Christmas Movies To Round Out 2019

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It's that time of year – endless schmaltzy Christmas movies. You could veg in front of the TV and watch scads of Hallmark Christmas movies which are all exactly alike. Here's what you'll find on a Hallmark Christmas movie, per a popular meme floating around. I don't know who wrote it, but it's funny as hell.

Woman: I have a high paying job in New York City that I love and Christmas isn't that important to me.

Her black friend: You need a MAN.

Woman's dad: Come to the small town; we are suffering without a baker for our town festival.

Woman: Okay, dad.

Man: I harvest maple syrup for a living and make 2 dollars a year.

Woman: :/

Man: Will you harvest maple syrup with me?

Woman: I've decided I hate my job and I'm going to resign myself to making Christmas tree ornaments in Fuckberg for the rest of my life.

If Hallmark movies aren't to your liking, there are plenty of other movies that will bring forth the seasonal spirit. Here are my favorites:

It's A Wonderful Life – Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.

Black Christmas (original) – It's traditional in some areas to tell scary stories at Halloween. Why not watch a scary movie? This classic stars Margot Kidder and Olivia Hussey as two women in a sorority house full of women being stalked by a obscene phone call killer.

Dead End – Dark comedy horror movie about a man driving his family to Christmas dinner at his in-laws but he takes the scenic route instead of the highway. I figured out what was going on ten minutes into this movie but I had so much fun watching these people argue I couldn't stop watching it. Stars Lin Shaye from the "Insidious" movies and Ray Wise from "Twin Peaks" and "Reaper" as Mom and Dad.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale – My favorite Christmas movie. This Finnish film harkens to the eastern European Christmas traditions and beliefs. A group of scientists unearth what may be Santa buried deep beneath the permafrost. He's jolly alright. With horns.

A Christmas Carol – I prefer the Alistair Sims version first, and then the Patrick Stewart version. This Dickens tale has been filmed and performed numerous times with many different actors playing Ebenezer Scrooge. In my opinion, "A Christmas Carol" may be the most perfect story ever written. Every word is important. Nothing goes to waste. A classic.

Scrooged – Bill Murray does his own rendition of "A Christmas Carol". This is one of my husband's favorite Christmas movies.

Miracle on 34th Street – The classic starring Natalie Wood and Maureen O'Hara. Is Santa real? A little girl is about to find out.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (animated) – This is that odd Rankin/Bass stop-motion TV movie based on the Christmas carol. Where else are you going to meet an elf named Hermie who wants to be a dentist?

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (animated) – This is my favorite of the psychedelic Rankin/Bass TV movies. For years, everyone I knew thought Santa's wife's name was Jessica because of this flick. While it airs every year, it doesn't always air intact. Sometimes two songs are missing. The first one is "Put One Foot In Front Of The Other" sung by Kris Kringle, and the second is Jessica's song. The video for her solo looks like Rankin and Bass were high on magic mushrooms while they were filming it. This movie is literally a trip.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (animated) – One of my favorite Christmas shows in great part because of Vince Guaraldi's jazz fusion soundtrack. I know this one by heart.

The Polar Express (animated) – This movie is a bit creepy because of the state of animation at the time. The faces are strangely immovable and a bit Uncanny Valley, but I enjoy this movie every year no matter what. Plus, Tom Hanks. Who doesn't love Tom Hanks?

Die Hard – Christmas doesn't officially start for me until I see Hans Gruber fall from Nakatomi Tower. The debate. Is "Die Hard" a Christmas movie? Yes. Yes, it is.

Gremlins – Another unusual Christmas classic. Phoebe Cates tale of how her father died climbing down the chimney pretending to be Santa was so bizarre it was funny. Just remember. Don't expose Mogwai to sunlight. Don't get them wet. And above all, never, ever feed them after midnight. Of course, when you give rules to a kid, what happens? :)

Now that you have lots of movies and TV shows to watch for the holiday season, enjoy them! May all my readers have a Merry Christmas, Blessed Yule, Happy Kwaanza, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever holiday you celebrate. I shall see you in 2020 with a new novel – "Full Moon Fever", a tale of werewolves, lust, love, and friendship on the stage. Watch this column for updates. Happy holidays!