The Nest Staff’s favorite (and least favorite) holiday movies

The Nest Staff

Perhaps it’s the cold weather or extended break from school and work, but it seems like holiday movies play a big role in many of our households over winter break — even when our families don’t necessarily even celebrate the holiday being depicted in the movie. Here, the fall 2022 staff of The Nest weigh in on both their favorite and least favorite holiday movies. Want to share yours? Leave it in the comments!

Favorite Holiday Movie

Emelda Forney, 11th grade, The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Christmas Carol is junior Emelda Forney’s favorite Christmas movie of all time.
– Image via IMDb

Although this may be an obscure choice, my favorite Christmas movie has to be The Muppet Christmas Carol. This movie takes the classic holiday tale written by Charles Dickens and turns it into something better. And you may be asking yourself, what’s better about it? Well, if you haven’t already guessed, some of the characters are played by muppets! This heartwarming story follows Ebenezer Scrooge as he gets visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Through the movie, we get a fantastic soundtrack of plot-enhancing songs and various appearances from the muppets, such as Kermit the Frog (who plays Bob Cratchit) and Ms. Piggy. This movie has a special place in my heart, and although it may not be the most popular Christmas movie, it is very nostalgic to me. I remember every year, my dad would pull out a disc with this movie burned onto it, and the whole family would sit together and watch. It is warm and charming and does a great job of telling a story with dark undertones while keeping it child friendly. I think everyone should see this movie at least once, and if you haven’t, you definitely should put that on the list to watch this year.

 

Julie Cohen, staff, Home Alone

Growing up, my family always went to the movies on Thanksgiving, and in 1990, the movie was Home Alone. Not only was it opening night for the movie, I was around the same age Kevin McCallister is supposed to be, which only added to how much I felt like Home Alone was made for me. Obviously the hijinks of Kevin booby-trapping his house were hilarious for a 7-year-old as was the premise of being home alone to do whatever I wanted like eat ice cream all day (I also learned a couple of new curse words). But even as an adult, having now watched it at least 50 times since my first viewing, I think the movie still holds up. You get great music – John Williams did the soundtrack. You get this great little side storyline between OG comedians John Candy and Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek anyone?), and the whole thing with the scary neighbor is quite sweet in the end.

Fun fact: A friend of mine ended up playing in a band with Macaulay Culkin after we were in grad school together. The band, Pizza Underground, parodied songs by The Velvet Underground by making them about pizza. My friend’s instrument was the pizza box. So besides crippling debt, see what a MFA in Creative Writing can get you?!

 

Two Gremlins caroling in Will Schuering’s favorite Christmas move, Gremlins. Image via Pinterest

Will Schuering, 11th grade, Gremlins

My favorite Christmas movie has to be Gremlins. It’s such an oddball film with elements of horror, drama and comedy and all the characters are extremely enduring and charming. I first watched the movie when I got it for Christmas and it has stuck with me ever since. We don’t talk about Gremlins 2 though.

The Grinch (2018) is a favorite among several of The Nest staff.
– photo via IMDB

Kevin Ou, 11th grade, The Grinch (animated 2018)

This is the only Christmas movie that I have watched so far. I was in 7th grade when I watched it. Not only did the movie teach me what the Grinch is (I had never even heard of the Grinch before then), I also saw what Christmas looks like. Since then, I have continued to learn a lot about Christmas.

 

Madison Pierce, 10th grade, The Grinch (animated 2018)

I love The Grinch but I only like the new animated one. It’s a good and solid movie that makes me cry and I could watch it everyday. Me and my friends watch it together almost every Christmas and it reminds me of good memories and fun times.

 

Breanna Downing, 9th grade, Elf

Elf came out November 7, 2003. Even though I always thought this was a very creepy movie (when I was little, I thought the elf was always super weird and clingy), it has always been my favorite. Why? Because my family and I have been watching this movie since I was little.

 

Eloise Ayotte, 12th grade, The Santa Clause

While I am a fan of classics like The Polar Express and The Grinch, something about The Santa Clause really gets me in the holiday spirit. The 1994 family film lives dearly in my heart every December. The first of the series is easily my favorite, but I feel that the sequels are as high quality as the original. The movie has earned such high standing in my mind because of its quirky, humorous, and original plot line. I think the movie, as a whole, was very well done and ultimately has a very compelling and unique storyline. I love the focus it places on family during the holiday season. I also have fond memories of watching the film with my family, which, of course, contributes to the sentimental value of the film.

Eloise Ayotte’s favorite holiday movie is The Santa Clause.
Image via Disney Plus

 

Cole Krener, 11th grade, The Polar Express

What’s to be said about this Christmas classic that hasn’t already been said? I first watched it when I was 4 and it has been my absolute favorite since. I remember snuggling up and watching this movie in kindergarten and 1st Grade, and I look back very fondly on my childhood memories like that. I also really love the scenes that involved the train and the city when I was younger, as I used to be really obsessed with roads back then. Overall I have watched this movie many times and I’ve loved every second of every experience I’ve had watching this movie.

Our staff both love and hate The Polar Express! -image via Franklin Theatre

 

Walter Torres, 11th grade, The Polar Express

As a younger kid, I had a strange obsession with trains, because of this Polar Express became my favorite Christmas movie. Even watching the movie now fills me with nostalgia. It was so cool seeing the big train up on the screen and watching all of the cool things happen in the movie. Is it a little creepy? Yes, do I care? No, I am very heavily biased with it purely because I liked it when I was little and I don’t care. It’s great.

 

The Grinch yelling at Cindy Lou
– image via IMDB

Kamille Jefferson, 9th grade, How the Grinch stole Christmas (2000)

I’ve watched this movie a couple of times, and I love how Jim Carrey is the Grinch in it. He did a great job on acting and every time I watch the movie it’s always entertaining to me. My family and I usually watch this movie every year.

 

Miller Chantharasy, 11th grade, Santa Buddies 

I have always been a dog person, so when I watched Santa Buddies, it hit home; I was about five or six when I watched it for the first time. Ever since watching the movie, I have been talking to my dog, wishing she would talk back to me. Later I was convinced even more dogs could speak because the movie “UP” also had talking dogs, and why would a children’s movie lie to you?

My wish for Christmas every year was a talking dog who was also athletic. This was my wish until the age of ten when I looked up on youtube “are talking dogs real?”

Miller Chantharasy, Santa Buddies is the best movie.
image via Disney plus

Gabriella Batchen, 12th grade, A Charlie Brown Christmas

Growing up, my family and I would always watch A Charlie Brown Christmas on Christmas Eve night. We would open one present each and would eat holiday treats and popcorn with lots of butter and salt while watching the film together. This holds a very special place in my heart because it makes me appreciate my family, and the house and food we have. A Charlie Brown Christmas is the perfect movie to watch to help remind you to appreciate the little things in life.

Gabby Batchen’s favorite Christmas film.
Photo via: parade.com https://parade.com/85819/parade/charlie-brown-christmas/

 

Sariah Bailey, 10th grade, The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
– image via Disney

The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton would have to be my favorite Christmas movie because of how it involves two holidays –  Christmas and Halloween. This movie also brings me and my family together. It’s a nice movie we like to watch around the holidays – either holiday!

 

Jaylin Dotson, 9th grade, The Polar Express

This is one of my favorite movies because I like how he didn’t believe in Santa Claus and as soon as he got on the train, the kids on the train were convincing him that they were going to the North Pole. Since I was kid, this has been my favorite movie.

 

Simeon Cooper’s favorite Christmas movie is Friday After Next.
– image via IMDB

Simeon Cooper, 12th grade, Friday After Next

I like this movie because it’s not your generic Christmas movie. For those of you who don’t know the movie, it’s a comedy sequel following in the footsteps of the first movie called “Friday.” I usually watch this movie around Christmas with my family and we all enjoy watching it together. Warning: It is a little bit more on the graphic side but it’s still a fun movie to watch.

 

 

 

Least Favorite Holiday Movie:

Walter Torres thinks A Christmas Carol is the worst.
-image via movies.disney.com

Walter Torres, 11th grade, A Christmas Carol

Okay call me a hypocrite or whatever but the animation in this movie is so creepy. I hate it so much, it used to scare me when I was younger. Also the story of Scrooge is really overdone, I’m also pretty biased here because I don’t even like the “original version” or whatever that one is. I always preferred the Donald Duck version of Scrooge and this version does not hold up when I compare it to that one.

 

Julie Cohen, staff, A Christmas Story

I know the 1983 classic “A Christmas Story” is loved by many, but I’ve never really liked it. As a kid I found it to be depressing and sometimes even scary. Although meant to be humorous, Ralphie’s repeated rejection by his peers and parents felt more sad to me than funny, and I remember being afraid of his teacher. Even the sound of the older Ralphie narrative voice gave me the creeps for some reason. I also thought the whole thing with the dad and the fishnet stocking leg lamp was disconcerting. As an adult, I find more of it to be funny, but I’ve also noticed more things about it that are simply not okay, like the scene at the Chinese restaurant and consequent depiction of Chinese Americans that is just racist. I guess with those misgivings aside, if you haven’t seen it, you might want to check it out just so you better understand the cultural references that come from it — like “you’ll shoot your eye out” and why people seem to innately know what will happen if you stick your tongue to a telephone pole in the winter — but other than that, I’d say there are better classics out there.

 

Charlotte Kaiser, 12th grade, The Polar Express

The Polar Express, a classic movie released in 2004 has to be my least favorite holiday movie. After my first time watching this movie, the following night, I had nightmares about all of the characters. The animation of this movie brought me to tears. The overall story of the movie is fun, nostalgic, and loved by many people, just not me. Holiday movies are about bringing the spirit out of people, but seeing the animation of this movie makes me want to put my spirit away. I also felt as if the movie was a bit slow for me, there are some interesting parts but most of the movie did not excite me. I believe that there are definitely better classic movies to watch during the holiday season.

 

Miller Chantharasy, 11th grade, Krampus

I like most scary movies but when it comes to Krampus the movie, I have mixed feelings. Firstly, why would you want to watch a “scary” movie on Christmas eve? If you were to watch a scary movie on Christmas there is a better option than that – the movie is called “Gremlin. Now back to Krampus. Personally, I think you should stay away from this movie because It ruined Christmas for me when I was younger and it could ruin yours.

 

Will Schuering, 11th grade, Home Alone 4-6

The recast Kevin McAllister looking like the chump that he is in Will Schuering’s least favorite Christmas movie, Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House. Image via Healed1337’s Blog of Doom

Don’t get me started. Home Alone 1 and 2 are classics, and the third one isn’t half bad, but I blame all the world’s issues on the existence of this awful second trilogy, which I can only liken to drinking a mug of lukewarm spoiled eggnog that someone else already drank and regurgitated back into your mug.

 

Cole Krener, 11th grade, Home Alone 4: Taking Back The House

This sequel (to a sequel to a sequel) is just, ugh. That’s the only way I can describe it – a pointless movie that was bland, boring, and most certainly unoriginal. The only reason why it was even made was so FOX could milk the cash cow that is the Home Alone franchise. It’s truly a terrible movie, so please for the love of all that is holy, do not watch Home Alone 4 and just stick with the first two Home Alone movies as those are actually pleasant to watch unlike every other addition to the franchise.

Kennison Cheatham, 11th grade, Jingle All the Way

Howard played by Arnold Swarzenegger poses scarily above his son in the cover of “Jingle All the Way”

This story is about a father named Howard (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who seems to be drifting away from his family. His son often questions his father’s care for him, and Howard instantly devotes himself to making up for it. To prove his love to his son, Howard decides to purchase a “Turboman” action figure as his Christmas present. He has to jump through many hoops and accomplish the seemingly impossible to get this toy. In the end, Howard successfully gets it for his son and the family becomes closer than ever. I love this story because it has a lighthearted tone throughout, and the plot is covered in jokes that children won’t understand.

 

 

Kamille Jefferson, 9th grade, Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa

My least favorite Christmas movie is Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa. At first, I saw one of my favorite youtubers reviewing the movie. I heard about how terrible it was, then I decided to check it out for myself. After watching it, my Christmas was    almost ruined. First off the animation is terrible, my 7-year-old nephew could do better than that. When they were recording for the movie, the voice actor for the grandma’s files got merged together. Whenever it was the grandma’s turn to speak, you couldn’t make out what she was saying.

This is a screengrab from the end of Believe in Santa. – image via youtube

 

Eloise Ayotte, 12th grade, Any Romance-Themed Holiday Movie

I fear I may sound like a Scrooge with this “hot take,” however, my genuine opinion is that any holiday movie which also falls under the “romance” category is bad. When filmmakers use the holiday season as a vehicle to drive two love-struck individuals together, they lose me along with the true spirit of the season.

Why can’t people just enjoy the holiday season by themselves or with their friends or family? Why do they need to fall in love in the end? At what point will the film industry empower people with the ability to find joy in life without a romantic relationship?

Eloise Ayotte’s least favorite holiday movies are the romantic ones.
Image via Google

Especially during the holiday season. During the holidays, there is so much more to focus on than finding “the love of your life.” It’s just not realistic to think that people are more concerned with finding their future spouse than getting all the gifts on their list or making holiday dinners for their families. Plus, if I decide to watch a holiday movie, it is because I want to watch something heart-warming about family and giving, not a cheesy, nausea-inducing Hallmark romance about random people who miraculously find love amidst the pine trees. Sorry to say, but I’m a Grinch for romantic holiday movies.

As this reddit meme points out, the romantic holiday movie genre … can sometimes feel a bit redundant.