Arts & Culture, Featured

The Rock Staff Presents: The Best of Holiday Specials

This year, The Rock at Boston College is doing the season of joy in a big way by generating new content every day in our second annual “25 Days of Christmas”. The Rock is proud to present this installment in our holiday special, in which our staff has put our heads together to come up with a comprehensive list of the best holiday TV specials and movies.


a-charlie-brown-christmas“To me, there is no finer form of holiday entertainment than a Peanuts cartoon, and The Charlie Brown Christmas is the absolute greatest of its kind. Charlie Brown’s existential crisis with regard to the meaning of the season is one we can all relate to, and the show’s fearless crusade into Christmas’s non-secular origins via Linus’s Biblical recitation is one of the most beautiful moments ever animated. Not to mention that it’s dead funny and the Vince Guaraldi Trio soundtrack is perfect for any occasion. But we’re not going to talk about Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales. That doesn’t count. (For more on my convoluted opinions of holiday media, please see here.)” – Kate Lewis ‘15

“My favorite Christmas-themed movie is without a doubt A Christmas Story. I’m in love with all things retro or or representative of another era so being set in 1940s Indiana the movie just reels me in before the plot fully forms. The blonde little boy Ralphie represents every american child who wants something for christmas and obsesses over it, but is refuted by his parents. He hints at his mom and dad many times throughout the film and even gets a boot to the face by a Mall-Santa after asking him for a Red Ryder BB Gun. The mall scene is the most famous due to the popular phrase regarding all toy guns, ‘You’ll shoot your eye out kid!'” – Christian Petro ‘15

still-of-will-ferrell-in-elf“Who wouldn’t want to see Will Ferrell wearing bright yellow tights trying to protect NYC from impostor department store Santas? Elf is by far my favorite Christmas movie. It has everything: the beautiful holiday decorations around New York, the North Pole, a romantic subplot, and Will Ferrell getting attacked by a very angry Peter Dinklage. It’s one of those movies that was hilarious when you were a kid and still remains hilarious now (probably because you can now understand all the underlying jokes that writers put in to entertain your parents when you made them watch it). Remember, don’t eat the yellow snow.” – Michelle Castro ’18

“So while my favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard, I already wrote a little about that last year (*cough cough read it here*) so I guess I’ll use this space to chat about my favorite televised Christmas special, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!  Dr. Seuss is great and animated television specials are great, so combining the two was a no-brainer.  Everything about this classic story has the ability to always lift my spirits: Max the dog’s earnest grin, the image of the Grinch slithering around the floor grabbing gifts, all the wonderful songs, wondering what exactly a “roast beast” is, and of course the Grinch’s heart growing three whole sizes (cheesy, I know, but try telling me that the sentiment is not beautiful).  And it rhymes you guys, which just proves it can’t be beat.” – Chris Pinto ‘16

love-actually-1“I have a strict no-Christmas-movies-until-December policy. And when December 1st rolls around, it’s time for Love Actually. Remember the weird multiple interlocking narratives that was used in Valentine’s Day and He’s Just Not That Into You? Love Actually did it first, and definitely does it the best. I heard on the street that Chris Pinto loooooves Hugh Grant. But that’s probably just hearsay. Anyways, I can never get enough of the little kid romance; seriously, that is just adorable. And the Christmas cheer is all about family love, and who hates that? This is the only time of the year that I allow myself to fully accept the mushy love stuff, and it’s great.” – Danielle Dybbro ‘15    

“I’ve been a fan of The Office since I was in fifth grade, and let me tell you, I thought I was the coolest kid in Mrs. Maloney’s class because my parents let me watch ‘A Benihana Christmas’ in December of 2006. ‘Oh, your mom won’t let you watch that show. Sorry ‘bout ya, kiddo!’ ‘A Benihana Christmas’ is easily one of my favorite Christmas episodes of any series, and hands down my favorite episode of The Office. From Angela and Pam fighting over which Christmas party will be more fun (eventually winning Meredith over with vodka, and lots of it) to Michael Scott forgetting which Benihana waitress he brought back to the Dunder-Mifflin Scranton Christmas party (and then marking one of their arms to tell the difference), ‘A Benihana Christmas’ captures every character in a humorous light, which doesn’t happen every episode. Michael Scott also delivers his famous ‘Bros before Hoes’ monologue, which is gold.” – Edward Byrne ‘18

tumblr_lvx4w4srEp1qbz3cj“For the past 12 years, my favorite Christmas special has remained the same, and it’s the short film The Year Without a Santa Claus. This marvelous movie will be showed ten times on ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas this year (the entire schedule can be found on their Facebook page). In my opinion, the musical numbers of Heat Miser and Snow Miser are two of the greatest Christmas songs ever written. Some think the old claymation style is a turnoff, but I think the simplicity of the film, the storyline, and the constant musical interruption are all fantastic. No movie or show screams Christmas to me quite like The Year Without a Santa Claus.” – Mike McGee ‘18

Stay tuned all month long for more of our holiday favorites!

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