Brett's Top 3 Christmas Movies

When I’m not listening to Christmas music during the holidays (which happens very rarely), chances are, you’ll find me shopping around for Christmas presents, sipping mulled wine at a holiday market or watching some of my favorite Christmas movies of all time. When I had to pick my top three Christmas songs, it took me a while to narrow down the list! But as far as movies go, my top 3 came to me right away:

Love Actually
A lot of people always give me “side eye” when I mention that this is one of my favorite Christmas movies. “It’s so sad; why would you put yourself through watching that every year?!” Well, I’ll admit that I “ugly cry” through about half of it, but it captures the gritty realities of the holiday season – the joyous, the sad, the hopeful and the sentimental. While the movie is a rollercoaster of emotions intertwined in comedy, I think the opening and closing scenes are just perfect. When you hear Hugh Grant’s voiceover in the beginning saying, “Whenever I get gloomy about the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport,” you can’t help but feel you heart swell – seeing the reunions happening when family and friends come home for the holidays. And, at the end of the day, “If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.”

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
“SQUIRREL!!!!!!” (If you’ve seen this movie as many times as I have, you know exactly what scene that’s from!) While I love the sentimental aspect of the season and enjoy stopping to be grateful for all of the great things in my life, sometimes you just have to get a good laugh. And this movie is always good for that! It’s certainly not the most family-friendly Christmas movie, so I’d definitely wait for your kids to be a bit older before you let them watch and laugh along with you. (It also gets even funnier when you have a nice hot toddy while watching.) Everything from the infamous tree trimming debacle to Aunt Bethany’s Jell-O mold to crazy Cousin Eddie and his RV to the 25,000 twinkling lights (“They’re not twinkling!”) makes this movie a fantastic way to spend a night with family and friends to forget about the stresses of the season!

The Polar Express
Josh Groban’s “Believe” made it to my list of top 3 Christmas songs, so it’s fitting that the movie it came from appeared on my list of top 3 Christmas movies! Something about the journey that the main character goes through – traveling to new places and making lifelong friends – reminds me of when I first moved away from home and had to navigate a brand new city by myself. Yet, it always works out, and the people who help you find your way always become some of your best friends! At the end, when the boy finally hears the bell that Santa gave him, I can’t help but feeling a huge smile come across my face. This time of year, no matter what our age, we feel the magic of the season come alive in the eyes of our family, friends, children… And there’s nothing like realizing that we can still hear the bell, even in the most trying of times.

Take some time for yourself this Christmas season to enjoy at least one of these – you’ll be glad you did! (Besides, you don’t want to write out too many Christmas cards or wrap too many gifts at once!) Cheers to making this a memorable Christmas season with your family and friends – just don’t forget to turn Magic 98.3 back on once you’re done for all of your favorite Christmas music!