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Christmas movies and music

Photo by Seth Roche

Movies

Am I the only one who can’t stand Hallmark movies? Cookie cutters make good Christmas cookies, not movies. Thankfully, there are plenty of other ways to get into the holiday spirit and live vicariously through those who actually get snow. Here are just a few:

Travel into the creative, child mind of Eloise in “Eloise at Christmastime” and live out your dream of living at the Plaza. Nobody does Christmas, confidence and caroling like Eloise.

“Santa Claus: The Movie” with Tim Allen will have you feeling like a child again and remind you that the magic of Christmas doesn’t just apply to gooey love stories. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t prefer watching a giant, plastic Santa clone turn the North Pole into a dictatorship empire over another Hallmark actress kissing a perfect, smalltown hunk in the snow?

And, of course, “Elf” is a classic Christmas movie choice, perfect for snuggling after making snow angels for two hours, going ice skating and then eating a whole roll of Toll-House cookie dough as fast as you can. Sadly, “Elf” isn’t streaming on Netflix, that cotton-headed ninny muggin, but it can be found on Amazon Prime Video.

Fear not, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is ready for streaming on Netflix, if your schedule even allows it. We all know that your schedule is as follows: at 4:00, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one; 5:30, jazzercise; 6:00, dinner with me—you can’t cancel that again! And then you can watch that old, sassy Grinch grow a heart instead of wasting money on tickets to see the new animated version in theaters (it’s not nearly as entertaining and quirky.)

Speaking of theaters, “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is also still showing in theaters featuring Keira Knightley and Morgan Freeman. See page 7 for a review of it.

Music

If there was ever a modern Christmas album to sweep Mariah Carey right under the rug, it was Justin Bieber’s 2011 album “Under The Mistletoe,” a masterpiece that forever changed the aux-chord line-up with its banger, “Mistletoe.” And we can’t forget that Ariana Grande’s “Christmas and Chill” from 2015 is still a bop, especially because they are all original songs. Thank you, next.

Of course, Tony Bennett, Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra should always be the go-tos, but do I even have to say that?

John Legend released a legendary “A Legendary Christmas” album this year, featuring Stevie Wonder and Esperanza Spalding. Also new this year: David Archuleta’s “Navidad,” JD McPherson’s “Socks,” Ingrid Michaelson’s “Songs for the Season” and Tyler, The Creator’s “The Grinch.”