A Christmas Story (1983)
In the 1940s, all a young boy could ever want for Christmas was the gift of all gifts: a Red Ryder Carbine Action, 200 Shot, Range Model Air Rifle.
And that’s exactly what Ralphie Parker wants, too. Encountered with the token “You’ll shoot your eye out” response from all adults, Ralphie sets out on a crusade to get his desired present.
His time is filled with daydreams and fantasies about his dream gift, with every thought centered only on his goal: the BB gun. A Christmas Story is full of brilliant takes on a young man’s life at nine. It is so much a modern classic that each year, TBS plays the movie for 24 hours straight on Christmas Day.
The film is more than just a satire of the Christmas ritual, it manages to point out quirks and oddities of every family. It’s a timeless classic about an age gone by, but the themes still hold value and, as any good comedy must, humor.
— Olga Robak
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1988)
Christmas Vacation is a journey into the workings of a typical American family, the Griswolds, as seen through the eyes of National Lampoon. Following the slapstick blueprint of other National Lampoon films, Christmas Vacation lifts the story of one man’s (Chevy Chase) obsession to beat his neighbor at the art of decoration to new comical heights.
Stringing up the lights is a familiar sight, but not in Lampoon land. From electrical shocks to unfortunate plunges from the rather high roof of the house, this movie turns X-Mas decorating into a complete mess.
No matter how much of a grinch you are, it’s impossible not to smirk at some of the Griswolds’ misfortunes. — P.S.
Ebenezer Scrooge has absolutely no holiday spirit, using phrases like “bah-humbug” a tad too often.
But when Bill Murray took on the role of this classic character, he breathed new life into the timeless tale in Scrooged. Instead of making it a Kleenex fest, the movie ditches true sincerity for cheap laughs that will have the whole family in stitches.
The story follows the Dickensian tale of a rich, stubborn geezer who changes his ways after being visited by three spirits (X-Mas past, present and future) on Christmas Eve, but adding a modern touch. Scrooged remains faithful to the underlining moral of humanitarianism toward your fellow man while adding humor where it’s needed most. — Pablo Saldana
Home Alone 2 (1992)
Before Macaulay Culkin sued his parents, faded into obscurity and then resurfaced after getting married (only to be divorced and star in the critically panned Party Monster), he was America’s favorite surrogate son. Culkin, as Kevin McCallister, gave us not one but two classic holiday films, Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. Those were soon followed by two more lackluster sequels neither starring this now infamous child star.
However, Home Alone 2 stands out as the best of the bunch with great dialogue and a beautiful backdrop of a New York Christmas. A simple story: A child constantly left behind by his parents is forced to fend for himself during the holiday season while fighting off some half-witted crooks.
If Culkin wants to return to his glory days, there’s always room for “Home Alone 5: Next Generation” — just some free advice that he should strongly consider. — P.S.