Five of the Best Scenes from Christmas Movies

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema
December 4th, 2013

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Five of the Best Scenes from Christmas Movies

Christmas movies have been popular ever since the very first films were created. Some of the following movies are pure comedy while others are on the serious side, but all of them deserve to be watched during the holiday season. The first that deserves a mention is 2009's "A Christmas Carol" starring Jim Carrey, a perfect blend of comedy and serious dramatic themes. Like other movies based on the original tale, "A Christmas Carol" is about a selfish and greedy old man named Ebenezer Scrooge spirits who show him the evils of his life and how his actions have affected others. The best scene in "A Christmas Carol" isn't a funny one, but it's certainly uplifting. A changed man after his spiritual experiences, Scrooge has a turkey delivered to the Cratchit residence, where a sickly young boy affectionately called Tiny Tim lives. As a result of Scrooge's changed heart and charity, Tiny Tim survives the winter, and Scrooge becomes like a second father to him.

On a funnier note, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" goes down in history as one of the best Christmas movies of all time. Two scenes stand out as particularly funny and have consistently earned laughs from audiences for many years. "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" starts off with the family cat investigating the tree. As cats often do, he begins to cause mischief and starts chewing on one of the wires that powers the Christmas tree's lights. In the process, he unplugs it from the wall. Clark Griswold, the husband and father of the family, comes along and notices the lights are out. He plugs them back in. With an angry yowl and an explosion of sparks, the cat is fried into the carpet. The scene was almost cut from the final film because the studio execs were concerned sensitive viewers might be offended, but Matty Simmons, the film's producer, insisted they leave it in. Fortunately for Matty Simmons, the fried cat scene was well received.

Of course, no list of the best scenes in Christmas movies would be complete with the other most popular scene in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." After working very hard hanging hundreds of Christmas lights on their house, Clark Griswold stands back to admire his work as his wife fiddles with the cords inside. She hits a switch, causing a massive power outage that results in family members falling down the stairs, breaking dishes, and toppling decorations. Clark Griswold is horrified to see all his work appears to have been wasted, but when the switch is hit again, the lights come on to the chorus of "Hallelujah."

"Elf" is another hilarious Christmas movie that became an unexpected success in 2003, and it became more popular each year. Starring Will Ferrell as the main character, "Elf" is about a very enthusiastic and naive man named Buddy who believes he's one of Santa's elves in spite of his height and human characteristics. The rest of the elves, including his adopted father, accept him as one of their own. When he finds out he's a human, Buddy, who has never really found his place in the North Pole, goes on a quest to track down his biological father. The entire movie is packed with comedy, but the best scene is probably when Buddy visits a mall Santa. When he gets close enough to the "fake" Santa to smell him, he wrinkles his nose and claims that the real Santa does not smell like beef and cheese.

However, one of the best scenes of all comes from a movie that was released many decades ago. "It's a Wonderful Life" is often overlooked due to its age and the fact that not everyone knows it's about Christmas. The story revolves around George Bailey, whose attempt to take his own life is interrupted by a kind angel named Clarence Odbody who is on a mission to earn his wings. George was going to jump off a bridge, so his life insurance policy would save his business and ensure his family would be able to survive. However, his heart is changed when Clarence goes on to show George what the town would be like if George had never existed. It's hard to say which scene is the best, but it very well may be the scene in which George chooses to go on living and realizes how much he is loved by the town he's taken for granted. This scene truly embodies the spirit of the holiday.