HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The holidays are always a special time for everyone with a lot of meaningful and important traditions for each family that celebrates.
One of the most time-honored traditions for many families, including the family here at News 19, is watching Christmas movies. These movies give people a chance to see stories about the holidays that can be uplifting and funny and sometimes impart a lesson about what the season is about.
With that in mind, the team here at News 19 wanted to share a few of our personal favorites to hopefully spread a little joy this Christmas.
A pick that comes highly recommended by the News 19 team is “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” The 1989 comedy film follows Chevy Chase in his third turn as Clark Griswold, who is trying to give his family the best Christmas he can. His holiday quest is complicated by unwanted family visits, work issues, and the normal mishaps that seem to plague Clark’s normal life.
In the end, Clark learns that a great Christmas and a perfect Christmas don’t have to be the same thing.
Certified Chief Meteorologist Danielle Dozier, Meteorologist Jessica Camuto, Morning Anchor Kelley Smith and Reporters Archie Snowden and Alexa Harley all picked “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” as their favorite Christmas movie.
The next highly recommended movie is “Elf.” The 2003 Will Ferrell-led Christmas comedy tells the story of Buddy, a man who was raised among the elves at Santa’s Workshop since he was a baby.
After finding out he is not, in fact, an elf, Buddy sets off on a journey to find his biological father in New York City and hopefully teach him about Christmas cheer along the way.
“Elf” was a common movie pick at the station with Evening Anchor Emileigh Forrester and Reporter Emily Moessner both saying it’s a personal favorite.
The Santa Clause
Weekend Anchor Lynsey Smith and Meteorologist Aaron Ayers said their favorite Christmas movie is 1994’s “The Santa Clause.”
With Tim Allen taking the starring role, this movie follows toy salesman Scott Calvin (Allen) as he gets wrapped up in a legal, and evidently magical, technicality that forces him to take the place of Santa Claus while dealing with his own family struggles.
A Christmas Story
This quirky Christmas Classic is a favorite of Chief Investigative Reporter Brian Lawson and Meteorologist Ben Smith.
The 1983 movie follows young Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas. Along with Ralphie’s quest for the best Christmas present, the film also shares the story of his father winning a leg-shaped lamp and several other stories of just one holiday in the young man’s life.
Investigative Reporter Dallas Parker and Reporter Mariah Wiggs both said their favorite Christmas movie is “This Christmas.”
The 2007 film looks at the trials and tribulations that accompany a large Whitfield family as everyone gets together for the holidays. While the family deals with personal disputes and different things that pop up when the family comes together, ultimately they end up finding the importance of family in the holidays.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
There have been several versions of how the Dr. Suess baddie stole Christmas, but Sports Director Olivia Whitmire, MMJ/Morning Anchor Lauren Layton and Shoals Reporter Addison Willmon said their favorite version is “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” starring Jim Carrey.
This version of the classic is a live-action take on the story that delves more into the Grinch as a character and tells the story of how he came to hate Christmas so much, before ultimately taking up the story of the original book.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Anchor Jerry Hayes and MMJ/Weekend Anchor Kayla Smith both said their favorite Christmas movie is the classic claymation TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
The special, which has run on television during the holidays since 1964, tells the story of the titular Rudolph as he makes his way through life as a misfit red-nosed reindeer. He is joined on his journey by Hermy, an elf who wants to become a dentist, until one fateful night when Santa may just have need of his nose so bright.
Sports Reporter Claudia Chakamian and Reporter Deidra Brisco both said their favorite Christmas movie is the 1990’s classic “Home Alone.”
The film follows Kevin McCallister as he is accidentally left at home alone when his family takes a trip to Paris for the holidays. While at first ecstatic to be free of his large family, Kevin is eventually forced to match wits with Harry and Marv, a pair of crooks looking to rob his house. Hilarity and quite a bit of slapstick violence ensue.
Emmett Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas
Evening Anchor Greg Screws has quite the unique pick with “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas.”
The 1977 TV special was directed by Muppets Creator Jim Henson and created through The Jim Henson Company’s usual puppet-centered techniques.
While there is an appearance by Kermit the Frog, the special mainly tells the story of Emmet Otter and his Ma’s attempts to win a local talent show to use the winnings to buy the other a Christmas present. The quest to win the talent show ultimately leads Emmet to form the special’s titular jug band.
A controversial favorite, the 1988 action film “Die Hard” starring Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman, is the seasonal pick of Morning Anchor Steve Johnson.
The film follows NYPD Detective John McClane (Willis) as he tries to save his estranged wife, and others, who were taken hostage by a terrorist group led by German radical Hans Gruber (Rickman) during a Christmas party.
Bing Crosby is synonymous with Christmas time, specifically “White Christmas,” the 1954 film starring Crosby, Dany Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.
A popular song and dance duo (Crosby and Kaye) team up with a sister act (Clooney and Vera Ellen) to help save the failing Vermont inn of the men’s former commanding general and friend. The quintessential holiday romantic comedy “White Christmas” is a popular choice with our morning MMJ Madison Neal.