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TOPIC OF THE WEEK: What movies, songs or events make the holiday season brightest for you?

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Courtesy of Holiday Nights | The Daily Wildcat

From 2016 

This week, with holidays quickly approaching or, in some cases, already having started, I asked the Opinions desk what their favorite way to bring some holiday cheer to their year is. Despite 2020 being an exhausting year, I've chosen to think positively – vaccines are being distributed, the main parts of the election are over and we have so much progress to make in this decade. 

Since I can't see family for health concerns, I've chosen to find joy with those in my germ pod – decorating the house and baking are on the top of my list. I love classic Christmas songs – "Feliz Navidad" and "Last Christmas" (the original by Wham!, nothing else) will get stuck in my head any time of year. I do also love newer songs and new voices to get in the holiday mood with. My favorites this year are "Glittery" by Kacey Musgraves (which now has Troye Sivan in it, I am so in love), "The Christmas Album" by (the angel-voiced) Leslie Odom Jr. and a new album from a band from my hometown of Flagstaff, Tow'rs, whose album "The Holly and The Ivy" just gives me chills. You should also check out the rest of their music – beautiful art by beautiful people.

Watching my favorite holiday movies, like “Fred Claus,” “A Christmas Story,” “A Christmas Carol” and other classic titles have put me in the mood for gift-giving. I also adore those really gross love story Hallmark-type films – the predictability is just too addicting to stop watching. I also really enjoy making my boyfriend watch these films, as sharing the cringe is a wonderful way to bond during the holidays.

I know this year is difficult, and I thank you for your continued support of the Daily Wildcat Opinions desk. My writers have worked really hard to bring you hot button debates and well thought out opinions this semester – so please enjoy this final, lighthearted Topic of the Week! 

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- Kayleigh Cook, Opinions Editor

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As someone who loves Christmas and all the decorations and festivities, I do have to admit, I really hate Christmas music and movies. Not trying to be a downer, but there are only a handful of good Christmas songs, and at that they should really only be played one, maybe two, times per season. Don’t even get me started on the movies, like 95 percent of them are bad the first time you watch them, and then they are endlessly replayed for the entire month of December. My family loves the "25 Days of Christmas" but, for me, it’s a cruel and unusual form of punishment. I know I sound like the biggest holiday buzzkill, but I do have my own personal holiday favorites that don’t make me cringe. The most underrated Christmas movies, and my personal favorites, are “Gremlins“ and “Die Hard." Though not cannon Christmas movies, they both are classics, and take place during Christmas, so they count! Who doesn’t want to hear Bruce Willis yell "yippee-ki-yay mother f***er" as machines guns are blaring on Christmas, cause if you don’t, get your priorities in order. You could have a boring repeat holiday season, doing the same thing again, or you could watch the ultimate Christmas gift gone wrong horror-comedy as tiny monsters take over a small town. Cuddle up under blankets, grab yourself some hot chocolate and cookies and sit back and watch these epic, action packed, ‘holiday’ films.  

- Lauren Borelli

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RELATED:  Holiday season creates holiday stress

Since this is both my first holiday season away from home (back in India) and my first here in the United States, I have been trying to strike a healthy balance between engaging with my own rich culture and exploring my adopted culture. Some days, I curl up with hot cocoa and watch, with awe and amusement in equal measure, holiday movies – special mention to “Elf!" Other days, I make myself some hot chai (no, it’s not chai tea) and re-watch Hindi classics – “Kal Ho Na Ho“ and “Rang de Basanti“ come to mind. My playlist is erratic, but I’ve been digging soft indie tunes. Briston Maroney and Rainbow Kitten Surprise are perfect for these warm vibes – also try out Prateek Kuhad for “Indian indie” feels! Christmas music-cringe, while it makes me feel all gooey on the inside, is reserved for X-mas morning – sorry, not sorry! My constants, however, are freshly-baked cookies (thank you, pre-made dough) and books that make me feel all the feels – I’ve been alternating between Jia Tolentino’s critical-essay collection, "Trick Mirror" and the hopeless anticlimactic romanticism of Kundera. Don’t look up the premise behind "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," the theory of eternal return, unless you have mastered the art of the existential crisis!  

- Pavas Gupta


Every single year, the holiday season never fails to make me smile. My family and I would spend it together every year. On Christmas Eve, we would even go back to Mexico and hang out at my aunt’s house and eat all the amazing pastries she made and hang out pretty much all night. However, because of COVID-19, I will not be able to cross to Mexico and enjoy Christmas Eve there. But somehow, I am not really all that sad. That’s because there is always one movie that will cheer me up and make my holiday season all the brighter, watching “The Polar Express.” I find this movie so wholesome and I watch it every single year. I have been watching this movie for as long as I remember, and I never get tired of it. Sitting down near a fireplace or heater with fuzzy socks on, drinking some hot chocolate, the Christmas tree lit up and decorated and watching “The Polar Express” on Christmas Eve — it sounds like a dream! 

- Andrea Moreno

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I’ve never been one to be amped about the holidays. I like spending time with my family and love a good reason to celebrate, but something about this time of year stresses me out. Unfortunately, I don’t have the same opportunity to "Scrooge" around with my extended family as I have had in past years. To simulate the usual anxious cheer that I used to take for granted, I have been turning to good music and bad television.

The last two months of the year fuel an unconquerable vacuum of nostalgia. I’ve found that the only way to fight it this time around is to give in. “Since I Left You" by The Avalanches and "June 2009" by Toro y Moi are there when I need noise on my daily creepy walk around the neighborhood. It makes me feel 14 again, when I didn’t even notice that the sun went down at 4 p.m. 

As of late, Kacy Hill’s EP "Just Circling Back Here: Is It Selfish If We Talk About Me Again (Remixes)" has been a comforting twist on the songs that used to make me press my cheek and palm to a cold window (staring longingly at the horizon of course). "Jp4" by Junglepussy usually brings my spirits (and ego) back up after I’ve fully doused myself in a thick coat of reminiscence.

If you’re looking for a TV show with a soundtrack of throwbacks that are bound to make you cringe, I recommend “A Teacher” on Hulu. Although the premise is quite serious and there are objectively concerning moments, the timing of "Climax" by Usher was enough to get me to cackle out loud. 

- Selena Kuikahi

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