It's probably sacrilegious to live in the region and not be a fan of "A Christmas Story." My reaction to the film is "it's OK." 

If you've grown tired of leg lamps, here are a few Christmas-themed films I recommend. TBS may not run them during a 24-hour cycle, but I watch them every year. 

Happy Christmas (2014) - The newest film on the list stars Anna Kendrick in a mostly-improvised indie dramedy filmed in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood.

The Fitzgerald Family Christmas (2013) - Made by Edward Burns ("The Brothers McMullen") whom some refer to as the indie Woody Allen. A fine dramedy about an Irish-American family getting together for Christmas.

Batman Returns (1992) - Back when Micheal Keaton was the caped crusader battling The Penguin and Catwoman during Christmastime in a snow-filled Gotham City. At one point the villanious Red Triangle Circus Gang bursts out of a giant Christmas-wrapped box during the city's tree-lighting ceremony. 

Less Than Zero (1987) - Maybe the most downer film in the bunch about rich college students in L.A. during the holidays. Robert Downey Jr. gives a stand-out performance behind a great soundtrack featuring "Christmas in Hollis" by Run DMC and The Bangles cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade of Winter."

Prancer (1989) - Filmed in Laporte and Three Oaks, Michigan, the story of Santa's stranded reindeer and the Christmas-loving little girl that cares for him. Abe Vigoda is great as a veterinarian. 

A Midnight Clear (1992) World War II drama set in the Ardennes forest revolving around an American and German platoon sharing a Christmas celebration. Stars Ethan Hawke, Gary Sinise and Peter Berg, who went on to create "Friday Night Lights."

Love Actually (2003) - My personal favorite. Christmas is definitely all around in this British classic. 

Alive (1993) - True story about the rugby team plane crash in the Andes Mountains. Maybe not necessarily a Christmas film but it has lots and lots of snow and a great version of "Ave Maria" by Aaron Neville at the end. 

Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997) - Another one that's not really a Christmas film but again, a good winter movie because of all the snow. I mean, the lead character (Julia Ormond) has a sense of it. Sort of has one of those, "oh, wow, that's interesting" kind of endings. 

Merry Christmas!


Rob covers urban affairs and other matters in Crown Point, St. John, Winfield and beyond. Previously he covered Valparaiso, Hammond, Gary and East Chicago. He's also written for various magazines and pens a culture blog for The Times.