Here we are in the final stretch of the semester! One of the reasons why I’m partial to the fall semester is that we end with the anticipation of the holiday season. It’s time to queue “All I Want for Christmas is You,” the Mariah version of course, and make the trek through Providence’s icy streets, made all the less abysmal by the wreaths, lights, and ornaments hanging from buildings and street lamps. To help you get into the festive mood, here’s a list of throwback movies and holiday special episodes that still stand the test of time!
Lizzie McGuire “Aaron Carter’s Coming to Town” Season 1 Episode 7
I mean, what gets more “the early ‘00s” than Hilary Duff in a Christmas special with a guest appearance by Aaron Carter? Yes, I’ll admit I bought the entire Colourpop and Lizzie McGuire makeup collab and it was well worth it. Lizzie McGuire just possesses that kind of hold over people. As expected, clever plots and shenanigans ensue as Lizzie, Gordo, and Miranda attempt to sneak onto the set where Aaron Carter is filming his new Christmas-themed music video. Pop culture fact: This episode led to Hilary Duff and Aaron Carter dating in real life. Unfortunately, he dumped Hilary for Lindsay Lohan, instigating the infamous feud between the two teen idols.
The Polar Express
Now, this is an absolute classic! Some of my fondest childhood Christmas memories involve seeing this movie every holiday season with my family in 4D and freaking out during the special effects. Grab your hot chocolate and get ready to embark on a journey to the North Pole with a boy named Billy, who doubts the existence of Santa Claus. Billy rides the Polar Express to the North Pole, not without incident, and learns what it truly means to believe. Up to you to find out what that means if you haven’t already seen this gem.
The O.C. “The Best Chrismukkah Ever” Season 1 Episode 13
The only word that properly describes a show that has its own word for a holiday is iconic. Chrismukkah is just about as legendary as The O.C. itself. The product of Seth Cohen’s attempt to marry together his parents’ different faiths, Chrismukkah is the super holiday that possesses twice the impact of any normal holiday. In this episode, Seth introduces his new adoptive brother Ryan to his festive creation, complete with Santa hat kippahs. I highly recommend watching each season’s Chrismukkah special!
Arguably the best live-action Christmas movie ever made and I’ll stand by that. Another childhood classic, Will Ferrell perfectly portrays the naive, optimistic elf Buddy who discovers he is human and that his biological father lives in NYC. Of course, Buddy wants to learn more about his past. However, growing up in the North Pole, Buddy isn’t exactly accustomed to city life. If you want a light-hearted, comedic film to kick off your holiday season, this is the one! I still wonder how candy on top of spaghetti actually tastes.
While these are only a few of many holiday-themed films and TV specials, I think these are some of the best ones to either rewatch or experience for the first time. Whether alone or with friends and family, bring plenty of kettle corn and hot chocolate.
I hope the rest of your semester ends on a high note. Happy holidays!