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‘Tis the season for apple cider, cups of cocoa, twinkle lights, and – yes – the Christmas movies I pull out every year. Here, in no particular order except for #1, are my very favorite Christmas films:

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas. I get chills when Linus walks onstage, and I’m sniffling by the end of his little speech every.single.time. And oh, how I love Snoopy – the ice-skating scene and the dance scenes crack me up – and the end where they all sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and well, just the whole thing.

2. White Christmas.  I wrote last year about how much I LOVE this movie, though it’s a recent discovery for me. Love, love, love it – the music, the colors, the lights, the dancing, and the love and respect shown the General by his whole division of soldiers. And Danny Kaye’s jokes. And, well, just everything about it.

3. The Muppet Christmas Carol. I’ve always loved the Muppets, and Kermit is my favorite – so what’s not to love about this one? Rizzo and Gonzo crack me up with their narration; the songs are so clever; Kermit makes such a fabulous Bob Cratchit; and Michael Caine is brilliant. And when Scrooge donates an untold amount of money and Beaker gives him his red scarf, I always get teary-eyed.

4. The Holiday. Oh, how I love this little film – it makes me cry and laugh and feel all starry-eyed inside.

5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original one, dang it). Such fun, colorful animation and a truly heartwarming story – and I love Max, the little dog/reindeer, so much.

6. Miracle on 34th Street – the original, with Natalie Wood and Maureen O’Hara. Such a classic, and I love watching the cynicism melt away as everyone comes to believe that there just might be a Santa Claus.

7. Rudolph, the Claymation version – with Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius. So fun. (“Fog as thick as peanut butter!” “You mean pea soup!” “You eat what you like and I’ll eat what I like!”)

8. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, mostly for the nostalgic value. We still have the old taped-off-TV VHS – now, most years, we just fast-forward to the scenes of Cookie Monster trying to write to Santa, but eating the pencil, the typewriter and the telephone, and Grover pretending to be Santa and trying to figure out how to get down the chimney. Hilarious and heartwarming, in true Muppet fashion.

What are your favorite Christmas movies?

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