Monthly Archives: December 2011

Ten Favourite Christmas Movies

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Last week, we posted some Christmas music to get you in the holiday spirit. This week we’re turning our attention to movies. Hear are 10 great films to keep your Christmas merry. Several are great films to share with your family, while a few are nice diversions for the onslaught of red white and green.

  1. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) While not technically a movie, this made for TV special earns a spot on this list for the why it has captured the hearts of multiple generations in the almost 50 years since it was first aired. The soundtrack is also a fantastic addition to your music library.
  2. A Christmas Carol (1951) Some traditions deserve to live on for ever. One of these is watching the 1951 black and white adaptation of Charles Dickens classic novel staring Alastair Sim. die hard traditionalists may prefer the original 1938 film starring Reginald Owen.
  3. Elf (2003) One of the best Christmas movies of the past decade, and one of Will Ferrell’s best as well. You’ll be getting coal in your stocking if you don’t think Buddy the Elf is adorable!
  4. Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) A decidedly un-kitchy—but nonetheless heartwarming—Christmas film that reminds us of why Christmas matters.
  5. Home Alone (1990) A Wonderful Life for the modern generation. In between the slapstick comedy is a story of the importance of love and family over the holidays. 1992’s Home Alone 2 was a worthy sequel.
  6. Die Hard (1998) A great break from he Christmas schmaltz. This one makes the list because it’s set during a corporate Christmas party.  1990’s Die Hard 2 is also set during the holidays.
  7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966 and 2000) A double entry. While the original animated version will always have a special place in our hearts, the amazing sets and make-up of the 2000 version make it a worthy co-addition to our list.
  8. Polar Express  (2004) This one is a love it or hate it type film. While some viewers make be turned off by the quasi-realistic animation, others will be delighted by the magically beautiful journey that the movies takes you on.
  9. Gremlins (1984) A merry monster movie. While it may appeal more to the parents out there, kids will be delighted by the fun twist on Christmas traditions.
  10. Miracle on 34th Street (1947 and 1994)  Another double entry. The 1947 is still among the best of the traditional holiday movies. The 1994 version updates it for a new generation while staying true to the original. Both version provide an light-hearted  story without a sentimentality overload.

Is your favourite holiday movie on this list?  If not, please let us know in the comments.

Tis’ The Season! MHB 2011 Christmas Card Reveal

Friday, I was thrilled to open my mailbox and feel the excitement of the first few Christmas cards of the year.  What perfect timing to share the Martell Home Builders Christmas card with you.  We got all ELFed up and had a blast!

Our first task was to locate the perfect Christmas outfits.  We searched high and low… thank you to Dollarama, Value Village and some special friends & family for making us look our best.  Next, we had to enlist the help of the Big Guy himself.  Apparently, Santa is too busy this year to drop by our open house at 131 Coriander so we had to hunt him down.  A safe bet this time of year, is to seek him out at Champlain Place. So, off we went….

We had so much fun sitting on Santa’s lap and telling him what we want for Christmas.  I know Santa loved every minute of it!

This year, we opted against traditional paper cards & sent our Christmas Cards via Paperless Post.  We strive to reduce as much as possible and, let’s face it, we’re technology nerds.  Paperless Post was awesome & we highly recommend it for those trying to save time, money and reduce their impact on the environment.

There’s something so magical about this time of year and it’s so important to reflect with gratitude on the year behind you.  This year, we grew our team and our client family.  We didn’t just build houses, we built homes!  It’s so amazing to imagine all of our awesome clients enjoying Christmas in their Martell Homes. That’s what we’re grateful for.

We wish you and yours lots of laughter, joy & smiles this Holiday Season. And if it suits you, go get all ELFed up 🙂






10 Canadian Christmas Albums

Christmas Music  Photo credit: Chiot’s Run on Flickr

As the song goes, “Merry Christmas” has already “been said many times, many ways.”  So why not sing it in a Canadian way this year?  Here are 10 Canadian interpretations of Christmas classics old and new (in no particular order).

  • Justin Bieber, Under the Mistletoe: A brand new album from Canada’s boy wonder. The album offers seasonal mix of traditional Christmas standards and new holiday music co-written by Justin. If Biebs isn’t enough for you, he is joined by Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men and Usher.
  • Diana Krall, Christmas Songs:  Diana elegantly delivers some of our favourite carols with a festive, yet grown-up vibe. Pay special attention to her rendition of Winter Wonderland for a special Canadian ad lib.
  • John McDermott, Christmas Memories: This album will appeal to fans of Celtic carols. Scottish-Canadian balladeer John McDermott  delivers a wonderful mix of traditional and some lesser known Christmas fare.
  • Anne Murray, What a Wonderful Christmas:  Canada’s snowbird, Anne Murray has recorded several Christmas albums during here career. This two disc collection features a sample of her favourite past songs  intermixed with some new recordings of Christmas standards.
  • Michael Bublé, Christmas: This is a brand new album for Canada’s reigning crooner. It features a mix of guest appearances by the likes of Shania Twain and Thalia Jones; and a original carol that Bublé penned for this album.
  • Kim Stockwood,  I Love SantaA collection of holiday standards performed live by this unique Canadian artist. The album features a sample of seasonal favourites and fun new tracks that highlight both Kim’s rich, warm vocals and her comedic style.
  • Bruce Cockburn, Christmas:  The Canadian activist and singer deftly brings folk, rock, country, gospel, and international influences to a broad collection of seasonal standards in a powerful and poignant way.
  • Holly Cole, Baby It’s Cold Outside:  With here smoky voice, Holly Cole offers the perfect antidote to the hustle of seasonal shopping, decorating and parties. This is the perfect music to listen to with a cup of hot cocoa when you need a break from the bustle.
  • Frank Mills and Rita MacNeil, The Spirit of Christmas: Two Canadian musical legends join forces in this memorable holiday release. Singer/songwriter Rita MacNeil pulled legendary composer and pianist Frank Mills out of retirement to record 4 new songs to add to 8 of their Christmas classics.
  • Matt Dusk, Another Christmas: An EP from a Canadian crooner featuring a mix of classics and new jazzy tunes sure to delight anybody looking for a smooth Christmas track for a holiday dinner party.
Do you have a favourite Canadian Christmas album that we missed?  Please let us know in the comments.

Open House Draw: We Have A Winner!!


Kindle Winner Kevin & Customer Experience Representative Natalie Davison

We love to give away prizes- after all, what’s more fun that calling someone to tell them that they’ve won… especially when they aren’t expecting it!

Regularly throughout the year, Martell Home Builders draws a name from open house sign-ins for a thank you prize- to show our appreciation for visiting us and hearing about our homes.  Our most recent Open House Draw was for a Kindle e-Reader.  I have to admit, I was a little jealous to hand this one over… it’s on my wish list this year:)

Congratulations to Kevin for being selected! Happy Reading.