OPINION: Five holiday movies to watch when you should be studying

Holiday seasons are full of cheer, movies, and pie. Enjoying holiday movies while eating seasonal treats is a part of the holidays that many adore. (Photo by Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

Preparing for finals is too much to handle sometimes, but nothing takes your mind off of memorizing theorems and cramming dates into your brain quite like putting down the flashcards, finding a good movie and relaxing with some well-deserved popcorn and hot chocolate.

Here’s a list of five perfectly distracting movies that will let you take a breather and get you in the holiday spirit.

1. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

Whether you’re partial to the 1966 animated classic or the 2000 live action feature featuring Jim Carrey as the Grinch, you simply can’t go wrong. The 26-minute cartoon might be what you’re looking for as a short distraction, but if you need to blow off steam by laughing, Carrey’s reimagined Dr. Seuss character as a relatable curmudgeon should be the perfect fix.

2. “The 12 Dates of Christmas”

Are you single this holiday season and looking for something that will both rebuild your faith in true love and offer a mindless escape from the relentless onslaught of studying? This movie, which is available for streaming on Netflix, can magically restore all hope in finding that special someone just in time for Santa Claus to shimmy down that chimney.

3. “The Polar Express”

This Christmas classic offers both sanctuary from all adult responsibilities and a heartfelt reminder of the magic of the holiday season. Not only do you get to hear the sweet sound of a young Josh Hutcherson’s innocent voice, you get to simultaneously listen to Tom Hanks take on a wide variety of characters, whether that’s the ghost on top of the Polar Express, the nostalgic narrator or the train conductor who loves hot chocolate just as much as a he loves staying on schedule.

4. “Elf”

Will Ferrell spreads the holiday spirit in this 2003 Christmas classic by donning a mustard-colored pair of tights, trying his darnedest to navigate the hustle and bustle of big city life, decorating everything like the North Pole and eating more sugar than a single body could possibly digest. It’s not enough to see a blonde Zooey Deschanel fall in love with Christmas all over again — you get to watch her fall in love with a 6-foot-tall elf who only wants to find his real dad.

5. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”

Last but certainly not least is this 1989 holiday farce that captures the Griswold family struggle though yet another family misadventure. When it seems like nothing can possibly go right as you bury yourself deeper and deeper into whatever subject has taken over your whole desk, watch this perfectly hilarious motion picture. Chevy Chase reappears as the well-intentioned father of two who, through his efforts to create the best-ever Griswold family Christmas, inadvertently conspires to kidnap a millionaire, lets a wild rodent lose in his home on Christmas Eve, locks himself in the attic and nearly blinds his neighbors with his extravagant light display.

Kaylie McLaughlin is a freshman in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the ex-managing editor and audience engagement manager of the Collegian. Previously, I've been the editor-in-chief and the news editor. In the past, I have also contributed to the Royal Purple Yearbook and KKSU-TV. Off-campus, you can find my bylines in the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT News. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas. I’m a senior in digital journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in international and area studies. As a third-generation K-Stater, I bleed purple and my goal is to serve the Wildcat community with accurate coverage.