It's holiday time, and that means it's time to watch holiday movies while drinking eggnog spiked with Tanqueray. (Actually, that's a terrible beverage combo. Don't do it.)
Here's a selection of holiday films and specials—some new, and some very old—that I suggest you watch in the days before Santa shows up, rummages through your fridge, and kicks over your favorite vase. (Santa can be a real ass by the time he hits the United States, as he's all hopped up on cookies and spoiled milk.)
1. A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! (2008): This is my new favorite holiday special, featuring Colbert trapped in a cabin by a big bear, unable to make it to the studio where Elvis Costello awaits to tape a Christmas special. It features Willie Nelson getting busted in a mini-Nativity scene for trying to give the baby Jesus weed.
2. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964): This special has never been anything short of badass. For guaranteed yuletide entertainment cheer, nothing touches it.
3. Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977): When I first saw this in the '80s, this Jim Henson product struck me as offbeat and delightful. It still does. If you haven't seen this one yet, get on it.
4. A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas (2011): If it's still in theaters, get yourselves out to see it. Otherwise, slot the video into your home-entertainment plans for the next holiday season.
5. Die Hard/Die Hard 2 (1988, 1990): Hey, it's Christmastime during both of these films, so that makes them the perfect movies for guys out there who are being forced to watch stuff like Love Actually and The Holiday by girlfriends/wives. Use the violent exploits of John McClane (Bruce Willis) as a bargaining chip!
6. Elf (2003): It makes me want to chug a 2-liter bottle of Coke every time I see it.
7. Star Wars Holiday Special (1978): You can't buy it at your local Best Buy, but you can see segments of it on YouTube. One of the worst pieces of entertainment ever inflicted on the public—but you must watch anyway.
8. A Christmas Carol (various): There are so many versions of this classic to choose from, from the delightful Alastair Sim version, to the Albert Finney musical, to Bill Murray's Scrooged, to Jim Carrey's awesome CGI take. However, I have to go with the Mr. Magoo version. When the thieves get his sheets and sing, "La, la, la, la, la, la ... we're just blankety blank blank ... no good!" I'm just ready to hang my stocking.
9. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010): A great movie in which Santas are evil humanoid animals that need to be caged and trained for gift-giving.
10. Life of Brian (1979): I always get a Christmas vibe during the awesome Three Wise Men prologue of this Monty Python film. John Cleese taking his Christmas offering back from Terry Jones and shoving his deplorable mother character to the floor is a precious moment.
11. Bad Santa (2003): Billy Bob Thornton used to be so damned cool, and now he's such a douche. Still, his douche behavior cannot take away from this foul holiday classic.
12. Trading Places (1983): When I think of Christmas, I think of a drunken Dan Aykroyd, on a city bus, dressed in a dirty Santa suit, trying to eat through his sloppy fake beard—and then getting pissed on by a dog in the rain.
13. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966): Not the Jim Carrey version, but the original animated classic. When the Grinch's heart grows, so does holiday anticipation.
14. It's a Wonderful Life (1946): There will never be a better Christmas Eve movie—never!
15. A Christmas Story (1983): Hey, it runs on TV all day on Christmas, and it rules. "Sonsa bitches ... Bumpasses!"