Here is a diverse and fun viewing list of 12 movies and TV shows to watch during the TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS. The traditional 12 DAYS start on Christmas day and runs to Jan. 5 – Christmas to Epiphany. But, choose your own time frame, and for twelve consecutive nights here is your viewing list.
Day One: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
This never gets old and never fails to charm. Just listening to the music of the great Vince Guaraldi makes it feel like Christmas.
Day Two: A MIDNIGHT CLEAR
An obscure film, which should be a holiday tradition. Set in 1944 France, an American Intelligence squad locates a German Platoon in the Ardennes wishing to surrender rather than die in Germany’s final war offensive. The two groups of men, isolated from the war at present, put aside their differences and spend Christmas together before the surrender plan turns bad and both sides are forced to fight each other. Sad, but powerful.
Day Three: RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER
Come on, we all love it. The Snowman (Burl Ives) sings one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” in a show based on one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time.
Day Four: THE SANTA CLAUSE
To me, one of the better modern Christmas movies. Funny and sweet. Tim Allen is wonderful as the befuddled new Santa.
Day Five: THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER
The great pairing of Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan in a quirky romantic comedy set in Budapest during Christmas season. This was the basis of the Tom Hanks / Meg Ryan remake You’ve Got Mail, which is an excellent update. If you’ve never seen it, you’ve missed one of the great Jimmy Stewart performances.
Day Six: HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS
NOT the Jim Carrey / Ron Howard-directed disaster, but the REAL Grinch narrated by Boris Karloff.
Day Seven: HOW THE GHOSTS STOLE CHRISTMAS, X-Files Episode
Mulder and Scully visit a rumored haunted house on Christmas Eve and get more than they bargained for. One of the all-time great episodes of a great TV show. Funny, scary and romantic at the same time.
Day Eight: THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Tim Burton’s ingeniously dark romantic view of the Yuletide.
Day Nine: THE BISHOP’S WIFE
NOT the Whitney Houston remake, but the original 1947 Cary Grant classic. Funny and irreverent while being very mainstream traditional. Grant is sparkling!
Day Ten: CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945)
Barbara Stanwyck stars as Elizabeth Lane, a single New Yorker, employed as a food writer. Her articles about her fictitious Connecticut farm, husband, and baby are admired by housewives across the country. Her publisher, Alexander Yardley, is unaware of the charade and insists that Elizabeth host a Christmas dinner for returning war hero Jefferson Jones, who read all of her recipes while in the hospital and is so fond of her that his nurse, Mary Lee, wrote a letter to the publisher. Facing a career-ending scandal, not only for herself but for her editor, Lane is forced to comply. In desperation, Elizabeth agrees to marry her friend, John Sloan, who has a farm in Connecticut. She also enlists the help of her uncle, chef Felix Bassenak, who has been providing her with the recipes for her articles. And of course, Lane falls in the love with the returning soldier, and comic chaos ensues!
Day Eleven: LOVE ACTUALLY (2003)
Richard Curtis’ character-rich, sexy and romantic R-rated ensemble rom-com divided critics when it first arrived in theaters. But it was a huge hit with audiences from the outset, grossing about five times its budget on its way to becoming a modern classic. So many great little storylines: Colin Frissell so desperate for love he leaves London for Wisconsin; The Prime Minister falling immediately and hopelessly in love with his “chubby” staff member, Natalie; John and “Just Judy” falling in love while filming a porn movie; Jamie and Aurelia’s non-verbal romance; and of course, Billy Mack’s quest to have the #1 Christmas song in England.
Day Twelve: A CHRISTMAS STORY
THE Christmas movie. The story of a young boy’s epic quest to get his hands on a Red Ryder BB gun provides the hilarious backdrop for a timeless tale rife with family hijinks, frozen tongues and, of course, sex-oozing leg lamps.