Wishing you happy watching: A guide of holiday shows


It’s finally the most wonderful time of the year. Cozy up with some blankets, a cup of cocoa and some loved ones to watch a few of these shows and get in the spirit of the season.


“Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” (1970)

The classic origin story of the big guy, “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” follows Kris Kringle through his upbringing with toy-making elves, an encounter with the Winter Warlock and a perilous journey to deliver presents no matter what. Santa’s story will transport you back to your childhood, and the stop-motion animation gives this holiday special a nostalgic, joyful spirit.

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (1966)

Although there is a new version of this tale, the original 1966 short will always delight many viewers. This story about a grouch who realizes the true meaning of Christmas “doesn’t come from a store” has a sweet, heartwarming climax. Who doesn’t understand the reason for the season when the Grinch realizes that “Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more”?

“Miracle on 34th Street” (1946)

This black and white film takes viewers back to the 1940s, when little Susie must be convinced of Santa Claus’s existence. Single mother Doris raised her child to doubt the man’s existence, but love interest Fred and the uncannily-realistic Macy’s Santa change Doris and Susan’s beliefs. The film is filled with poignant moments (like Susie telling herself “It’s silly, but I believe” over and over again before bed) and will reaffirm your own belief in Santa Claus.

TV specials from your childhood

“Spongebob Squarepants”—“Christmas Who?”

Though Spongebob creator Stephen Hillenburg recently passed away, “Christmas Who?” truly captures the joy and whimsicality of the season. Watching Spongebob and Patrick learn about what Christmas is while annoying Squidward never gets old, and Squidward’s change of heart in the end demonstrates true Christmas spirit.

“The Fairly Oddparents”—“Christmas Every Day!”

In yet another wish-gone-awry plot, Timmy Turner wishes that it was Christmas all the time. He soon realizes that if Christmas were every day, it wouldn’t be special and he’d never get to celebrate any other great holidays. He teams up with other kids from around the world and asks Santa to deliver the one thing they all want: For it to be Christmas only one day a year.

Romantic movies


“Holidaze” is a TV movie with a clichéd yet cute story. A successful businessperson, Mel must convince townspeople that building a new “Save Now” store will be beneficial for them. Of course, her ex-boyfriend Carter is against the idea, but when Mel hits her head and wakes up in an alternate reality wherein she married Carter, she begins to see his side. Her change of heart affects her actions when she wakes up in the real world.

“Holiday in Handcuffs”

Mario Lopez stars as Melissa Joan Hart’s love interest in this romantic comedy. Hart’s Trudie kidnaps Lopez’s David and during the family’s stay at a rustic cabin, presents him to her parents as her boyfriend. Though David tries to escape, he begins to develop feelings for Trudie and to understand her frustration with her parents’ desire for her marriage to a rich, successful man.

Disney holiday movies

“Prep and Landing”

A cute movie about how Christmas elves prepare children’s houses for Santa’s arrival, “Prep and Landing” is great to watch with your younger siblings. When elf Wayne misses out on a big promotion, he is assigned a new partner, Lanny, who has much less experience than him. Needless to say, this complicates their mission to prepare Timmy’s house on Christmas Eve. With some light spy-style action and a heartwarming message, this is a movie both you and your little cousins will love.

“A Christmas Carol” (2009)

In 2009, Disney released this cinematic animated take on Charles Dickens’s novella. The original grinch, Scrooge encounters three spirits who show him Christmases past, present and future. By examining his mistakes and their consequences, Scrooge learns about his impact on others and pledges to “keep Christmas well” in his heart.

Stephanie Santillo is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.santillo@uconn.edu.

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