholic re-prioritizes and gets home in time to spend Christmas with his family, or (fill in member of Santa's family and/or workshop) helps sick or injured Santa pull everything together in time to get all the toys made for the big day. Unfortunately, this is the category I've been hitting hard this week. Movies I recommend you never watch: the aforementioned Christmas in Boston, Three Days, Christmas Do-Over, Santa Baby (who knew Jenny McCarthy as Santa's daughter would be such a dud?). Movies that are overly cheesy but still moderately enjoyable: Holiday in Handcuffs, Snowglobe, Christmas Caper (can't resist that Shannen Doherty).

In conclusion, Christmas movies are an important part of life, or at least December. I can only watch A Muppet Christmas Carol so many times. (It's not true. I could watch it every day) What Christmas movies are out there that I'm not watching? The Carrascos have turned me on to Mrs. Santa Claus with Angela Lansbury and Eloise at Christmas with Julie Andrews. Both are excellent. What are your favorite Christmas movies?

19 November 2008


This picture is a little sassier than I intended, but I'm too tired to take another one and upload it. You get the idea.

10 November 2008


Yesterday was a chilly, rainy Sunday. THIRTY-THREE (YAY!) people signed up for my Relief Society Enrichment book club that kicks off this month. To celebrate, Jenny, Kristi and I watched Dan in Real Life, Sound of Music, and Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken. We made apple cinnamon pancakes for lunch and taco soup for dinner. It may have been the best day of my life. Or at least November.

07 November 2008


Happy Birthday Kristi!

In your honor, I have divorced three couples and sent a drug dealer to prison.

04 November 2008


*I have literally had the hiccups six different times today, each time for about twenty minutes. That's TWO HOURS of hiccups. I am one hiccup away from ripping out my diaphragm and running over it with my car.

*With all the gigabytes and tv tuners and media centers in this apartment, we can't get a single channel to work. So Jenny, Kristi and I have been crowded around CNN.com hitting "refresh" to keep up with the election coverage. Lame.

*Does anyone else feel that the actual election day is a little anti-climatic? I feel like I should have woken up to the national anthem, driven to work amid frantic pollsters getting out the vote, and walked by at least one person in a red, white and blue Uncle Sam gettup. Maybe it's because almost everyone I know (myself included) voted early this year. Today felt decidedly ordinary. Although I was impressed to see more "I VOTED" stickers than I can remember in years past.

*Seriously, with the hiccups. Can you punch yourself in the stomach?

*This is why I don't blog anymore.

01 November 2008


"Listening to Sarah McLachlan makes me feel like I should make life changes"

-Jenny Willardson