The Best DVDs for Holiday Giving

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema
December 6th, 2013

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The Best DVDs for Holiday Giving

In a world with hundreds of thousands of DVDs to choose from, it might seem like choosing a DVD as a gift this holiday season should be a relatively easy thing to do. However, buying a friend or family member a DVD raises some unexpected questions. Without asking to see their DVD collection, it can be difficult to figure out if they already own a particular movie or not. It can also be difficult to determine whether or not they will be offended by the content of the DVD. For example, a conservative person who prefers family-friendly movies might not appreciate "Bad Santa," but it might be a perfect gift for a friend who appreciates raunchy humor.



One movie that's almost always a safe bet as a gift is "It's a Wonderful Life," a beautiful Christmas story from the '40s. Because it's family friendly in spite of some of its dark themes, this movie is an ideal gift for just about everyone. The icing on the cake is that few people own it, so it's unlikely the person receiving the gift will need to exchange it for another movie. "It's a Wonderful Life" is about a family man named George Bailey who has run into some very bad luck. It's Christmas Eve, and George is facing the very real possibility of losing his business, which is his family's main source of income. George knows his life insurance policy will take care of his family's expenses if he loses his life, so he goes to a bridge with every intention of plunging into the freezing water for good. Little does George know that Clarence Odbody, an angel with a heart of gold, has been assigned the almost impossible mission of convincing George to stay alive. Clarence Odbody rescues George, then takes him on a spiritual journey that shows him what would happen to the people he loves if they didn't have him in an attempt to change George's heart.



Another great DVD gift for the holiday season is Will Ferrell's "Elf," a 2003 comedy that has become a Christmas favorite in many households. Since "Elf" is packed with clean humor and feel-good fun, this DVD is a great gift for families. The story revolves around a misfit named Buddy who works as one of Santa's elves, blissfully unaware that he is human even though he towers over everyone else at the North Pole. When his adopted father tells him the truth of his ancestry, Buddy runs away to find his biological father. This is one of the few holiday movies the entire family can enjoy despite the fact it wasn't made specifically for children, and it's surprisingly heartwarming for a Will Ferrell movie that was marketed as a pure comedy.



No list of wonderful holiday movies that make great gifts would be complete without "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation". This is easily one of the most popular Christmas movies of all time thanks to its wonderfully offbeat humor and unpredictable plot. Christmas is swiftly approaching, and the quirky Griswold family is getting ready for their annual family celebration. Unfortunately for the Griswolds, nothing ever goes off without a hitch for them. Clark Griswold in particular is comically unlucky. To make matters worse, unexpected relatives arrive, and poor Clark Griswold has to go to dangerous lengths to keep them happy. Even though this movie is a favorite of many families, it's another DVD that most people don't own due to its seasonal runs on television channels.


1947's "Miracle on 34th Street" is another older film that has found a place in the hearts of families all over the world. Much like "It's a Wonderful Life," this serious and very sentimental film has been considered a top holiday movie for decades. This movie is more of a fantasy than it first appears to be. The movie revolves around the relationships between an eccentric old man named Kris Kringle, who claims he is the real Santa Claus, and a family that loves him in spite of their doubts about his sanity. Their love for him is put to the test when Kris Kringle is committed, and it will take a real miracle to ensure his freedom. There's a surprising twist at the end that makes this movie an instant classic. Few holiday movies come close to being as heartwarming and genuine as "Miracle on 34th Street," making this DVD an ideal Christmas gift for anyone.