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A Not-So-Silent Night: Webb Staffers Pick Their Fave Xmas Movies

Merry Christmas, Webb readers!

Here’s another early gift: Some splendid seasonal cinema for you all—in this case, chosen by your friendly Webb staff.

Tim Hartzell: My favorite Christmas movie is Elf. I’m not a big Will Ferrell fan, but his portrayal of Buddy the Elf is so believable. I would pick a favorite scene or quote, but there are just too many to choose from.

Curt Musheno: Die Hard. What better way for an estranged husband and wife to save their marriage over the holidays than by barely surviving a hostage situation together? Since its release in 1988, the Die Hard movie has steadily become an indisputable American holiday tradition, thanks to the brilliant acting of Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson and many others. After all, it did happen over Christmas. So, technically … yippee ki-yay!

Andrea McElroy: Boy, this is a hard one because I have so many, but one that has really grown on me over the years is White Christmas. It is set back in World War II and stars Bing Crosby. A sister act and male vocal team are out to save a Vermont inn owned by their former (and very handsome, may I add) general in the army. It is such a heartfelt movie, and I just have to say that no other Christmas movie gives me goosebumps every time like the end of this classic. The falling snow and Bing with his crew singing “White Christmas” will give you all the Christmas feels. I enjoy watching this multiple times during the season and am such a sucker for the old-time Christmas classics.

Bernadette Ulsamer: My holiday movie pick is Mixed Nuts, starring Steve Martin, with rarely seen dyed hair, and Rita Wilson. This 1994 screwball comedy is set at a crisis hotline center on Christmas Eve and features a great cast of characters with Madeline Kahn, Rob Reiner, Robert Klein, Juliette Lewis and Adam Sandler, to name a few. I don’t watch this every year, but you used to be able to catch it every so often on cable. Definitely one of those quirky movies you’d watch until the end no matter when you started.

Jon Pries: Love Actually. Set in jolly old England, it is a fun movie with multiple storylines that all resolve and come together in the end. Full of good and well-known actors. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and pop some popcorn, pour your favorite beverage and watch it!

Ken Hunter: My favorite Christmas movie was National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Chevy Chase was very entertaining.

Steph Nordstrom: I’m not a huge fan of Christmas movies, so I like to go the non-traditional route (though Christmas Vacation is a strong contender). I’m leading the way with Die Hard or the Harry Potter movies, and I’ll die on the hill that they ARE Christmas movies. Next up would be a new one released last year called Violent Night. It’s like Die Hard meets Home Alone — with more guns.

Joe Smith: Much as I love George Bailey, Kevin McAllister and Ebenezer Scrooge, I have to go with Charlie Brown. Though not exactly a “movie,” A Charlie Brown Christmas remains the one viewing experience that instantly transports me back to my childhood holidaze. (Ever notice how nostalgia plays a huge part in the ambience of Christmas?) That Guaraldi music; those genuine laughs; such a great message; Linus reading the King James Bible; the use of real kid-voices (a switch for animation, where child parts had been handled largely by adults). For me, the occasionally glitchy animation (admitted by veteran artist Bill Melendez, who did nearly all the Peanuts shows) is part of the deliberately low-key charm. With its episodic, almost avant-garde storyline, it really does feel like a comic strip come to life.

Watch this space next week for a whole column of behind-the-scenes trivia about this beloved 58-year-old gem.