What is Your Family's Favorite Christmas Movie Tradition?

Do you like Scrooge, George Bailey or the Elf—or do you prefer something less expected?

The holiday movie season is upon us. But traditional films celebrating this time of the year – from It's a Wonderful Life to A Christmas Story – aren't the only focus of cinema in December. 

There are no shortage of inspirational films and specials to watch during as Frosty, Rudolph, Ralphie and Buddy the Elf take center stage, but hey, Scarlett O'Hara and Michael Corleone can join in too.

Eager audiences go to the movies at Christmastime to be entertained, to laugh and get in touch with their emotions, but also to bond with visiting relatives over neutral territory – when arguments over the family, religion and politics get to be too much, there's nothing to fix the problem like the latest gag in a funny film.

Because of that, the holiday movie season has turned into the perfect time to indulge in every kind of film, so I took to the Internet to check what people like to see with their families over the holiday, whether tucked in in front of the TV or at the multiplex. 

The answers I received were from parents all over Southern California including San Diego, but also Orange County and Los Angeles.

And it's not all old and new classics like A Christmas Story and Elf. Some of the films these families watch over the holidays might surprise you. 

I asked parents, What do you and your family like to watch
over the holidays? Please add your favorites in the comments!

Maribel Reyes: “This may sound odd, but on Christmas day we watch Gone With the Wind (odd because it is not seasonal LOL). As for seasonal movies I love watching Love Actually; it's the perfect holiday movie for me ... a rom-com. As a family we enjoy How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Polar Express. My kids were too young to understand a A Christmas Story, so we might enjoy it this year as my daughter is now old enough to understand the dialogue. As for new movies I really want to watch Parental Guidance and Rise of the Guardians.”

Xenia Galaviz: “My mom used to make us watch The Sound of Music around the Holidays ... We also watch The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Grinch!and Home Alone.”

Rachael Lee Faught: “White Christmas and Miracle on 34th
Street = classics. Modern favorites are Scrooged, Muppet Christmas Carol, Mickey's Christmas Carol (so essentially three versions of the same story!). I'm looking forward to The Hobbit (!!!!) and Les Miserables.”

Colleen Lanin: “I am a big sucker for Family Man and It's a
Wonderful Life every year. They both remind me to be thankful for the
life that I have. My whole family has been watching A Christmas
Story together every year since the VCR was invented. I always imagine my dad as Ralphie, growing up in the cold Midwest back in the 1940s.”

Sondra Santos Drahos: “I like the newer family/holiday comedies. Since I can relate on a personal level, my all-time favorite would have to be Four
Christmases with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughan. I'm looking forward to Parental Guidance, which I plan on seeing with my mom and oldest son Christmas Day! One Christmas day I will never forget was Dec. 25th, 1990. My family piled into the station wagon and headed to the movies. We could hardly contain our excitement as we approached the single-screen theater, got our tickets, popcorn and drinks, and filled an entire row dressed in our holiday finest.

The movie opening Christmas day 22 years ago? The Godfather 3.”

Films opening Christmas Day 2012 aren't that much different
than that violent Al Pacino classic. These films are also premiering in theaters Dec. 25: Django UnchainedLes MisérablesParental Guidance and West of Memphis (Limited).

Here's to the movies that will makes us laugh, cry or bond
with the ones we love. Wishing you all the best this holiday season!

Do you have a family movie-watching tradition at Christmas, that movie you just have to see every year? Are you traditional or non-traditional? Tell us in the comments!

Christine Foronda December 25, 2012 at 10:34 PM
As a child, I used to watch The Miracle on 34th street on video every Christmas and I also picked out a few books that I specifically saved and read only for the winter holiday. That tradition died down as I grew older and Christmas parties and dinners took over. So last night after dinner and exchanging gifts, I was glad that I found It's A Wonderful Life showing on tv and since its been years since I last saw it, it was like watching it again for the first time. Definitely a nice change from the partying. Haha, one of my gifts from last night was also two tickets to watch Les Miz tonight! Excited!
Rors W. December 26, 2012 at 06:22 AM
On Christmas day we watch the Die Hard series, may be a tad weird but hey they take place during Christmas. Don't judge me.
Sarah Riccitelli December 26, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I like the 1980s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer movie.
Robert Paulson December 26, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Christmas porn is always stimulating.


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