MR’s Guide to the Best Holiday Movies

Plus our favorite gifs, songs and outfits from them

12.20.16
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This season is supposed to be about bringing people together. That is why it’s so strange that holiday movies can be quite divisive. The topic has the capability to pose more of a risk in a public setting than asking, “Dogs versus cats?” Where some tout the thespian brilliance of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All the Way, others may have no clue what “some” are talking about. There are those who look fondly upon The Nightmare Before Christmas, and those who who don’t see how it ever got past the Holiday Movie Acceptance Board. I have seen showdowns over this! People threw snowballs and open-fire-roasted chestnuts! So you can imagine how nervous I was to email the team and ask for their favorite holiday movie.

In a this-time-of-year-miracle, everyone remained civilized. Most impressively, there were NO REPEATS. Scroll down for the team favorites and then add your own, especially those that we missed.


The Muppet Christmas Carol, Kate’s pick

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It’s my favorite because: Michael Caine is Ebenezer Scrooge, Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat are the narrators, the vegetables talk and there are ice-skating penguins.
My favorite scene is where: If I tell you I’ll ruin it! Just watch.
The best outfit in the film is worn by: Gonzo and Rizzo in the “Light the lamp, not the rat!” scene; they’re wearing matching candy-stripe red-and-white tailored coats with standing collars, white button-downs and mustard-yellow vests.
The best song from the movie is: “One More Sleep ‘Til Christmas” by Kermit
Favorite gif from the movie to use during the holidays: This rabbit singing “Good King Wenceslas”

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Dan in Real Life, Amelia’s pick

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It’s my favorite because: I love movies where big families gather under one roof.
My favorite scene is: After Dan (Steve Carell) and Marie (Juliette Binoche) first meet, they share a muffin and she says to him, “So Dan, you were born?” And then he tells his story from there.
The best outfit in the film is worn by: The house. It wins best-dressed for sure.
The best song from this movie is: The whole soundtrack. It’s so peaceful. All of the songs except two are by Sondre Lerche.
Favorite gif from the movie to use during the holidays: I use this anytime I don’t understand something or I’m waiting for someone to reply. (It’s pretty evergreen, though.)

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The Family Stone, Yvonne’s pick

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It’s my favorite because: It hits every note (touching, funny, a beautiful snow-covered home, a Range Rover pulling up to that beautiful house, father/son weed sessions) and because of Dermot Mulroney <3.
My favorite scene is where: It’s more of a moment than a scene, but when Susannah’s daughter takes Meredith’s shoes and clomps around in them. Because I used to do that to my sister’s friends.
The best outfit in the film is worn by: Diane Keaton wearing an oxford under her robe on Christmas morning. Duh.
The best song from the movie is: “Get Right Back Where We Started From” by Maxine Nightingale
Favorite gif from the movie to use during the holidays:

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Trading Places, Leslie’s pick

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It’s my favorite because: Eddie Murphy and the rest of the cast is amazing, plus I love that it’s set in Philly in the ’80s.
My favorite scene is where: Dan Aykroyd, dressed as Santa and drunk on the bus, eats smoked salmon out of his beard.
The best outfit in the film is worn by: Jaime Lee Curtis.
The best song from the movie is: “Do You Wanna Funk” by Sylvester
Favorite gif from the movie to use during the holidays:

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Love Actually, Jasmin’s pick

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage Mandatory Credit: Photo by Snap Stills/REX Shutterstock (2070460al) Love Actually - 2003 Love Actually - 2003

It’s my favorite because: It just makes me so happy and it never gets old.
My favorite scene is where: Hugh Grant AKA the Prime Minister is going door to door to find Natalie’s house and three little girls answer the door and ask him to sing Christmas carols. So he starts singing, and then his driver joins in and then the girls start dancing. It gets me every time!
The best outfit in the film is worn by: Joanna, Liam Neeson’s stepson’s crush. She wears glittery flare jeans, a sequined halter top and glittery hairspray.
The best song from the movie is: “Christmas is All Around” by Billy Mack
Favorite gif from the movie to use during the holidays:

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Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Leandra’s pick

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It’s my favorite because: I can’t qualify the reason, but have been in pursuit of white turtle doves since I first saw the movie when I was a youth. That must mean it has impacted me in a major way, don’t you think?
My favorite scene is where: Kevin is in his suite at The Plaza eating an elaborate ice cream sundae. There’s nothing better than ice cream in bed.
The best outfit in the film is worn by: The bandits. Great coats. They’re probably Margiela.
The best song from the movie is: The movie is riddled with Christmas songs; the whole damn soundtrack is the best song.
Favorite gif from the movie to use during the holidays:

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Miracle on 34th Street, 1947 version, Harling’s pick

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a newly restored print of the Oscar¨-winning Christmas classic ÒMiracle on 34th StreetÓ on Thursday, December 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The 35mm print to be screened is from the collection of the Academy Film Archive, courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox, and is presented as part of the AcademyÕs Gold Standard screening series. Pictured: Maureen O'Hara and Edmund Gwenn in a scene from MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, 1947.

It’s my favorite because: It extended my belief in Santa Claus by at least a year.
My favorite scene is where: The final scene where Fred and Doris discover a certain object that makes them question all their cynicism (I won’t say what it is because I don’t want to spoil it).
The best outfit in the film is worn by: The little girl, Susan, wears an excellent plaid coat and bonnet to meet Santa. I would very much like an adult version of the bonnet.
The best song from the movie is: “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
Favorite gif from the movie to use during the holidays:

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Miracle on 34th Street, 1994 version, Haley’s pick

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It’s my favorite because: A) Nostalgia. I watched it a ton as a kid. B) Matilda. C) The premise, in hindsight, is ridiculous. The mall exec accidentally hires the real santa to be her fake santa? Then the real santa gets demonized by the media? It’s actually very 2016 now that I think about it.
My favorite scene is where: When Matilda (AKA Susan Walker, AKA Mara Wilson) is watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade from a New York high rise and sees the twinkle in Santa’s eye, obviously.
The best outfit in the film is worn by: Richard Attenborough (RIP) looks pretty sharp in his black bowler hat, wire frames, and coat and tie. I’d wear it.
Favorite gif from the movie to use during the holidays:

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National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation , Emily’s pick

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It’s my favorite because: It’s hilarious.
My favorite scene is where: Clark starts eating the jello from Aunt Bethany and discovers that there’s cat food in it.
The best outfit in the film is worn by: Clark in teal turban and pink glove combo
The best song from the movie is: Even though I don’t like the scene that corresponds with this song, Mele Kalikimaka.
Favorite gif from the movie to use during the holidays:

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original version), Krista’s pick

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It’s my favorite because: The colors! The drawing style! Fun Fact: I just googled this movie for the first time and realized it’s only 26 minutes long. My concept of time has been altered dramatically.
My favorite scene is where: the Grinch’s heart grows two sizes that day.
The best outfit in the film is worn by: Cindy Lou Who in her pink onesie with the weird mermaid tail.
Best Song: There’s only one to choose from!
Favorite gif from the movie to use during the holidays:

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It’s a Wonderful Life, Patty’s pick

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It’s my favorite because: My mom watched it every year with her parents and sisters growing up, and then that circle expanded to boyfriends, and then babies, and you get the picture. We are all obsessed with it thanks to my grandma and grandpa.
My favorite scene is: When George reaches into his pocket and realizes he has Zuzu’s petals and he’s out of the upside-down-adjacent alternate reality where he was never born and everything is going to be okay.
The best outfit in the film is worn by: Donna Reed as Mary. It’s a bush.
The best song from the movie is: “Buffalo Gal Won’t You Come Out Tonight” is my fave, but pretty sure this movie also put “Auld Lang Syne” on the map after centuries of obscurity. Right?
Favorite gif from the movie to use during the holidays:

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The Holiday, Matt’s pick

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It’s my favorite because: It’s a down-low Christmas movie (not cliché) and Jude Law serves DILF realness in it.
My favorite scene is: When the old dude tells Kate Winslet to suck it the eff up and be the leading lady of her own life.
The best outfit in the film is worn by: Cameron Diaz and her endless wardrobe of great sweaters.
The best song from this movie is: “You Send Me” by Aretha Franklin
Favorite gif from the movie to use during the holidays:

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A Charlie Brown Christmas, Elizabeth’s pick

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It’s my favorite because: It makes me think of my dad because he always had us watch it as children. It was the only Christmas movie he watched as a child since he’s Jewish. I can recite the entire thing start to finish. Also, it was a pivotal part in my life when we realized that I am not Sally and am, in fact, Lucy, even though my hair is blonde and I seem sweet at first.
My favorite scene is where: The little tiny tree *magically* transforms into a beauty.
The best outfit in the film is worn by: Sally and Lucy tie.
The best song from the movie is:O Christmas Tree”
Favorite gif from the movie to use during the holidays:

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