Christmas movies are a long enjoyed tradition in my family. Some make it to our screen every year where we continue to laugh and cry after multiple viewings. Here are 25 of my favorite movies that I recommend you bring to your screen to get you in the holiday spirit.
1. "Home Alone"
When Kevin is left home alone while his family vacations for France, he must defend his house from burglars. This Christmas comedy features a slap-stick type of humor that rivals the Three Stooges. Because of that, it's always been a favorite for me and my grandpa around Christmas time. Watching it with him has become a yearly tradition that warms my heart year after year.
2. "The Christmas Card"
This Hallmark original sets the stage for love during the Christmas season when a small-town Faith and her church send Christmas cards to soldiers overseas. Receiver of one of these cards, Cody comes to the small-town where Faith lives and Hallmark does its thing. This movie is one of my moms FAVORITE Christmas movies, and she makes me wait to watch it with her every year. It's one of Hallmark's best, and I recommend that you watch it right away.
3. "The Christmas List"
This is another Hallmark classic that follows Melody, the perfume saleswoman, as everything on her jokingly written Christmas list starts to appear in her life. It's one of my favorites, and apparently an obscure Hallmark product, as it took me quite a while to find it. Anyhow, regardless of how cheesy it is, it's sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.
4. "National Lampoon's "Christmas Vacation"
This movie has been a tradition in my mom's side of the family for years. Once, she made green jello with lucky charm pieces in it and wrapped it up for my uncle and cousin for Christmas (if you know you know). This classic follows the story of Clark Griswald and his family as they try to steer through the holidays with the entire family at their house. I promise you'll laugh at least once watching this movie, and hopefully, you'll enjoy the whole thing.
5. "A Christmas Story"
This movie depicts a young boy named Ralphie growing up in Indiana during Christmastime. All he wants for Christmas is a Red Rider BB Gun, but all he keeps hearing in response is that he'll "shoot his eye out." This movie is a family favorite for us and makes its appearance every year on our screens. I'm sure that we can all relate to Ralphie and the struggles of childhood at Christmastime.
6. "Miracle on 34th Street"
I can hardly think of a more "classic" Christmas movie than this. The law takes on Santa in this film to prove the existence of Santa Clause, and we follow the journey of Chris Kringle in the meantime. I personally prefer the newer version of this movie that came out in 1994. The movie ends with all ends tied up nicely and a happy ending that gets viewers in the spirit of Christmas.
7. "White Christmas"
Can you say Christmas AND musicals? Yes, please! This film made the cut for obvious reasons. Those reasons mostly being Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby, but it's also filled with beautiful songs and wonderful acting. My best friend and I may or may not have also won a contest singing the song "Sisters" that's featured in this film. It's a Christmas classic that's great for everyone young and old
8. "The Polar Express"
I have vivid memories of my mom reading me this story about a boy who spends one magical night on a train that takes him to the North Pole. Upon arrival, Santa gifts him a bell from one of his reindeer, and the book my mom read to me came with a similar bell that I would get to ring at the end of the story. This movie rendition was nothing short of magical and brought to life the childhood wonder I experienced every time my mom read this to me. I suggest checking out both the movie and the book.
9. "A Charlie Brown Christmas"
If the music from this Christmas classic alone doesn't get you to watch it, I don't know what will. This wonderful little cartoon depicts Charlie Brown in his Christmas play while he tries to find the true meaning of Christmas. It's short, sweet, and beautiful and should be watched every year.
10. "Jingle All The Way"
If you ask my mom, she'll tell you this movie starring Arnold Schwartzenegger is nothing short of ridiculous, but my dad and I love it. What's not to love about a dad scouring the city for the perfect toy for his son that he may or may not have forgotten to get until the last minute? This movie is full of laughs and should definitely make this year's watch list.
11. "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
Now I won't relay the plot of this one for you because, even if you don't already know it, it's pretty well explained in the title. I recently watched the newest remake of this movie and I LOVED IT. Benedict Cumberbatch did a wonderful job, and I thought that the creators did an excellent job of adding in the subplot of Cindy Lou Who and her mom. Whether you watch the original cartoon, the Jim Carey live action, or the recent animated version, this is a Christmas classic that just can't help but grow your heart three sizes.
12. "A Christmas Carol"
Charles Dickens' work is probably the OG Christmas tale (other than the Bible of course). There have been multiple renditions of this over the years including an animated version and a Muppet's remake (which is my personal favorite). Whatever version you choose to watch, I hope that you'll enjoy the tale of an old curmudgeon seeing the reason for the season and bringing hope and joy to a family in need.
13. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
I'm sure you've heard the popular song that tells the tale of a red-nosed outcast who saves Christmas, but the movie is also a must-see this time of year. The little felt-looking characters instantly remind me of Christmas. Enjoy this movie with your best friends by your side and let the Christmas celebrating begin!
14. "Home Alone Two: Lost In New York"
First and foremost, I recommend that you watch John Mulaney's bit on this movie. Secondly, I recommend that you order a large cheese pizza just for you while you watch this Christmas classic sequel. As far as sequels go, this is one of the better ones where we get to see Kevin again out-smart the Wet Bandits and save Christmas. So do yourself a favor and watch this movie ya' filthy animal!
Will Ferrel brought joy to all of our hearts when he played Buddy the Elf who travels from the North Pole to New York City to meet his dad at Christmastime. After this movie, we'll forever be quoting the iconic lines and laughing out loud at the goofy humor that Buddy brings to our screen.
16. "The Santa Clause"
Who knew that Tim Allen would make such a good Santa Clause after accidentally pushing the previous Santa off his roof? I love this movie and continue to watch it year after year. It's a family favorite and has a pretty decent sequel, which brings me to my next item...
17. "The Santa Clause Two"
In this sequel, Santa must find a wife before Christmas or else he ceases to become Santa. As ridiculous as it may sound, it makes for a pretty entertaining movie. (Disclaimer, the third installment of this series doesn't make the cut because let's face it: Jack Frost just didn't bring it to the screen). Be sure to check this one out this holiday season as well.
18. "Frosty the Snowman"
We've all heard the song about a snowman who comes to life with the aid of Christmas magic. This cartoon favorite tells the same story and brings joy and friendship to our screens. If you're in the mood to watch a Christmas classic, but don't have a lot of time on your hands, this is the movie for you. It'll put you in the Christmas spirit without taking up too much of your time which is perfect for the holiday season.
19. "The Year Without A Santa Clause"
Now the real plot of this movie is that Santa becomes too sick to do Christmas and it must be carried out by his elves, but I find that the real stars of this movie are the Miser Brothers. Heat Miser and Snow Miser both have musical numbers that will be stuck in your head for days. This is another movie animated in the style of Rudolph, but it's not nearly as common as its counterpart. I highly recommend that, if you haven't already seen it, to check this movie out!
20. "Christmas With The Kranks"
Tim Allen makes the list again in a holiday comedy where a suburban family attempts to skip Christmas only to have to pull it all together last-minute for their daughter's surprise homecoming. You'll laugh out loud at Jamie Lee Curtis alongside Allen as they try to navigate not buying a Christmas tree and refusing the annual donation to the police department only to need both organizations' assistance in the end. It's lighthearted and amusing and will warm your heart by the end with the holiday spirit.
21. "The Little Drummer Boy"
Somehow I almost forgot this one, but it's been a favorite of mine for a long time. I believe my family still owns the VHS of this movie which tells you how old it is. Regardless, this short little movie tells the story of the drummer who plays his instrument for the newborn baby Jesus. It's heartwarming and short, and the perfect way to introduce your young ones to the Biblical Christmas story.
22. "A Season For Miracles"
This is another Hallmark favorite in my family's household. It tells the story of a young aunt and her niece and nephew that are in her care. They're on the run from the law as their real mother is unfit to take care of them, but the aunt can't stand to see them under the care of the state. In the meantime, they take up residence in an abandoned home under an alias as the deceased homeowner's returned family. Of course, there's a love story involved, but all of the loose ends get tied up in the end and Christmas is saved. If you manage to find a copy of this one, watch it immediately and also invite me over because it's a really good one.
23. "The Christmas Shoes"
Interested in crying your heart out this Christmas? Well, let me present to you Rob Lowe and the son of a cancer patient who only wants to buy his mom a pair of shoes to dance in for Christmas. I read the book in middle school and vividly remember trying to wipe away tears during the middle of fifth period. This Christmas tale really depicts the true meaning of Christmas and will warm your heart days after you've watched it.
24. "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
If you're a fan of Henry Winkler, I recommend you check out this Hallmark original. In this movie, Winkler, who is not a fan of his daughter's current boyfriend, takes in a friendly face that he meets on his flight home. Over time, he tries to win over his daughter to this new man and kick out the old beau. It's funny and sweet, and should definitely make it on your holiday watch list.
I haven't watched this movie in a long time, but it's definitely a good one. A little girl finds a reindeer that she believes to been Santa's and attempts to nurse it back to health, against her father's wishes. This isn't one of the more common Christmas movies so if you're looking for a different addition to your list, I recommend you check this out.
And with that, I conclude my Christmas movie recommendations. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday celebrated with those you love, and take a little bit of time to yourself during this busy time of the year. Merry Christmas!