Huddle: Our favorite holiday scenes

Grace Chu: In late 1996, a friend summoned a small group into her dorm room. She herded us around her computer and played a small Quicktime movie. It
was a cartoon whose characters appeared to be cut from construction paper. The short film, The Spirit of Christmas: Jesus v. Santa, was set in a fictional town called South Park and revolved around the antics of four boys named Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny. They had nasally voices and foul mouths. Jesus and Santa were fighting, Mortal Kombat style. The boy named Kenny died in the ensuing melee. Figure skater Brian Boitano made an appearance and brokered a peace treaty. It was the best thing I had ever seen.

Comedy Central was impressed as well, and the networked hired the creators, Trey
and Matt Stone, to develop the television series South Park, which debuted in 1997.


the linster: Elf is warm and funny and innocent and absurd – just like the holidays. It makes your eyes light up when you remember it. It is the polar opposite of cynicism, which is way too easy to find this time of year. It also has Zooey Deschanel.

I suppose every movie about a misfit learning who he is and trying to fit into the world serves as a metaphor for LGBT life. But Buddy, in particular, reminds me of myself when I first came out: stumbling through gay culture, asking inappropriate questions and trying to find a place for myself. I was a cotton-headed ninny-muggins then — and now.

More importantly, though, Elf makes me laugh — every time I watch it — in that throw your head back, whole body kind of way that starts in your belly and scares the cats when it comes out. It’s a movie that can change your whole day — your whole holiday season, in fact. It makes me smile, and smiling’s my favorite.

And here’s a secret: If you want to win my heart, ask me to go make snow angels, then go ice skating, then eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can, then snuggle. Perfect.

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