Sunday, December 21, 2014

12 Days of Christmas: Day 10


“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…” 
How I loved singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song in elementary school chorus and high school glee club. For Creative Prose Publishing’s special event celebrating The Twelve Days with their authors, I won’t have to sing so I decided on something better. I have the tenth day which is 10 Lords a Leaping and I’m going to share my Top 10 Christmas movies. Here they are and I hope you’ll share your favorites as well.


Laurie’s Top 10 Christmas Movies

Every year my family and I watch these classics and they never get old. From finding the right love, to simply believing in something (like magic or the power of love) or someone (like Santa), these titles truly highlight something special about the holiday season.


10. TIE: While You Were Sleeping, Love Actually and Bridget Jones’s Diary
Sorry, but I couldn’t choose between these three zany holiday love stories. Who can escape the charm of Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping? Just because we may 'crush' on someone, doesn't mean that's 'the right one' for us. By the time Lucy shows Jack that snow globe, I’m tearing up. As for Love Actually, what’s not to love about this movie? There’s the stellar cast with the wide variety of love stories stemming from young to old, each sharing the backdrop of the holiday season. And we can’t forget the music! I love to watch Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth in Bridget Jones’s Diary. So comical with sprinkles of truth, these two leads showcase the best of 'opposites attract'. That ending scene with a scantily clad Bridget with Mr. Darcy on the sidewalk in the snow is hysterical and yet endearing, just like these three movies.


9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Each holiday season I play this DVD and giggle like crazy at the hilarious antics of the Griswold family. Who can forget the squirrel in the Christmas tree? Clark trying to put lights on the outside of his house? The holiday meal? The sewer scene? The list goes on and on….

8. A Christmas Carol (Alastair Sim, 1951)
The version of this holiday classic I adore features Alastair Sim as Scrooge. In glorious black and white, Sim truly embodies everything 'Scrooge' from his glare to his biting voice, even down to the way he walks. When he's a changed man, he's a delight to behold. The lack of color helps dramatize the scenes even more. The holidays are not complete without one viewing of this classic.

7. The Dead
Based on my favorite James Joyce short story, this movie directed by the late great John Huston, is film-making brilliance. Married couple Gabriel and Gretta attend Christmas dinner and enjoy the company of friends and family. With lively conversation, dancing, singing and music, we are privy to how music invokes different emotions in each person, particularly in Gretta as she reminisces about her first love. Anjelica Huston steals the film with her revealing speech which captures my heart every single time.



6. Prancer
There's a special place in my heart for Prancer. Some may find this movie corny but I don’t care, I love it. When twelve year old Jessica thinks the injured reindeer she found belongs to Santa, no one believes her. She’s just a kid, right, but this determined girl will show the non-believers how wrong they are. With each repeated viewing, I’m always drawn in by her story and her voice and by the end I'm tearing up as that reindeer disappears off that cliff. Talk about magic.

5. The Nightmare Before Christmas
What’s this you say? I say this movie is a unique tale about the unforgettable Jack Skellington and friends all done up in typical eerie cool Tim Burton style. Funny, bewildering, with songs to hum along to, who would think something so ghoulishly creepy could be so much fun to watch in December? Me!

4. The Polar Express
While we’re on the subject of ‘believing’, what better movie encompasses kids growing older and not having faith in Santa any more than The Polar Express? Based on Chris Van Allsburg's beautiful picture book, director Robert Zemekis (who also wrote the screenplay) transfers the magic of the story into an animated wonder. A nameless young boy gets to go on an adventure (on a wonderful train with Tom Hanks as a cool conductor) which helps him believe once again in Christmas.



3. The Santa Clause trilogy
I never thought Tim Allen--the droll tool guy from the hit comedy TV show Home Improvement--could ever make me believe in his portrayal as a divorced dad who takes over as Santa Clause. He did. The first movie was humorous, engaging and totally captivating. The first film is a classic, making this trio a wonderful series to watch with the family.



2. TIE:  A Christmas Story & A Miracle on 34th Street (1947, b&w)
It's a battle of the kids! Ralphie and Susan rule these enchanting family gems. All Ralphie wants for Christmas is a BB gun. But he'll shoot his eye out! All Susan wants is a family. Stern mom Kate is set in her chilly, independent ways. Each story captures the magic of the holidays through the eyes of a child. Both are filled with poignant moments, lots of humor, and lovable kids.



1. It’s A Wonderful Life
I never tire of watching this film in its original black and white splendor (keep that creepy colorized version away from me). When James Stewart and Donna Reed are on screen, I can’t look anywhere else. "Buffalo gals, won't you come out tonight..." Director Frank Capra created a true holiday classic with this endearing film. For me, each Christmas isn’t complete without one or two viewings. “Merry Christmas Bedford Falls!” George Bailey has become synonymous with everything good about Christmas and Clarence the angel, well, he gives the movie tremendous heart and leaves a bell as his calling card.


Honorable mentions:



They may not be movies, but these television specials will forever hold their own special places in my heart and in the hearts of many.

About the author:
Laurie Treacy is a fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary YA and NA romance writer. A graduate of Marist College, she lives in New York's picturesque Hudson Valley with her husband, three children, and various pets. When not writing or book blogging, she’s a proud Whovian, loves reading, photographing abandoned places, frozen Goobers, and watching anime. A member of the SCBWI and RWA, Laurie can be found at local writer's events and online at 
www.laurietreacy.com and www.readergirlsblog.com.

Find Laurie here: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


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TRAIN STATION: 3:00 P.M. by Candace Gleave
A ball of gold the size of a cow's eyeball and a man worth his weight in fortune bring together a motley group of criminals, all who will do anything and everything to obtain both treasures.


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