With Christmas just one week away, we felt that it was time to start binge-watching our holiday favorites (again). Here’s a list of the ones we love, and why we love them!

Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)

This is the film that gave us “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, and for that, it’s cemented on my holiday must-watch list. Recced by: The Collectress

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

This film is a holiday tradition for many families, mine included. I can think of very few other movies that show how precious every life is, even when that person feels worthless. This is so much more than just a Christmas movie, and it gives me the feels every damn time. Recced by: The Collected Mutineer

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

So, is the old man really Santa Claus? That’s the mystery of this classic Maureen O’Hara movie. The best part? The movie isn’t even really about Christmas; it’s about having faith in the people around you. Recced by: The Collected Mutineer

White Christmas (1954)

It really isn’t the holiday season until I watch this one with my mother. I’ve seen it at least 50 times, but the more I watch it, the more I love it. (And if you can, also see it on stage. It’s magical) Recced by: The Collectress

I love Christmas, but I hate people.

I don’t like crowds, I despise driving and I seriously cannot stand the consumerism that permeates a holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ. So how to get through a month of the entire universe focused on BEING HAPPY AND GIVING GIFTS AND WEARING MATCHING SWEATERS AND BUYING OUT BIG BUSINESS TO GET THE NEXT, NEWEST THING BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THE TELEVISION SAYS TO DO??

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Ugh.

First of all, I don’t want to come off as a Scrooge. I genuinely love the idea of Christmas time being about family and giving. Baking cookies for my co-workers, creating handmade gifts for friends that illustrate our personal relationship, wrapping presents with my daughter while enjoying “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby on the television — these are the times I cherish during the holiday season. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the reality of Christmas. Often, I find myself spending too much money, listening to too many holiday songs, smiling too hard and eventually breaking down and wishing dear old Saint Nick would hurry up and get his festive ass down here so that the collective universe might get on with normal life and I can start paying back Check’n’Go.

This year, I am trying very hard to break the negative cycle that I usually find myself in.

I refuse to lose focus on the meaning of Christmas, as cliche as that sounds, because I refuse to let these consumer assholes (not you, of course, dear reader) make me feel inadequate for not buying my husband a BMW with a huge bow on it, or my daughter an iPad to play Angry Birds on. No individual should feel pressured by the unseen entities of advertising agencies to spend copious amounts of cash (credit or charge) because we think everyone else is doing it. Let’s not allow big business rule the way we celebrate this festive time of year. Also, be honest with yourself and your loved ones. Every action gleans a reaction, and the way you treat people is bound to come back to you. That’s how this crazy universe works. Keeping that in mind…

Not gonna happen, honey.
Not gonna happen, honey.

It is the horrible individual that makes the holiday season unbearable.

That woman in front of me at Target with a screaming child, whom she steadily ignores in favor of looking at every single ornament in the decorations section, just so the beads match the balls that match the bells and the angel. The crazy grandma driving through the mall parking lot who steals the spot  I’ve obviously been waiting for, and then jumps out of the car and pretends she didn’t even notice me. The grumbling husband who bitches the entire afternoon about buying presents for his own family, who reminds his wife he would rather be doing anything but spending his hard earned cash on people he could give a fuck about. The little boy who wants and subsequently receives all the newest tech, toys and games, but doesn’t appreciate any of it. Or me, who compulsively purchases items for every nephew and niece I have, only to be bitterly disappointed when their parents forget to give something to my daughter at the family get-together. These are individuals pushed to live in a Christmas snow globe that doesn’t really exist. So, how can one manage the holidays surrounded by others who miss the point?