Getting into the spirit of things

The days are growing shorter, the nights colder, and sometime over the past week, the holiday season seems to have landed here in our fair city.

Arriving at work just the other day I was greeted by boughs and garlands hanging from every (street) corner; New Westminster skytrain station is bedazzled and bedecked with lights of all shapes and sizes; and no matter what coffee shop I patronize, I’m sure to find red cups, and holiday flavoured drinks and snacks.A word to the wise dear readers – avoid anything “marshmallow”. I ordered one of these drinks last week (a toasted marshmallow latte to be specific), and while it was a valiant effort on the part on my barista, espresso and synthetic Jetpuff syrup is not a combination meant for this world.

Goodness knows.

And as we creep ever closer to December, and all the festivities that automatically come with our twelfth month, you might be asking yourself what kind of gifts you will be purchasing for all your friends and family.

This is me heralding the holidays into town. It’s a special tradition.

This can be a delicate dance for some. I know for me, this is one of my most favourite parts of the holidays. I get a thrum in my tummy just thinking about the chance I’ll have to find something beautiful and fitting for all the wonderful people in my life.

I want to make sure that whatever it is I end up purchasing is beautiful and interesting and original – something the person may not have previously thought about, or knew even existed.

I love December, and all the razzle-dazzle of the month, because of the time I get to spend with family (this year M and I are flying down east to spend Christmas with my mother and sisters), the outings and parties with good friends, and the quiet time (if only an hour or two!) I get to spend with my husband.

As we creep ever closer to candy canes, tree trimmings, snowmen, and Christmas carols, I am gearing myself up to watch my three favourite holiday movies OF. ALL. TIME.

Now, whilst I understand that there are a number of fab films out there that do well to sum up the holiday spirit, in my humble opinion these three movies will never be beat:

1. Muppets Christmas Carol.

I LOVE this flick.

Michael Caine as Scrooge! Gonzo as Charles Dickens! Rizzo as his ever-hungry side-kick! Ice skating penguins! Singing cabbages! Cheese-less peasant mice!


Normally I’m not even that big a fan of singing in movies, but heck, that rule is thrown out the window with gusto when it comes to Jim Henson and his gang.

How can you not dig that tune?

(Seriously, if you don’t, you will be visited by three ghosts tonight. Get ready for one heck of a ride when the bell strikes one.)

2. Home Alone

Now, this may have quite a lot to do with the fact that I have the sense of humour of a eleven year old boy, but this movie never, ever, fails to crack me up.

Watching Marv and Harry get the absolute crap kicked out of them makes me laugh so hard I cry.

(So I might be a bit of a sadist as well.)

For the past fifteen years I haven’t been able to eat cheese pizza without saying: “A whole cheese pizza just for me!” or thinking that eating two tictacs will ruin my dinner.

Plus: Catherine O’Hara. My comedy goddess and make-believe mum.

3. Love Actually


This is M’s an my “official” Christmas movie, and we watch it every year sometime in the lead up to the 25th. We love it. We quote it year-round.

A golden oldie for a golden oldie! Just in cases! WISCONSIN BABES! Dip it in yogurt and cover it in chocolate buttons! Sexy Carl! Hurry up big boy! Arbore…montagno…bello…bella…Frankie Valley…oh shut up…!

I always say that if I were to go back and do more graduate work, I would do it in film studies and I would write my thesis on how this movie is evidence of a perfectly scored film.

Every song works so well in every scene, it’s a bit mind boggling. Nora Jones to dance to! Dido when she find out you’re in love with her! All you need is love at your wedding! Joni Mitchell in the face of infidelity!


So excited! Now I cannot wait even more.

What about you folks? What movies do you like to watch this time of year?

You supply the titles, while I make the popcorn.

This is going to be good.

Published by

Vanessa Woznow

Writer, runner, ranter, reader. I write about all things.

31 thoughts on “Getting into the spirit of things”

  1. I actually love Love Actually (palindromic!) though every time I watch it I always feel like I could do without the Laura Linney storyline. But Alan Rickman is my man-crush and The Wife would leave me in an instant for Colin Firth despite the fact that he is probably twice her age. And since she is going to leave me for Firth, it is good to know that Kiera Knightley has Jungle Fever and so I potentially have a chance (because if you fictionally love one black guy; you’ll love this one in real life).

    I sort of hate Christmas though; so Love Actually is an all-year movie for me.

    1. Completely agree with you about Laura Linney. One of our inside jokes that we laugh about all the time is “Every night…every day…” Good grief.

      Oooer, Alan Rickman is totally a crush of mine too.

      It’s good to here that there is a good understanding between the two of you when it comes to your love actually real-life mates. Synergy for the win!

  2. Love this! It makes me smile and my heart is so happy just thinking about Van City all decked. Plus the photo with you as gallant herald is just epic.

    So so so glad you get to see the family for Christmas!!

    Excellent movie choices, btw! I’m all set to break out my copies of Elf, and then we’re going old school with Holiday Inn and White Christmas (Bing Crosby wonderfulness, here I come). :)

    We’re off to enjoy our American Thanksgiving so have a wonderful rest of the week, Lady!

    1. My mom just phoned me and told me she almost “broke a rib” laughing at that photo of me. Which makes me even more excited to see her! Haha, the hijinks we get up to during the yuletide…

      I fully support those movies! Elf is hilarious. The first five minutes make me cry with laughter.

      Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Big love <3

  3. I have never seen Love, Actually, but now I will have to.

    Nothing beats The Muppets.

    It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story are must-sees around here at holiday time. I also love Elf. But, it wouldn’t be Chrismas without The Grinch Who Stole Christmas! (The cartoon with Boris Karloff— how inspired was THAT?— NOT that ridiculous live-action remake from a few years ago (talk about your revisionist history— BAD Whos? I think NOT!)

    1. Oooer, you must! It is one of my all time faves. And yes, Muppets = forever awesomeness.

      OMG. Revisionist history in Whoville! I will be laughing about this for years…

      But yes, classic Grinch is hard to beat. And that song. That song!!

  4. My three holiday faves are Muppet Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story, and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. I can’t go through the holidays without watching them. Love the pics!


    Firstly, the lovely Christmas tree makes me want to put ours up RIGHT NOW, despite the fact we promised our friends we’d all go find trees together. I love this time of year probably only because of all the beautiful lights.

    I’ve never had a marshmallow drink, but I have had those tiny freeze dried marshmallows on top of a drink. Those are fun, mainly because they crunch. And they taste like marshmallows, duh.

    I AM SO GLAD YOU LIKE LOVE ACTUALLY TOO!!! The boy and I watch it every Christmas. We’re also adding Home Alone to our movie night this year! It’s obvious why we’re friends, you and I, we both have such impeccable taste in holiday movies. ;)

    1. The lights totally add a je ne sais quoi. Everything just seems that much more beautiful and bright :)

      I like those freeze dried marshmallows too (actually I pretty much love all things marshmallow, except for the syrup at Second Cup I guess!)

      Love Actually is seriously one of my faves of all time. I will never not LOVE this movie. I’ll think of you (and your fabulous taste!) when we watch this year!

  6. I am all about Home Alone and Home Alone 2. When we were in Australia a couple years back I even made sure I reserved them at the video store! A couple weeks in advance… I remember my aunt taking us to see it at the theatre on a very blizzardy evening. So many great quotes!

    You’re right Love Actually is a great soundtrack. One Christmas I worked at The Body Shop and they played it on repeat over and over but I didn’t get sick of it. Such a sweet story. Elf is my other holiday film and I even get teary when they all sing at the end :)

    1. I think I need to watch Elf again. I remember really liking the first quarter and then losing interest. A second shot is a must!

      Sooooo many great quotes. I crack up just thinking about it!

      Was it absolute pandemonium working at the Body Shop over the holidays? I can only imagine how many last minute shoppers would just careen about in the store hoping to find something for everyone on their list!

      What are you and Dustin doing for the Christmas this year?

      1. Oh dude, Elf is where it’s at. :)

        It was pretty busy and it was in Kelowna so all the surrounding Body-Shop-less communities flocked in to stock up too. I didn’t mind it though – except for the fact that their policy was for you to wear their makeup! I’m not a makeup gal and I still remember how terrible that policy was contrasted against “Love Your Body” campaigns…

        We are both taking time off this Christmas which we don’t usually do beyond the stat days. Dustin’s mom is visiting and we’re heading out of town for a few days to go to a rodeo and take a lake cruise tour and do some hiking near a recently-erupted volcano!!

        On Christmas itself we’re heading over to a friend’s place where I reckon we’ll find a BBQ and a very large and friendly extended family so am looking forward to that. I kind of love warm outdoor Christmases! Last time it was croquet and dinner outside and the time before was even a campfire on Christmas! Love it!

        1. That will be so great to have family for the holidays! And enjoy your extended vacation – I’m sure you will have a blast :)

          Oooer, would I love a bbq come Christmas day. I will be thinking about you in the blizzard that is Halifax! xx

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