'Tis the season to enjoy festive movies, and these celebs from Vancouver and around B.C. are no different! Here they share their favourite things to watch during the holidays
Credit: iStock / Djahan

'Tis the season to enjoy festive movies, and these celebs from Vancouver and around B.C. are no different! Here they share their favourite things to watch during the holidays

’Tis the season to be jolly, all right — but along with all the fa-la-la-la comes a mile-long to-do list that rivals Santa’s naughty-and-nice list. But no matter how busy Vancouver’s best-known personalities might be, they always make time to hunker down during the holidays — most with an eggnog, hot chocolate or mulled cider in hand — to enjoy their favourite seasonal TV shows, everything from classic to contemporary

Coleen Christie - CTV News Anchor
Credit: Adam Blasberg

Coleen Christie - CTV News Anchor

My dad and I have watched the black-and-white, Alastair Sim version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol together for years. The Tiny Tim scenes always make me teary and the story’s message can’t be overstated.

My other favourite is Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life. I saw it at the Hollywood Theatre on West Broadway last Christmas. I was amazed at how watching it on the big screen, with a full audience — some of whom had never seen it — made it even better. Again . . . I was bawling by the end. Throw in the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas, and I’m set for the season.

Susie Wall - Style Commentator, Breakfast TV & Cityline
Credit: Candace Meyer

Susie Wall - Style Commentator, Breakfast TV & Cityline

I’d love to list a great cinematic classic here like It’s a Wonderful Life — but hands down, Elf is the perennial fan favourite in our house. If I’m rushing and stressed, my kids will fold their arms, tilt their heads and say, “Sounds like somebody needs to sing a Christmas carol!” Cracks me up every time.

Keri Adams - CTV Breaking News Anchor
Credit: CTV

Keri Adams - CTV Breaking News Anchor

Memorable holiday program? Home Alone stands out for me. Before you laugh, don’t tell me little Macaulay Culkin outsmarting Joe Pesci and that other guy didn’t make you smile. Bonus: 10-year-old Culkin was only slightly annoying. Don’t tell me you didn’t feel heartache for Catherine O’Hara and secretly judge her for forgetting her own son (no, the father and other kids couldn’t have possibly noticed. It’s all on the mom, people). And don’t tell me you didn’t want to recreate an entire party scene in your living room using mannequins and an intricate pulley system. Now that’s what the holidays are all about.

Mike Killeen - CTV News Anchor
Credit: Kevin Clark

Mike Killeen - CTV News Anchor

My family loves How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the Dr. Seuss cartoon) and the Grinch movie starring Jim Carrey. He is brilliant. “I suppose I could use a little . . . social interaction.” We also enjoy The Santa Clause with Tim Allen — a charming family movie.

Christy Clark - B.C. Premier
Credit: The B.C. Government

Christy Clark - B.C. Premier

Every year we snuggle in as a family, make some popcorn, and get into the holiday spirit by watching It’s a Wonderful Life. But this year I’m also really looking forward to catching up on Homeland. I can’t bear to miss an episode these days. Everything is pitch perfect: the acting, the look of the show, the dialogue. But most of all, the story, with all its twists and turns, is still just believable enough to pull you right in. Homeland counts as a holiday show . . . right?

Ex-Real Housewife of Vancouver and Award-winning Songstress
Credit: Liz Rosa

Ex-Real Housewife of Vancouver and Award-winning Songstress

I absolutely love everything about the holiday season, especially the seasonal TV shows and movies. I’ve watched some of them over and over again since I was a kid and have so many favourites, but probably my absolute favourite is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. I never miss it and I never get tired of it. Of course, as we all know, it was a story written long ago by Charles Dickens, but there have been quite a few movie adaptations of the book. I have always been a big fan of the original black-and-white version.

This is a film that not only entertains us with a few supernatural visits from ghosts, but tugs at our heart strings as we watch Scrooge go through an ideological and awakening transformation. Watching grouchy, bitter and greedy old Scrooge learn the importance of kindness and giving teaches us all a lesson in looking outside ourselves. In my eyes, this film has always embodied the spirit of Christmas and despite how many times I’ve watched it, it still manages to make me cry.

It remains a constant reminder of how wrapped up we all get our in our own lives, that we sometimes fail to see how much goodness we can do in the world, if we only took the time to observe those around us.

Steve Darling - Anchor, Global BC Morning News
Credit: Global

Steve Darling - Anchor, Global BC Morning News

“My favourite movie of all time is It’s a Wonderful Life. I will watch the movie for the 80th time this December. I have four copies of it and the original script. I first watched it many years ago and loved it from the start. I think it really grabs the essence of the holidays. George Bailey is a guy we can all relate to. He thought he needed to travel abroad to find his happiness, but he finds it right in his own home with a great family and great friends. Like Clarence said, “No man is a failure, who has friends.” Amen!

Sophie Lui - Anchor, Global BC Morning News, Noon News Hour
Credit: Global

Sophie Lui - Anchor, Global BC Morning News, Noon News Hour

“My childhood favourite is A Charlie Brown Christmas. Just hearing the music reminds me of being a kid and waiting for Christmas morning. My grown-up favourite is Love Actually, although I don’t limit myself to watching it only at Christmas. Actually, I think I’d happily watch A Charlie Brown Christmas in the middle of summer too!

Claire Newell - Travel Media Expert
Credit: Liz Rosa

Claire Newell - Travel Media Expert

My all-time favourite holiday movie has to be How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I love the original 1966 cartoon and the newer Jim Carrey version. I love its positive message about the holidays: it’s not material things, but the time spent with friends and family that is important. My family never misses a year watching it! It’s one of our many Christmas traditions!

Chris Gailus - Anchor, Global BC News Hour
Credit: Global

Chris Gailus - Anchor, Global BC News Hour

The holiday season just isn’t the holiday season at the Gailus household without a viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life. The movie is full of colourful characters, including the wonderfully loopy Jimmy Stewart as George. I just love the messages in this one: the importance of loyalty to family, appreciation for what we have, and how the little acts of kindness we perform for other people throughout our lives add up to something very special when we least expect it. It’s a brilliant depiction of what I feel is the true meaning of Christmas. And it’s a very special holiday season if we also happen to catch a showing of A Christmas Story. What kid didn’t covet a BB gun growing up?

Kristi Gordon - Meteorologist, Global BC 1, Early News, News Hour
Credit: Global

Kristi Gordon - Meteorologist, Global BC 1, Early News, News Hour

My favourite holiday movie is Love Actually. Yes, I’m a sucker for romantic comedies, but how could you not love Richard Curtis’s amazing feel-good movie? It’s all about love, every kind of love imaginable. What more could you want? Oh, right — a warm fire and a glass of wine always helps.

The Rush Host
Credit: Denny Ilic Photography

The Rush Host

I have two favourite Christmas specials that are very dear to my heart. I’ve been watching them every year since I was a kid and it doesn’t seem like Christmas until I see them! The Year Without Santa Claus, with Mickey Rooney as the worn-out and discouraged Santa who wants to skip Christmas, is a holiday fave in the Forbes family. I have such great memories of watching this every year with my sister in our PJs sitting by the Christmas tree. Snow Miser (“Whatever I touch turns to snow in my clutch”) and Heat Miser (“Whatever I touch starts to melt in my clutch’) are absolute scene-stealers in this stop-motion animated holiday spectacular!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, with the incomparable Burl Ives voicing the Snowman, tells the wonderful tale of Rudolph with his glowing red honker of a nose and Hermey, an elf who wants to be a dentist, and their ragtag team venturing to the Island of Misfit Toys. And we all know how Rudolph saves the day. There’s just something timeless about this adorable holiday special . . . I still watch it every year!

Tamara Taggart - CTV News Anchor
Credit: Kyrani Kanavaros

Tamara Taggart - CTV News Anchor

I love holiday movies . . . How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original), A Charlie Brown Christmas and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation are my top three. This is the first year that we have started watching movies as a family; Saturdays are “movie night” and we have watched The Grinch over and over and over again. Our kids love it and that makes me happy. It’s an oldie but a goodie!

Kid Carson - Sonic Radio Host
Credit: Venturi + Karpa

Kid Carson - Sonic Radio Host

Elf starring Will Ferrell used to be my favourite Christmas movie . . . used to be . . . then I ruined everything. It was our first Christmas together, five-year-old Paris (my stepdaughter) wanted to watch a movie. She hadn’t seen Elf, and it was a hit! So much, in fact, that we watched it again, then again, then again for Valentine’s Day, then again during March break, then around Canada Day, then again at Halloween. (Kidding me?) Will Ferrell screaming, “SANTA! I know him, I know him!” All year ’round! So now that it’s Christmas again, my fiancée and I flip a coin to see who’s going to watch Elf this time.

Mark Madryga - Meteorologist, Global BC Morning News, BC
Credit: Global

Mark Madryga - Meteorologist, Global BC Morning News, BC

The one movie I never miss each holiday season is A Christmas Story! It’s set in the ’40s (for me it was the ’70s) and follows a family’s outrageous antics through one very traditional Christmas holiday season. Darren McGavin, the dad, is hilarious as he curses his faulty black-smoking furnace, then falls in love with his leg lamp. Ha! Son Ralphie thinks of nothing else but receiving a Red Ryder BB Gun under the tree. “You’ll shoot your eye out,” they all warned him. And he came close!

Shaun Verreault - Singer/Guitarist, Wide Mouth Mason

Shaun Verreault - Singer/Guitarist, Wide Mouth Mason

Though I’ve spent more December 25ths with The Muppets, [and] It’s a Wonderful Life evokes a more emotional response, I’d have to say that National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is my favourite. The movie is the filmic equivalent of staying up late with your uncles well after the turkey dinner and many eggnogs in. Unlike many holiday films it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but like the best of them, it illuminates — like a megawatt roof full of countless bulbs — the importance of family, generosity and grace under pressure.

Shelley Fralic - Vancouver Sun Columnist
Credit: Ward Perrin

Shelley Fralic - Vancouver Sun Columnist

One’s taste in television is much like life: always evolving. That is especially so when it comes to Christmas and our favourite must-watch seasonal movies. My annual ritual began as a child with Alastair Sim’s sombre Scrooge (A Christmas Carol). As a teenager, it was the more heartening It’s a Wonderful Life. When my children were growing, we never missed the loopy antics of A Christmas Story. Now, at 60, the must-watch in my house is the utterly charming Love Actually, a modern-day message of family and love, of hope and wonder. It is, for me, the perfect Christmas movie.

Dana Gee - TV Critic and Pop Culture Commentator, Global TV and The Province
Credit: Vancouver Sun

Dana Gee - TV Critic and Pop Culture Commentator, Global TV and The Province

As a little kid my go-to books were from Dr. Seuss (oh, how I drove the adults in my life nuts with Green Eggs and Ham). So that said, my Christmas TV viewing of choice will always be the 1966 TV version of the How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Even to this day the idea of horror movie legend Boris Karloff voicing a kid’s Christmas show is just so weirdly fantastic, just so Seuss. So for me the formula for some holiday spirit is simple: roast beast carved, Grinch watched, heart three times bigger, done.