Wednesday, November 25, 2015


It's the most wonderful time of the year for a LOT of reasons, even if you can't stand Christmas music, find the stress of holiday shopping utterly soul-crushing, or simply refuse to drink the magic elixir known as egg nog.

First, there are the sports. The NHL and NBA have hit their regular season stride, and this December in particular will see the Golden State Warriors' continued making of history as they extend the now-NBA Record Longest Winning Streak to Start a Season. The NFL Playoff chase is heating up, and after initially looking like the AFC picture would be decided by the time the tryptophan puts you to sleep Thursday night, there are now a slew of rickety 5-5 teams chasing down the 6-4 Steelers for the two Wild Card spots, while the NFC has about a dozen teams still pursuing the undefeated Panthers. College hoops are in the midst of their tournament/classic season, and every week we get a new argument about who deserves to be in the College Football Playoff as Conference Championships, Bowl Season, and those Playoffs loom.

Almost as great as the sports though, are the multitude of viewing options available despite our favorite shows going on hiatus. Sure, The Walking Dead and The Blacklist and whatever other active shows you obsess over may be replaced by some catch-up work on binge-worthy shows crowding your Netflix or Prime queue. However, the joy of sitting down with an old, familiar friend can't be overstated. When Chevy Chase drops one of the best lines in movie history, when Bing Crosby actually does tap dance with Danny fu%&ing Kaye, when Ralphie comes down the stairs in the pink bunny outfit, or when Alan Rickman asks for his detonators from John McClain - or perhaps just admits to Emma Thompson that he's so in the wrong and a classic fool - you don't care that you've been there with them a few hundred times before. In fact, you may be happy to be right there with them reciting the lines for what feels like the thousandth time.

Holiday movies - from the classics to the ones of our youth to the new classics to the big money blockbusters - are more than just a way to pass the time while you wait for Stephen Curry to finally miss a 3 or for the turkey to finally finish in the oven. They're a common thread that you carry through your experiences from year-to-year-to-year, and more often than not either impart a heartwarming message that we need reminded of this time of year, or are just plain funny. Or both.

With that said, I have undertaken the difficult task of trying to assess the single best holiday movie EVER. I have my personal favorite(s), which I'll reveal throughout this process. However, ignoring what others think would be foolhardy and undoubtedly lead to a whole lot of second-guessing of myself. So I'm enlisting your help.

My gift to you this holiday season? The CHRIS MACK Holiday Movie Tournament:

24 films - no TV specials - broken down into four different, 6-film subgenres. The selection and seeding process has been a difficult one, but will be explained on Selection Sunday: November 29th, The tournament begins on December 1st, with our Champion being crowned on Christmas Eve. Each day I'll post and pin a poll to my Twitter feed asking you to vote on that day's match-up. Will it be a difficult 4-/5-seed nailbiter? Or a 1-seed squashing and dancing on it's opponent like Cam Newton dabbing on the Titans?

Be sure to check back to find out, starting this weekend...


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