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Fan Fest Writers Holiday Movie Guide

Everyone has a slightly different holiday tradition, some open presents on the 24th others wake up bright and early Christmas morning. For some people Christmas starts the minute you put the Thanksgiving left overs in the fridge, while others don’t get into the spirit of the season until right before the kids start tearing apart that paper. While everyone’s traditions are different for most places on the globe December means the weather is getting cooler and the best family activity is curling up in the living room and watching a movie. Us at Fan Fest are great lovers of movies and some of us wanted to share with you all the movies that we have to watch to make it feel like the holiday season is really upon us!

Home Alone is a classic that Jessenika has to watch every year!

Home Alone

Jerrold Reber, one of our favorite movie geeks, has lots to tell you about holiday movies:

I know that every household has their set of movies they watch every year. As a kid,my parents would turn on the television in the early morning hours and play A Christmas Story on TBS until I would start quoting the movie verbatim. Year in and year out growing up, that was a norm at first my house, then later in the day at my uncle’s with the rest of the family gathered together. In later years, we threw National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation into the mix, having most of Chevy Chase’s lines burned into my head that I would go on to recite his infamous meltdown speech, expletives and all, to my cousins and their families. Then, Elf became a modern classic and that found its way into the mix, crafting a trifecta of gooey Christmas goodness to make it through the day from wake-up to bedtime, quoting the oft-forgotten lines and keeping everyone giggling like glee.
However – way, way before Christmas morn actually arrives – there’s a couple other movies that are staples of this holiday season that are a must-watch. They’re not your typical feel-good, hold-your-family-close sorts of Hollywood fare. No, no. Actually, they’re the total opposite. Take Lethal Weapon for example. By no means is Shane Black’s introduction to the world of heroics (and, thus, redefining the action genre) a true Christmas tale. The story is merely set around the season, the story about narcotics and two officers who’ve no business working together, yet form a partnership rife with smart dialogue and genuine laughs. Same goes for 1988’s Die Hard, arguably my most favorite action movie of all time, with the wisecracking New York detective tackling German crooks with one-liners that don’t age a day and set pieces hard to mimic in today’s CG-laced blockbusters.
See, Jerrold is the best movie picker, and he had even more than what you already read!
Die Hard
Shikha added some movies that had yet to appear and a few classic that everyone seems to have to watch to get in the holiday grove:
The Holiday: For the past few years, my friend and I have watched this romantic comedy over glasses of wine, while writing out Christmas cards. The story about two woman switching locations for the holidays makes for a great girl’s night in. The Family Stone: This movie actually surprised me. I didn’t have very high expectations, but found myself laughing at the scene when the two sons, Everett (Dermot Mulroney) and Ben (Luke Wilson), chase each other around the dining table trying to kill each other. Proof that no matter how old we get, siblings will always act like we’re 5 years old! 
Shikha also watches National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf, and Home Alone!
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Casey has found a favorite and doesn’t care what anyone things about it:
My favorite Christmas movie is Home Alone 2. I have no idea how this became my favorite movie of the holiday season but at some point throughout my life it happened. I’m actually the only person in my family who enjoys it but that hasn’t stopped me from playing it every year on Christmas day. It’s actually become a hilarious tradition now and they’ve all accepted it. 
Brianna has that perfect movie if you can’t get out of that fall time feeling:

Nightmare Before Christmas: It’s the movie that transitions perfectly from Halloween into Christmas! It’s hard not to stop and watch once the music starts playing and see those odd but familiar characters.

Natasha has to get as many of The Harry Potter movies in as she can! Nothing takes you away quiet like a Harry Potter film!
Harry Potter
Sarah and her dad watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation every year.
Chrisha has something a little different:
A non-traditional classic that I love is While You Were Sleeping. It’s Christmasy, but not hit you over the head Christmasy, and is about this completely insane situation that this poor girl finds herself in, and I just relate to that hard. Lucy is my spirit animal. 😉 
Denise like many of us has a bunch of Christmas movies she and her family watch including many of the classics we have already seen and some of the old classic stop motion cartoons, she has some real special ones too:

I’ve grown to love It’s A Wonderful Life.  When I was young, I didn’t fully understand the film but now, as an adult, I appreciate its message more than ever.  It’s a truly heart-warming film which focuses on the fact that things are never really as bad as they seem and that, with help from friends and family, you can overcome anything.  I just love that.

March Of The Wooden Soldiers is a totally different type of film.  It’s a Laurel and Hardy film from the 1934, and follows storybook characters such as Little Bo Peep, The Three Little Pigs, Ollie Dee and Stannie Dum (played by Laurel and Hardy) etc. as they try to save Toyland (their home) from the boogeyman and from the evil Barnaby who wants to marry Bo Peep.  Laurel and Hardy work in Santa’s workshop and, thanks to a misunderstood toy order, they made 100 wooden soldiers at 6 foot tall (they were supposed to make 600 wooden soldiers at 1 foot tall).  In the end, they use the six foot tall soldiers to help save the day.

It’s A Wonderful Life

The reasons why I love both films, aside from them both being holiday classics, are really sentimental.  I can’t watch either film without thinking of my parents and I can’t wait until I have a family of my own, some day, so I can share the magic of these films with them.

Now myself I am not the most Christmasy of people but I hate snow and loves movies so I have developed a holiday movie ritual that I take very serious. In a true Batman lovers fashion I start the holiday season off with Batman Returns. The classic Christmas story of bats, cats, and penguins, plus there is a really really big Christmas tree in that movie!  Next on the list is the live action The Grinch, and while I know at least 8 of you just rolled your eyes and started thinking about the animated classic which I have zero problems with. The live action is just so quotable, plus he makes me not feel so bad about my lack of holiday cheer, I also always come around at the last possible moment of the season much like The Grinch himself! The close of the season is not so much a movie, but the Doctor Who Christmas Special. No matter the doctor it is always a great way to end the Holiday season with a bit of time travel and whimsy!
The Grinch
We hope this list of movies gets you through this last week of the holidays!

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Kyle Schlaack

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Kyle was born and
raised a nerd, as a toddler she
would watch Batman on repeat and we are not
going to say that did something to her brain…but it might
have. These days she
is a TV/Movie junkie with a side of comic obsession. Now that she has found this

incredible outlet to share her nerdy perspective on movies and TV shows she can
stop pestering her
husband and animals with superhero business!