• Gina Rullo

It’s time to watch favorite Christmas movies


Now's a great time to watch your favorite Christmas movies. (Courtesy Photo)

Part one of our holiday TV schedule is inside this week’s edition.


I love Christmas movies.


Always have.


I think the first ones I can remember are the television ones: “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “The Year Without A Santa Claus” (with those fun “Heat Miser” and “Snow Miser” songs.)


Is there anything more moving than Linus reciting “for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” in front of his fellow students?


“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (1967) was the perfect combination of scary, heart-warming and meaningful. Plus it has Boris Karloff.


As I matured I started watching less animated holiday movies.


Of course, we watched A Christmas Story. My father has the lamp, Red Ryder toy rifle and more. Thankfully, my brother and I don’t have the bunny pajamas.


Home Alone became a favorite because my cousin and his son laugh so hard during this movie that we all enjoy it.


Love Actually gives me all the feelings. I am sad, happy, amused, cheerful and about a dozen more emotions during the film’s run. We watch it every year except we skip the sad stuff.


Elf is so dumb, it’s funny. There is something sweet in Will Ferrell’s simple approach to the holiday.


A Christmas Carol, there are so many versions. George C. Scott, Albert Finney and more. I generally enjoy them all, except for maybe the Muppet one. It just felt off to me.


Miracle on 34th Street (1947) with Natalie Wood is a staple. First of all, Edmund Gwenn plays one of the best Kris Kringle’s I have ever seen. Maureen O’Hara is stunning as the mom.  Natalie Wood is adorable as Susan.  There is a little romance, a little mystery and a whole lot of heart in this movie.


Anyone who knows me, knows I love musicals. I love Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.


I was an adult before I saw It’s a Wonderful Life. I loved James Stewart in Rear Window and Harvey, so I am not sure why I was so hesitant to see this classic but it truly understands the meaning of Christmas.


Die Hard, is it a Christmas movie or is it just a movie set at Christmas? I have enough men in my life to allow it to be a Christmas movie. Bruce Willis has never been better and it is one of the first times we get to see Alan Rickman as a villain (later known for his work as Professor Snape). Plus from this movie, we get the great line, “Yippee-Ki-Yay, Mother---.”


More recently, I fell for The Christmas Chronicles with Kurt Russell as a very good-looking Santa Claus.


Then there is the plethora of movies on the Hallmark Channel. They are all two hours (including commercials) and they will leave you feeling good.


I know my list is not the definitive list and people will have their own favorites. So I asked The Gazette’s Joe Berenato to talk to Hammontonians to find out their favorite Christmas movies.  Look for that article in the coming weeks.


In the meantime, check out our holiday television schedule and set your DVRs and make sure you have the right streaming service.




Gina Rullo is the editor-in-chief of The Hammonton Gazette and recently won two awards for investigative journalism.