Christmas films worth unwrapping – some of my under the radar faves

 – Noel T. Manning II

  • Arthur Christmas (2011) – This is an animated film my son and I discovered a few maxresdefaultyears ago. When Santa accidentally misses the delivery of Christmas gifts to one child out of hundreds of millions, it is up to Santa’s youngest son, Arthur to save the day. Arthur is without a doubt the “King of Christmas Spirit” – but he has the clumsiness and goofiness of Andy Griffth’s own Barney Fife.


  • Ernest Saves Christmas (1988) – Guilty pleasure. The title says it all, Jim Varney ernest-saves-christmas-posterstars as an unlikely hero of Christmas when Santa decides to retire and must find a replacement.


  • The Family Stone (2005) – this fish out of water Christmas family dramedy stars Sara Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Claire Daines, Craig T. Nelson & Rachel McAdams. I never saw this when it was released, and discovered it at the urging of a friend in 2015, I’m glad I took the time.


  • Get Santa (2014) Santa crashes his sleigh, his reindeer are scattered and taken in by animal control, and through a series of unfortunate accidents Santa is arrested. It is up to reluctant father and an energetic son to help Santa escape from behind bars, and find his reindeer before Christmas is lost. This British Christmas comedy stars Jim Broadbent and Warwick Davis.get-santa-1


  • Unaccompanied Minors (2006) – My family and I would always search for films to watch in theatres during the Christmas break, and in 2006, we found this undiscovered gem. It is a different kind of Christmas comedy about kids (unaccompanied minors) separated from their parents at Christmas due to being snowed-in at Hoover International Airport in Chicago. A few innovative teens are determined to make sure that the Christmas spirit will find a way to make an appearance, in spite of, the roadblocks put in their way from the airport’s director of passenger relations (played by Lewis Black).unaccompanied-minors-main


Paul Feig, the same director who helmed Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy, and episodes of Nurse Jackie, Weeds, Mad Men and Arrested Development  – brought this family-friendly comedy to the big screen with several recognizable faces. This film is Scrooge meets Home Alone meets the Breakfast Club. We watch this every year with the fam.


Christmas films I watch each year with the Familycollage-5

  • Elf (2003)
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
  • The Santa Clause Trilogy (1994-2006)
  • Home Alone (1990)

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