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I’ve been taken out by a seasonal bug, along with the rest of the family, but when you have kids, “sick days” don’t really happen. So I bundled us all into the living room so I could camp out on the sofa with the kiddos. The boys snuggled and played, while I drank a lot of tea, used a lot of tissues and coughed a lot, and we streamed some holiday specials on Netflix to make the hours more tolerable.

Some of the stuff we considered looked really bad, and one of the movies we actually watched was possibly the worst film I’ve ever seen. Seriously, it was like driving by something awful, you’re horrified but can’t look away.  The majority of what we watched was kids holiday specials. So while I sat watching and weeding through the pickings I started thinking about my favorite holiday movies and specials. So here are four of my personal favorites, as well as my completely off the wall favorite from yesterday’s streaming session.

  1. The Miracle on 34th Street: I love the original 1947 version. It’s the story of a Macy’s Santa who believes he’s the real deal, while everyone around him is convinced he’s nuts. But is he? We used to watch it every Thanksgiving evening when I was a kid as we cleaned up dinner and started getting ready to decorate for the holidays.
  2. A Charlie Brown Christmas: My favorite cartoon special, hands down. Charlie Brown, everyone’s favorite round headed pessimist, is trying to figure out how to enjoy Christmas, in spite of feeling depressed and let down by the commercialization of the holiday. I’ve always loved Peanuts, and this special is funny while refocusing the viewers away from marketing and back to simplicity for the Holiday.
  3. Tim Burton’sA Nightmare Before Christmas: I’m never certain if I should classify this as a Christmas Movie or a Halloween movie. And what I love about it has nothing to do with either holiday. Sure, I love the music and art style, but my favorite part of the film is in what you can draw from the story. This is a story about a weary and uninspired creator rediscovering his passion and energy.
  4. Snow: This off the wall favorite was an ABC special released in 2004 starring Tom Cavanagh and Ashley Williams. In my family we refer to these movies as DCMs or Dumb Christmas Movies. It follows Nick, the newest in a family line of Santas, having his first Christmas as the “Big Guy” upset when his youngest reindeer Buddy is deer-napped and winds up in a zoo in California. I liked its take on the Santa legend, and Nick is fun character. As a DCM, it’s silly, cheesy and has quite a few eye roll moments, but I keep watching our old recording year after year.
  5. And for my streaming choice from yesterday’s Netflix binge, and it may be the fever talking, but I got the best laugh out of Marvel Superhero Adventures: Frost Fight. We only watched it because my toddler saw Captain America and informed me he wanted to watch Spider-Man, which is what he calls any superhero he sees. It’s absurd, basic plot is this: the Avengers must stop Loki from stealing Santa Claus’ powers. This falls squarely into the Marvel making fun of itself category. I planned on tuning it out for the next hour, but found myself strangely amused by the whole thing. It may have been Rocket and Groot going on a joyride with Mrs. Claus, or Thor and Hulk’s attempting to understand and participate in Christmas activities, but I was laughing pretty much the whole time.

So there’s my list of four of my favorite Christmas movies, as well as a completely off the wall children’s special which will never make my top list, but gave me a really good laugh on a sick day.

What are some of your favorite holiday movies?