It’s well into December and it’s too freaking cold to do anything outside in Indiana. This is great news for me because I can stop my secret shame-watching of Elf, the greatest Christmas movie ever made. Right now I don’t have to hide the fact that my Friday night is spent with Buddy the Elf. (By hide I mean tweet that I’m “reading a book” or “going to bed early” so people don’t judge the fact that I’m watching a Christmas movie in August. Yes apparently I think going to bed at 8 p.m. on a Friday is less embarrassing than watching Elf in August. Is it? I don’t know.)
For some ridiculous reason, tradition or stubbornness if I had to guess, some people still swear by Christmas Vacation or A Christmas Story. Or even It’s a Wonderful Life. Snore. The fact is we hit the Christmas movie jackpot when Buddy and company came onto the scene over a decade ago. Elf checks every box on the checklist for the perfect Christmas movie, including some we didn’t even know we needed. It’s hilarious and sweet and colorful. Somehow they managed to get all of my feelings about Christmas in one movie, all while making it one of the most delightfully quotable movies ever.
“We elves try to stick to the four major food groups; candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.”
I say this at least twice a week. All year. Most people get it and give me at least a little chuckle. Some people seem annoyed but at least clearly know what it’s from. Those who give me a blank stare? I don’t even know how to react. It makes me want to make them eat a giant plate of spaghetti and maple syrup. I feel like if you haven’t seen Elf at least once at this point you have to be actively avoiding it, and that kind of makes me want to actively avoid you. Harsh? Fine, I’m a Grinch.
“You sit on a throne of lies.”
I realize this is Christmas blasphemy, but I really hate Santa. I’ve never seen the appeal. Presents are great, sure. But Santa? Blah. I think it probably stems from a traumatic childhood experience, as so many things do. See I figured it out way too early. The whole thing didn’t make sense. Chimneys? No way. The story my parents fed me about a spare key was ridiculous. And every house in one night? And all those cookies? It was absurd. Unfortunately I was way too young and not allowed to ruin the magic for all the kids at school. So I wasn’t allowed to rub in their faces how much smarter I was? Ugh Santa. I don’t know what this has to do with Elf, but I needed to let it out. It’s not something you can usually just throw out in polite conversation.
“He’s an angry elf!”
Future Tyrion Lannister kicking the crap out of a giant elf? Yep.
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
Shockingly I’m not the sentimental type when it comes to Christmas music. Maybe it’s years of working in retail for the holidays and hearing the same 8 songs on repeat for MONTHS. Ok yeah that’s probably it. But generally Christmas music just makes me want to puke. (Except for the *NSYNC Christmas album, that remains a modern holiday masterpiece.) For some reason, the music in Elf doesn’t make me want to scream. Maybe it’s the overall tone that’s more fun than sentimental, but it works for me. And there’s nothing quite like a department store shower duet.
“What about this, a tribe of asparagus children, but they’re self-conscious about the way their pee smells.”
I mean come on. The best movie asparagus pee joke since Austin Powers pretended to be that peeing fountain. Nothing says Christmas like smelly pee!
“Watch out! The yellow ones don’t stop!”
I yelled this while darting across a 4 lane street with my parents on the way to a recent Colts game. I was immensely proud of myself for managing to use a movie quote in an appropriate situation for once. Unfortunately I was so distracted I almost got hit by one of the yellow ones. So that happened.
“First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.”
This is where it gets deep. My mom hates movies. She thinks they are horribly boring. The woman can sit and do a 5000 piece puzzle for days but as soon as she sits down on the couch to watch a movie her eyes start to droop. It’s astonishing. But every year on Christmas, sometime after the presents are opened and we’ve all gorged ourselves, my sister will say “let’s watch Elf!” like it’s the greatest idea ever. My mom will say “oh I do like that movie” and we all look at her like she’s grown a second head and start the movie before she realizes what she’s done. Maybe I’m becoming sentimental in my old age, but that might be my favorite family Christmas tradition.
I could go on for days, but frankly I want to go watch Elf.
What about you, have a different favorite Christmas movie? (Ash, I know you are obsessed with Love Actually, no need to comment.)