Everyone knows the holiday movies like “Elf,” “A Christmas Story” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” But rather than repeating the same traditional classics, I’m going to bring you all back to a time when Blockbuster was still the place to be, when VHS tapes were how you watched a movie and before any social media website existed.
1. The Ultimate Christmas Present (2000)
Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOM) was the epitome of my entire childhood. I almost entirely forgot about this movie until I saw it on my Facebook feed earlier this week. “The Ultimate Christmas Present” was one of the weirdest, but also best of them. It’s about two girls (one of them being a very young Brenda Song) living in Southern California. They somehow find and steal Santa Claus’ weather machine, and of course chaos erupts.
2. Prancer (1989)
This movie brings me back to the glory days of when I actually believed that Santa was real. I remember watching it in elementary school right before winter break and feeling the ~magicalness~ of the holiday. From the films IMDB page, it’s about “a farm girl who nurses a wounded reindeer she believes is one of Santa’s, hoping to bring it back to health in time for Christmas.” It’s definitely one of those feel-good movies to remind you that Christmas and the holidays are about way more than just getting presents.
3. To Grandmother’s House We Go (1992)
Now I am a twin, and growing up there was no duo that my sister and I wanted to be more alike than Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. In the movie, Mary-Kate and Ashley’s characters overhear their single mother say how much of a handful they are and how she needs a vacation, so the two of them do just that. They somehow get on a bus, then sneak on a delivery truck and then meet two robbers?? Logistically it makes absolutely no sense that two five-year-old girls are smart enough to runaway to their grandmother’s house and that no adult thinks about calling the police, but nonetheless it’s still a good movie.
4. Jack Frost (1998)
“Jack Frost” is actually probably one of the saddest children’s movies, but it’s the good kind of sad where although it’ll get you tearing up, it ends on a happy note. Jack Frost is the lead singer in a rock band; he has a wife and a son named Charlie. His job as a musician makes him flakey and causes him to miss Charlie’s hockey game. To make up for it, he promises to takes his family on a Christmas vacation. On the day that they’re supposed to leave, he gets a call for a gig that will either make or break his career, so obviously he chooses to go. He makes a plan to meet his family afterwards, but during his ride he gets into a car accident that ends his life. To make a long story short, a year later, Charlie who’s been in a depressive slumber, builds a snowman that comes to life and ends up being his dad.
5. I’ll be home for Christmas (1998)
Another great movie from my childhood is “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” starring 90’s heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas. As a wee child of four or five, I remember watching this movie with my older siblings. Thomas’s character is a college student who is finding it rather difficult to get home in time for the holiday. Like all movies with an internal struggle as the main conflict, he learns about himself and the true meaning of Christmas along the way.
6. Snow Day (2000)
I know this isn’t a holiday movie per se, but it is about snow days and after winter break that is really all students from every age cares most about when returning to school. The movie focuses on the real-life villains: snow plow drivers. A group of students come together to stop the plow from clearing the roads so they can have another snow day the next day. Spoiler alert: they achieve it, because “it’s a snow day, anything can happen.