14 Must-See Christmas Movies
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14 Must-See Christmas Movies

Some of my absolute favorite Christmas movies. So many to choose from...

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14 Must-See Christmas Movies
Katie Johns

Happy Holidays! With the beginning of December, everyone is breaking out the lights, putting up the Christmas tree, and finding their best Christmas sweaters! But what do you do when all of this is done? When both you and the house are decorated and looking oh so festive?

You watch Christmas movies, of course! So sit down with the family, grab a mug of peppermint hot chocolate and a Christmas treat, and pick from this list of must-see Christmas movies.

1. White Christmas

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..."

This 1954 movie featuring Bing Crosby is a great, fun movie based around the well-known Christmas song. If you're looking for a classic black and white movie and good music, this is the movie for you!

2. A Muppet Family Christmas

"Ah, Christmas. Time for Santa Claus and his eight prancing rein-bear."

"That's reindeer."

"No, that's SNOW, DARLING!"

My parents showed us this TV special from their childhood, and I've loved watching it ever since. Starring everyone's favorite Muppet gang (with guest appearances from Sesame Street), this movie is full of the typical Muppet fun and silliness. Another great movie with great music the whole family can sing along to!

3. Elf

"I'm a cotton-headed ninny-muggins."

It took me a little while, but I quickly warmed up to this hilarious movie. Buddy the Elf is just so sweet and full of Christmas joy. It makes me smile. So don't be a cotton-headed ninny-muggins! Go get excited with Buddy at the prospect of seeing Santa Claus!

4. Arthur Christmas

"Arthur, do you want to wake the whole North Pole?"

"Good idea. A CHILD HAS BEEN MISSED!"

This movie is just so cute. A family where each generation picks a new person to be Santa, an elf who believes there's always time for a bow, and a lovable dork of a protagonist who knows that every child is important and deserves to get a present from Santa on Christmas. If you're looking for something really light and fun with a cute message, this is the movie for you!

5. Holiday Inn

"Park your load down the road and come to Holiday Inn..."

Another black and white classic! Released in 1942 and starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, this is a cute movie about a man who, done with show business after his partner leaves, decides to start an inn that is only open on holidays. Hilarity and great competitive dance and song numbers ensue when his old partner shows up to steal his leading lady away - again. This movie is another great one for good music and holiday cheer!

6. A Year Without a Santa Claus

"It was a year without a Santa Claus, the worst we've ever had!"

Ah, the first of several Rankin/Bass classics on this list. This movie is so cute, and includes such memorable characters as Snow Miser, Heat Miser, and a truly remarkable Mrs. Claus. When Santa decides to take a break from Christmas, Mrs. Claus takes matters into her own hands to prove to him that children still care about him. In true Rankin/Bass fashion, this movie is heartwarming and so adorable!

7. A Christmas Story

"You'll shoot your eye out!"

So quotable. So iconic. This movie is one of my dad's personal favorites, I know. Set in the late 1930s, this movie is the story of young Ralphie trying to get a Red Rider BB Gun for Christmas. It's cute, the narrator function is used really well, and it's just plain hilarious!

8. A Charlie Brown Christmas

"Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!"

Come on, how have you not seen this movie at some point in your life? It's such an adorable little movie, with just as many "good grief"s as you'd expect from a Peanuts film. Poor Charlie Brown is having trouble getting into the Christmas, so Linus tries to help in any way he can. I still look out of "Charlie Brown trees" when finding our own Christmas tree every year!

9. A Christmas Carol

"Bah, humbug."

Surely you've heard someone called a Scrooge. Well, this is where it all started. I don't even care what version you see of this. There are too many to choose from! There's the Muppet version (adorable), the Mickey Mouse version (also adorable), the Patrick Stewart version (I love him), and the new(er) Jim Carrey one (it's visually stunning). If you haven't seen this movie, or heard the story at any point in your life, you obviously haven't been paying attention!

10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

"You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch..."

The original, animated version. Forget the live action one. The original one, narrated by Boris Karloff, is so much better! A reading of the original Dr. Seuss story, emphasized by adorable animation, this version is fantastic. It's got a great lesson about what the holiday spirit really is. Teaches a good lesson while entertaining everyone with the Grinch's antics!

11. Polar Express

"The true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart."

I loved the book, and I love the movie even more (one of the only times you'll hear me say that)! They did such a good job with this movie, I don't even know where to start. I always wanted to be picked up by the Polar Express and whisked away to the North Pole to meet Santa on Christmas Eve. But the movie took it even farther, making it this epic adventure told through beautiful animation and even better storytelling. I highly recommend this one for anyone who can still hear the bells on Santa's sleigh!

12. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

"Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

Yes, another Rankin/Bass Christmas movie. They're really good, okay? Especially this adorable one based on the classic Christmas song! I love the whole story, with the Island of Misfit Toys, and Hermey, the elf who wants to be a dentist, and the Bumble (who bounces). This movie brings a great story (and more great music, too) to back up the song. Definitely watch this one!

13. Santa Claus is Coming to Town

"You better watch out, you better not cry..."

Okay, this is probably my favorite Rankin/Bass Christmas movie! It's such an interesting story! I love watching Kris Kringle grow up, and seeing the character of Santa come to life in the most unique ways. I love the setting, the characters, and, of course, the song. Another movie with great additional songs. I still follow the advice from one of them (put one foot in front of the other...) If you're looking for a light-hearted animated movie about Santa Claus's origins, this is the one for you!

And speaking of Santa origins...

14. The Santa Clause

"Tinsel. Not just for decoration."

I love love love this movie! I make sure to watch it at least once a year with my family. It's funny, has great atmosphere, and is yet another take on the origins of Santa Claus! I love the relationship between Scott and his son Charlie, and I just love the whole aesthetic of the movie. It's also absolutely hilarious! It has some of my favorite lines of any Christmas movie. It's heartwarming, funny, feel-good, and a great watch for the entire family. Just go watch it. I promise you won't regret it!


Now go watch something! You work so hard, I'm sure you deserve to just relax with some classic holiday cheer. And have a very Merry Christmas!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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