Personally, I’ve always been A Christmas Story fan. Heart-warming for it’s portrayal of middle America, nostalgia and how, despite all the things that could possibly go wrong leading up to or on Christmas, the holiday still holds so much magic.
I polled The Star newsroom to find out what some of my co-workers’ favorite movies are (some people voted twice, but what the heck, it’s the holidays so I’ll allow it at the risk of damaging the integrity of my 24-person poll) and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation came out on top with eight votes, including votes from staff writers Cameron Steele and Patrick McCreless, chief photographer Trent Penny and photographer Bill Wilson, copy editor Michael Martin, intern Issac Godwind and managing editor Anthony Cook.
Of course, it’s a classic. And hilarious and totally deserving to top our staff list. Christmas Vacation is Chevy Chase at his best and lets us laugh at all those frustrations that make Christmas a pain.
Second was the aforementioned A Christmas Story, and it got votes from myself, prep sports reporter Nick Birdsong, staff reporter Laura Johnson and assistant managing editor Bran Strickland.
It’s a Wonderful Life ranked third and was picked by Editor Bob Davis, staff reporter Brian Anderson, copy editor AnnaMaria Jacob and editorial assistant Wen Scherer. It’s a classic, and there isn’t much I can say to add to the collection of things people have said about it. It has a unique spin on appreciating life and overcoming depression — something the United States as a whole was doing when the movie came out in 1946.
Love Actually finished fourth place with three votes, and while I haven’t actually seen the film, maybe I should, because the people who mentioned it, Steele, Strickland and Escapes Editor Deirdre Long, were typically enthusiastic about it.
Two movies tied for fifth place with two votes each, Home Alone and A Christmas Carol.
Davis threw in a vote for the 1970 version of Scrooge with Albert Finney as Scrooge, and assistant metro editor Tim Lockette voted for the 1999 version that starred Patrick Stewart.
Home Alone had votes from sports editor Lacie Pinyan and Birdsong. That movie was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and Macaulay Culkin was my hero for many a year for fending off Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.
Other movies that had just one vote were the original Miracle on 34th Street, submitted by sports reporter Rip Donovan, another classic that probably deserved more votes in our poll.
Assistant metro editor and coffee break editor Bill Edwards voted for A Home Without a Christmas Tree, a made-for-TV movie from 1972.
Copy editor Jared Gravette voted for the very hilarious Bad Santa, which got honorable mentions from a few staff members here at The Star.
Copy editor Jessica Stephens voted for The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is a twofer really, because it also can be your favorite Halloween movie, too.
Metro editor Ben Cunningham chose Scrooged with Bill Murray, another great movie and a very funny spin on A Christmas Carol.
And features editor Lisa Davis picked The Grinch and A Charlie Brown Christmas, both great movies. I’ve always had a soft spot for Charlie Brown, and his Christmas movie is probably my favorite Charlie Brown movie.
Martin also gave a vote for Die Hard, a move that more than deserves a spot on this list. It’s one of the greatest action movies of all time and in my top five favorite Christmas movies.