Before you read this, I need you to do a few things.
Relax and get comfortable. Find peace in your heart. Go to a Christmas happy place.
Do you remember the part in the Bill Murray movie “Scrooged” when the little boy, Calvin, finally speaks and tells Frank (Billy Murray) the final lines of the Christmas production: “God bless us, everyone.”
Then, Frank leads everyone in singing “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.”
Gulp. Heart-warming stuff.
Never seen it?
How about when the Peanuts gang yells “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!” and the entire group sings “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” in 1965’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas”?
Ahhh, the feels.
I brought you to this place because I need to tell you something.
Yes, some of our dedicated readers might remember that my good buddy and SVM’s projects and enterprise editor, Christopher Heimerman, dropped this truth-bomb in a similar column 2 years ago.
But here it goes. … I don’t like “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”
Let the hate mail commence.
Listen, friends, I know that might be like getting coal in your stocking to some of you.
Some of you might have the sudden urge to wash my mouth out with soap like Ralphie’s mom did in “A Christmas Story.”
I’m sorry. But you know what? I’m making a promise.
I wrote last week about tastes in music and how they might change over the years, similar to our tastes for certain foods.
Well, I’m going to give Chevy Chase and company another chance.
It’s been a while. Maybe it’s funny now?
In the meantime, here’s some Christmas entertainment I can’t do without.
• “A Muppet Family Christmas” was first broadcast in December 1987. I was born 7 months earlier. Thankfully, my parents taped the TV special on VHS, and my dad still has it. It’s 52 minutes of amazingness at Fozzie’s mom’s house. I’ve got a soft spot for The Muppets. Seriously, I once was allowed to rank The Muppets in this very newspaper. And they’re all there in this special, including Big Bird and the “Sesame Street” gang and the “Fraggle Rock” crew. It can be found on YouTube. Do it. “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is pretty good, too.
• The classic 1960s TV specials, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” are all amazing. They always will be.
• “Elf” is Will Ferrell at his most-wholesome. It’s proof that he doesn’t need swear words to be funny. The film, released in 2003, is hilarious, fun and the best straight-forward Christmas movie made in the new millennium.
• I also love movies that spark the debate of what qualifies as a Christmas movie. For me, those include “Die Hard,” “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” and “Edward Scissorhands.”
• You can’t forget the classics, no matter how much they’ve been shoved in our faces. The 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life” and 1983’s “A Christmas Story” are great. They will always be great. You could play them for 2 (!!!) days straight, on repeat, and I’ll still feel that way.
• Mentioned above, the 1988 film “Scrooged” is one of my favorites. Billy Murray is one of my favorite humans on the planet.
• It’s a little sappy at times and it has its flaws, but the 2005 film “The Family Stone” features a great cast and a family full of relatable characters during a difficult Christmas.
• When it comes to the music, I usually gravitate toward the classics sung by legends: Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald.
• Like the softer vibes? I really enjoy Sufjan Stevens’ 2006 album “Songs For Christmas” and the “Holidays Rule” compilation record featuring Paul McCartney, The Head and The Heart and The Civil Wars is great.
• Michael Bublé, Harry Connick Jr., and She & Him do a good job singing the classics, too.
Whatever you enjoy during the holidays, I hope you find some time to enjoy it with friends, family or a giant cup of hot chocolate.
Next week, SVM's Jeff Rogers, Christopher Heimerman and Lucas Pauley will share their favorite albums of 2016. It's now an annual tradition.
Curious what we thought the past 2 years?