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Top 10 Most Loved Moms from Holiday Movies

by Katlyn Joy | November 29, 2013 12:00 AM
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How about the all-time favorite moms from holiday films? Some are in black and white, some came out on DVD, but all remind us of the warm and fuzzy feeling of motherly holiday moments.

10. Christmas with the Cranks.

For empty-nesters in training it's a sobering thought; what will Christmas be without kids? However, a last minute change means this mother, Nora Crank as played by Jamie Leigh Curtis, will need to pull out a show-stopping Christmas within a day's time. A salute to moms who manage to pull it all together in the midst of normal family madness each year.

9. A Christmas Carol.

Whichever classic version you enjoy, Mrs. Cratchit is an example of holiday sainthood, making a feast of near-nothing, keeping a family's spirits up when suffering a dear loss of a son and brother, and supporting her beat-down husband.

8. Love Actually.

Love Actually is made up of a big cast, but for a mama with backbone and softness, look no farther than Karen, the wife of Harry. The couple, played by Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman, are middle-aged parents who are in the midst of both the holidays and a big marital crisis as Harry considers the temptations of a crushing office worker. Instead of falling apart, or having a melt down, she confronts her husband calmly and continues on with her children's nativity play, having just sewn perhaps the most elaborate and ridiculous Christmas costume in film history. The end justifies her reaction, as her marriage and family get back on track.

7. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town.

Mrs. Kringle and her elf family, find a baby on the doorstep and choose to raise him as a Kringle. Kris, as they name him, grows up to be Santa Claus, of course. Mrs. Kringle is as sweet as sugar cookies and as warm as a Yule log.

6. Elf

Buddy doesn't belong at the North Pole and searches out the truth of his identity in America. James Caan plays Buddy's reluctant birth father, but the sweetheart that facilitates his becoming a part of the family is Emily, played by Mary Steenburgen. Emily is in fact, Buddy's stepmom, and her gentle manner and acceptance of Buddy even includes eating his spaghetti and syrup. A nod to the non-traditional and stepmoms out there.

5. The Homecoming

A Christmas Story. This TV movie led to the iconic series, "The Waltons." Could there be a more idealized version of motherhood than Olivia Walton? OK, in the movie Ma was played by Patricia Neal while the mother we know from the Walton's TV show was played by Michael Learned, the character of Mrs. Walton is the essential old-fashioned matriarch.

4. Little Women

A rite of passage for girls at one time was reading this classic book by Louisa May Alcott. Marmee, as her girls call her is a bastion of strength and example of womanhood to her daughters and viewers. She lets her daughters make mistakes when it benefits them, protects them when necessary, supports the War effort, does charitable work, never raises her voice and keeps a perfect home. Whew!

3. Muppet's Christmas Carol

Yes, A Christmas Carol and Mrs. Cratchit are already on the list, but you've just got to give Miss Piggy's performance a special nod. As a mom, Piggy is strong and sweet, comforting her children while showing tenderness after her Tiny Tim's demise, she also shows moxie when wishing to do Ebenezer Scrooge bodily harm to defend her beloved frog, er-husband.

2. A Christmas Story

Now a Christmas tradition for us all, who can forget the various sweet images of this longsuffering wife and mother, from urging her baby boy to eat something, to wrapping her boys up in bundles of winter wear, to bearing with her husband's prized lamp in the window. Ralphie's mom, played by Melinda Dillon, is one of the favorite moms of moviedom, holiday or otherwise.

1. It's a Wonderful Life.

C'mon, who can ever beat out Donna Reed in best mom categories? Her portrayal of Mary Bailey, George's sweet and strong wife is a classic holiday character. She melts your heart with her steadfast love, beginning as a young girl whispering into George's bad ear, "George Bailey, I will love you til the day you die!" The picture of the family embracing at the end of the movie while the entire town files in to save the day, much under Mary's organizing, is perhaps the most iconic holiday movie moment of all time, and we are all richer for seeing it.

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