Since the much-hyped Mayan apocalypse failed to materialize today, I can finally look forward to Christmas! I mean, just as soon as I clear out a space in my doomsday bunker where I’ve stockpiled canned foods, weaponry, and a Nibiru-English dictionary, I’ll be able to hunker down and enjoy my favorite part of the Christmas season: movies, music, and TV.
So here, good people, is a brief list of my favorite non-edible Christmas comfort foods, in case you’re looking to expand your Christmas horizons this year. Let’s start with music.
My Christmas playlist
- O Holy Night. I love this song, but I’m very picky about it – it must be sung by a children’s choir. If an adult man is singing this song, I will not enjoy it. For my money, it doesn’t get better than the version in Home Alone, which you can find here. However, even better than that is our dog, Dougal, singing along to that version. This happened as I was writing this blog post, by the way.
- Breath of Heaven, by Amy Grant. This is a religious song (it’s Amy Grant, after all) and it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s sung from the perspective of Mary, which is different from most of your standard, ho-hum, Santa-and-Jesus Christmas songs.
- The entire Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, by Vince Guaraldi. If you don’t already own this, please do yourself a favor and purchase it immediately. It’s a classic. Also, watch the movie.
- All I Want for Christmas Is You, by Mariah Carey. I mean, come on. It’s Mariah. And yes, I like the new version with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots.
- Miracle of Love, by the Eurythmics. I’m not sure if this is actually a Christmas song, but it puts me in a festive mood, even though it is objectively depressing. I also love the Eurythmics’ There Must be an Angel, because of this Disney video, which I watched on repeat as a child. I understand that logically, I should associate this song with Valentine’s Day, but you know what? Festive is festive.
- River, by Sarah McLachlan. Wow, is it just me, or is my Christmas playlist sort of dark? Yikes. Let’s move on.
Christmas movies and TV episodes
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I watch this every year with my parents and it never gets old. It features a truly all-star cast, including Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Randy Quaid, Brian Doyle Murray, and Johnny Galecki. It also contains one of my family’s favorite lines: “Clark! Slow down! I don’t want to spend the holidays dead.” We say this to each other often.
- Home Alone. A sweet classic. And the tarantula scene? I die. Every time.
- Breakfast With Scot. If I can do one thing in this life of mine, I hope I can spread love for this truly charming little Canadian film about hockey, a gay kid, and two reluctant gay dads. I feel like the trailer does not do it justice, but it’s heartwarming, funny, Christmassy, and cute, and it features Tom Cavanagh, who I’ve already mentioned on this blog as being one half of one of my favorite podcasts, Mike and Tom Eat Snacks. Ugh, please just watch it, it’s awesome.
- A Christmassy Ted. This is the Christmas special of my favorite (now defunct) Irish comedy, Father Ted. The premise of Father Ted is that three misfit priests are banished to a windswept island off the west coast of Ireland (the aptly named “Craggy Island”). Father Ted has dreams of being rich and famous, Father Jack is a gross, largely inarticulate drunk, and Father Dougal is an idiot. They get into all sorts of hilarious adventures, but the Christmas special is particularly funny. I’ve gotten Al into Father Ted over the years and this is now one of our all-time favorite jokes – how to break the news of a death:
“Remember how your husband used to love a good laugh?”
- The Snowman. This is just straight-up beautiful, and the song Walking in the Air brings a tear to my crusty old eye.
- What can I say, I have a thing for boys’ choirs. Also, the movie is introduced by David Bowie, who apparently did a lot of acting in children’s films in the 80s (Labyrinth, anyone?).
Well, I could go on and on about Christmas gems but I don’t want to lose you guys. Check out some of my picks and let me know what you think. Merry Christmas and happy Not-End-of-the-World!