Given the time of year, and the impossibility of being able to choose just one “must-see” movie for December, I’ve chosen to instead present you with a little guide on the art of Christmas movie watching. The Grinch, A Christmas Carol, Elf, Love Actually…what do they all have in common? Well, among many things, they share the ability to bring joy and happiness to anyone and everyone—especially during this dreadful period of exams and glacial weather. Personally, I like to hold out until at least early-December to pop these Christmas classics into the DVD player (because let’s be honest, your laptop screen just doesn’t do them justice). But, with stress levels beginning to climb as exams loom closer, it’s understandable if you’re thinking about getting a head start on the Christmas movie marathons. Really, there’s nothing better than a little holiday relief. Somehow Christmas movies are the only ones worthy of re-watching every year, and the only ones that become more and more enjoyable with every season. This holiday movie guide will make the build up to Christmas perfect. But first, there are a few things worth going over before you sit down and get into the holiday spirit.
Mind-Set: Before settling in to watch your movie, know that all of your attention should be on the movie, and all of its Christmas wonderful-ness. Don’t bother thinking about all of those readings you need to catch up on, or that exhausting practice exam. Simply relax and enjoy the movie—your troubles will melt away from there.
Attire: Everyone knows that jeans and a blazer are no way to settle in to the proper holiday mood. Your viewing experience heavily relies upon your comfort—and this most definitely includes your clothing. Personally I enjoy a classic ugly Christmas sweater with my comfiest pair of leggings and some nice, warm wool socks. Appropriate substitutes include, but are not limited to: sweat-pants, Christmas-themed pyjamas, slippers, anything flannel, plaid or knit, and if you’re feeling ambitious… a onesie.
Snacks: Key. I personally love to bake, so the holiday season is the perfect excuse for me to bake and eat as much as I want. My housemates can always rely on freshly baked sugar cookies or festive cupcakes made by yours truly when it comes time for a movie night. However, if you don’t like to bake, and you don’t know anyone who you can bribe to do it for you (don’t look at me), regular store bought snacks are always good too. Oh…and did I mention hot chocolate? A definite must. Pop in a candy cane and a shot of Bailey’s, and you’ve got the perfect holiday drink.
Setting: Where and when you enjoy your holiday movie is also very important. As I stated above, a real television is usually superior to your laptop. However if you’re like most students, and your laptop’s all you’ve got, then it’ll do the trick. Christmas lights, big blankets and Christmas-scented candles make for a cozy environment, and an ideal viewing experience.
Once you’ve got the above established, it’s time for viewing.
It’s important that you don’t dive into classics like It’s a Wonderful Life or The Christmas Carol right away. If you do, you’re going to go into Christmas shock. It’s very likely that you’ll fool yourself into thinking that Christmas is merely days rather than weeks away. So take it easy and start off with something only slightly winter/holiday themed, like The Family Stone or Love Actually. Once you’ve eased yourself into the Christmas movie scene a bit, you’ll be ready to move forward into something a bit more holiday centered like Home Alone, or The Nightmare Before Christmas. After these you can gradually start making your way into films such as Elf, or The Polar Express. Movies best left until the end of exams are feel-good tales such as The Grinch or A Christmas Story. When it’s all over, and you’ve written your exams, packed your bags, and are finally in the comfort of your own home with your family, you’ll be ready to watch (and doze-off to) classics like Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, or my personal favourite: It’s a Wonderful Life.
Callie Mathieson, Online Entertainment Contributor