Let the (Reindeer) Games Begin

“They never let poor Rudolph play in any reindeer games.”

That’s a shame, those iconic words given to us by Johnny Marks and Robert L. May.

Because what better games to partake in than Christmas games? Unless those games are “Reindeer Games,” of course.

The first 25 days of December are somewhat of a sport for me. I’m like a game-planner, constantly trying to figure out how I can soak up all of the Christmas music, movies and TV classics I can before Dec. 26 comes and whisks the holiday merriment away with it for a whole year.

Christmas music, of course, includes the “12 Days of Christmas,” which is the basis for which I’ll structure this post. I love a good countdown or list!

Here are 12 Christmas movies and 12 Christmas songs that are favorites of mine and my suggestions for you to enjoy this season, before the dreaded Dec. 26 arrives and steals your excuse to partake in them. Until Christmas in July, at least. You can choose whether you want to binge watch or binge listen to these selections, but you can also spread them out, one to a day, like I’d prefer to do if possible.

Disclaimers: These are obviously not a definitive list. I can’t even say for certain that all 12 of my favorites are included. There are so many versions of each Christmas song, by so many different artists. A few are musts, but there are many other greats out there. These are just a few of my favorites. And when it comes to movies, some of these are movies I associate with Christmas due to setting or imagery or songs, but they may not be Christmas movies in your mind. Please keep these things in mind when reading, and just have fun with it! Feel free to let me know which favorites you enjoy each year!

12 Christmas Movies/Specials to Watch

1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

2. The Santa Clause (1994)

3. Elf (2003)

4. Home Alone (1990)

5. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

6. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

7. The Polar Express (2004) – a tradition to watch on Christmas Eve for its childlike magic

8. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

9. Reindeer Games (2000)

10. Prancer (1989)

11. The Christmas Secret (2000)

12. The Night They Saved Christmas (1984)

12 Christmas Songs to Hear

1. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” by Nat King Cole

2. “O Holy Night” by Josh Groban (or your choice)

3. “Christmas Must Be Tonight,” by The Band

4. “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby

5. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee

6. “Some Children See Him” by James Taylor

7. “Last Christmas” by Jimmy Eat World (I’m not a fan of the other versions of this song, so I suggest this one as an alternative)

8. “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

9. “Up on the Housetop” by Gene Autry (one of my grandpa’s favorites!)

10. “Mary, Did You Know?” by Clay Aiken

11. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by The Jackson 5

12. “Christmas Time is Here” (instrumental), by Vince Guaraldi Trio

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