As we get deeper into December, it’s going to be difficult to avoid some very special episodes of your favorite TV shows, much less well-worn holiday movies. But some movies are worth watching — sometimes annually — while others make us cringe. Here are the holiday (not just Christmas!) movies we love, the ones we loathe, and our childhood favorites.
Danielle Bouchat, news reporter
Love: “It's a Wonderful Life.” Classic storyline, but it gets me every time.
Loathe: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” with Jim Carey. Just downright creepy.
Favorite as a child: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” TV special. I loved Hermey and how he refused to go along with his chosen path in life as an elf and instead, follow his passion to become a dentist!
John Cox, web and visual media editor
Love: “A Christmas Story.” “You'll shoot your eye out!” This movie is hysterical and still hits home for the holidays. Plus, I'm pretty sure I can quote this movie more than any other.
Loathe: There isn’t one in particular, but there always used to be some B-actor that would have a special, like “Kirk Cameron sings Christmas Hits! guest-starring Sally Struthers” or something that feels really forced that only people who read the TV Guide cover-to-cover would watch live.
Favorite as a child: Fellow Eastern Illinois University attendee/dropout folk artist Burl Ives (check your grandparents record collection) plays Sam the Snowman in the undisputed heavy-weight champion of Christmas, "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Sarika Jagtiani, arts and culture reporter
Love: “Miracle on 34th Street.” The original with Natalie Wood, Maureen O’Hara and Edmund Gwenn. None of this re-make nonsense.
Loathe: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” with Jim Carey. Unacceptable.
Favorite as a kid: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” TV special. I still watch it every year.
Andre Lamar, arts and culture reporter
Love: I couldn’t tell you the last time I watched “Edward Scissorhands” — yet it’s still one of the most unique Christmas films I’ve ever seen.
Loathe: “Ernest Saves Christmas.” Truth be told, none of the Ernest films ever tickled my fancy. I’m sure many of you reading this would agree.
Favorite as a kid: Tim Burton’s eerie take on Christmas with “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is classic.
Christine Miller, reporter
Love: Every year, I look forward to the Bing Crosby movie, “White Christmas.” It has all the cookie-cutter, formulaic feel good plot lines—two parallel love stories, military pride, and a save-the-day ending complete with song and dance numbers. What’s not to like?
Page 2 of 2 - Loathe: I don’t know that there’s any holiday movie that I absolutely loathe but I could go the rest of my life without having to hear the “A Christmas Story” quoting that starts right around Thanksgiving. Random shout outs of “you might shoot your eye out” make me groan like my one of my own eyes got shot out.
Favorite as a kid: Any and all Peanuts movies made me super happy as a child. I think “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” is my all-time favorite, though.
Jesse Chadderdon, city editor
Love: “The Godfather.” If AMC sees fit to show the trilogy every Thanksgiving, I see fit to consider it a holiday film for the purposes of this list.
Loathe: See everyone else’s list. I hate holiday movies. And the holidays really. I'm Scrooge without his motivation.
Favorite as a child: “A Christmas Story.” I'm not a fan of the holidays, but I was a fan of watching silly cinema in school instead of enduring one last class before winter break.
Jayne Gest, designer
Love: “White Christmas”
Loathe: Hallmark Christmas movies when there's one on every night in December
Favorite as kid: “Charlie Brown's Christmas”
Antonio Prado, reporter
Love: I love the original Christmas classic, "Miracle on 34th Street." I absolutely love it when Kris Kringle smiles when the Macy's owner testifies that he believes Mr. Kringle is Santa Claus.
Loathe: I loathe "How the Grinch Stole Christmas” of 2000 with Jim Carrey. I love Carrey, but this is an example of how it is extremely difficult to redo a classic animated feature.
Favorite as a child: My favorite TV special was the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which was first aired on the CBS network on Dec. 9, 1965. The production team, including animator Bill Meléndez, did a wonderful job of bringing Charles Schulz' comic strip to life for the holidays.