Ho, ho, ho! Here are some Christmas movies and television specials that'll bring cheer

Matt Hollinshead
Farmington Daily Times
Film projector

FARMINGTON — Ho, ho, ho!

Christmas is just about here, so here are some flicks and television specials that'll bring you some yuletide cheer:

Christmas films

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

An older gentleman takes on the role of Santa at a Macy’s store location in Manhattan.

But soon he's trying to convince others he is the real Santa.

The film itself is a pure and good-spirited one, as it does not rely on peculiar characters or themes to get by.

A Christmas Story (1983)

This more than just a Christmas film. It incorporates childhood themes one can relate to.

Youngster Ralphie Parker has to deal with bullies and a grumpy father, all while waiting for Christmas Day to arrive and dreaming of the perfect BB gun.

It also serve as a classic reminder what can happen when you try sticking your tongue to a pole in the dead of winter.

This flick is as witty as it is heartwarming.

Elf (2003)

Feeling out of place up at the North Pole, Buddy, an adult human raised by elves, heads to New York City in search of his biological father.

Buddy quickly finds himself out of place among humans, too.

The chaos that follows in this holiday film will be quick to put a smile on your face.

Bad Santa (2003)

This dark holiday comedy’s definitely not for younger audiences, but the mature audiences will have plenty of laughs and appreciate its efforts.

Two men pose as a mall Santa and an elf during the Christmas season with plans to con the establishments.

The man posing as Santa is depressed and drinks heavily, but a young boy renews hope for him to turn his life around.

It’s rather crude, but it demonstrates that miracles can happen under the most unlikely circumstances.

Arthur Christmas (2011)

Santa’s elves work tirelessly delivering gifts around the world and using technology to determine how “nice” or “naughty” boys and girls have been leading up to Christmas. Then comes one major problem: one single child doesn’t get their Christmas gift.

Arthur, Santa’s youngest son, is tasked with getting that one last present delivered.

The urgency of the mission, combined with the clumsy Arthur’s determination, make this holiday flick a gem.

More holiday movie specials:

Christmas television specials

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

This one’s a timeless classic, because it addresses a frustrating topic: holiday commercialism.

The title character wants to look past different material items and material undertones, then he finds a teeny little tree and intends to prove it can stand out for the Peanuts gang’s Christmas play.

This television special packs plenty of heart, holiday spirit and some laughs.

This television special is the one you grew up watching and want to pass down to your children and grandchildren.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Bitter about seeing the town of Whoville happy to celebrate Christmas, the green hermit up on the hill overlooking the town plans to literally steal Christmas — then eventually has a drastic change of heart as Christmas morning dawns.

This holiday special is a reminder that no material items are greater than the power of one’s holiday spirit.

It’s Christmas in Canada (Season 7 of South Park, 2003)

The South Park character Kyle has a strong relationship with his adopted brother Ike, who’s from Canada. 

When Ike’s birth parents decide to take Ike back under a new Canadian adoption law, Kyle and his friends from the small Colorado mountain town venture to the northern border to reclaim Ike.

Whether you’re a fan of the Comedy Central animated comedy program or not, the premise of this particular episode is what makes Christmas special: even in the darkest times, one daring, selfless act for the love of a family member can bring that long-lasting joy and gift a family desperately needs during the holidays.

More in holiday tv specials:

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577, mhollinshead@daily-times.com and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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