7.5 Editor's Pick
December 6, 2012

My favorite Christmas & Holiday movies & shows & books & paintings & poems. Add yours!

My favorite Christmas movies, cartoons shows, books, paintings, and poems are about the spirit of Christmas (generosity, kindness), not saccharine-sweet Hallmark/Netflix factory-made BS.

Merry Christmas, from this heathen​.

Here’s my favorite Christmas stories, movies, and all I’ve found most worth cherishing—please add your traditions in the comments:

  1. It’s a Wonderful Life. Bonus.
  2. Little Women (90s version)
  3. A Christmas Carol (just watched the Patrick Stewart version, love him but seems like there’s likely a better one out there, 1951 version apparently is the best), as well as of course the actual story by Dickens, who half-invented what we now know as Christmas (the Muppets movie is likely great, but haven’t yet seen)
  4. The Grinch (book, 1967 cartoon)
  5. The Nutcracker (missing it live this year, so much—there are a few lovely versions in movie form)
  6. Affair to Remember—the final scene, over a cold and lonely Christmas—woo.
  7. Miracle on 34th Street (the first is the great classic, but I love Attenborough and the little girl in the more modern version)
  8. The West Wing Xmas episode. The Seinfeld Festivus for the rest of us!
  9. A Christmas Story—it’s wonderful, charming, modest, hilarious, grounded, real, delightful.
  10. All the (and only the) Hugh Grant scenes in Love Actually, the rest of the movie makes me gag.
  11. Home Alone/Home Alone 2 (not sure about the Xmas Spirit in this, but they’re loveable). Same goes for Die Hard–I like it, but I don’t consider it an Xmas movie, and don’t really get on the bandwagon about it + Xmas.
  12. Haven’t seen but worth cherishing: Peanuts Xmas, Muppets (as mentioned), or the classic animated Night before Xmas, or Frosty the Snowman
  13. Elf—the surprisingly touching, beautifully sung song is one of my favorite moments, but the whole thing is truly delightful
  14. Trading Places is amazing—this one should supplant Die Hard as everyone’s favorite non-Christmas Christmas movie
  15. Just bought a used copy of Norman Rockwell Christmas book at a local bookshop. It’s chockful of amazing stories, poems, paintings–the story “One Christmas Eve” by Langston Hughes is powerful. Also included are traditional recipes from Fannie Merritt Farmer’s 1896 cooking tome, poems by Robert Frost and others, Hans Christian Andersen, and Lewis Carroll; as well as Christmas carol music and lyrics. In the face of modern commercialism, looking back to Christmas and Pagan traditions is important.
  16. In that vein, the Gnomes book from the 80s is wonderful. Exploring the pagan traditions behind and within Xmas is fun.


Ed’s intro: As a boy-now-man brought up by a poor, two-job working amazing single mom, I’m kinda proud of this post [which originally was about free movies available online—but all the links kept going dead, so after 12 years, I’m editing that part out]. If we’d had this when I was young, it would have helped a present-less Christmastime. Still, we were full of love, and books, and that was a rich life!

Peace on Earth…on the Couch.

It’s time to gather together with those we love, make some (organic, local) popcorn with olive oil or whatever we heart (what’s your fave) and good salt and cozy up in lovely old blankets with our dog and/or cat and get movie-and-play watching. Here’s a few for those of us strapped for cash, or who just want easy access to some family favorites.

First, a classic: The Snowman. {26 minute Family Cartoon, narrated by David Bowie}

The Snowman” first aired on 24 December, 1982
A great British animated Cartoon/Film, based on the award winning children’s novel “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs

Thanks for viewing.

Bonus round (links are gone, but add any you know of that are free in comments!)


Nutcracker: a wonderful family tradition worth seeing in person, if you can.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas 1966

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