The Christmas season is coming to an end, but it's not too late to get some last-minute movies in! Unfortunately, this year didn't look like a typical Christmas. While we can't have any big Christmas parties or family gatherings, we can still celebrate at home! Christmas is the best time for nostalgia, and we could all use some warm and fuzzy feelings as we wrap up a tough year and enter a new one that hasn't been proven any calmer, either.
As a kid who grew up in the 2000s, I can think of some of my favorite staple Christmas movies. If you're looking for recommendations or just a walk down memory lane, check out the list below.
1. "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" (1964)
The original "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a beloved classic. This is a must-watch every year. Between Rudolph, Hermey, the iconic songs, and villains, this movie can't be beaten. For so many, when we sing Rudolph we think of this movie and the island of lost toys.
2. "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" (1998)
The lesser-known Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer is still a classic for a lot of 2000s kids. While it's not as popular as the 1964 version, this movie still offers great music, quirky characters, and frosty villains. I recently rewatched this movie after years of not seeing it, and I'd definitely recommend it. It's perfect for a pre-Christmas celebration.
3. "Frosty the Snowman"
Another classic, can't forget "Frosty the Snowman!" This movie had its highs and lows: the singing, the devastation when you think he's melted forever. I watched this every year growing up, and I still hope that someday I'll build a snowman that comes to life. Move out of the way, Olaf, Frosty was the OG!
4. "The Year Without Santa Claus"
Who could forget "The Christmas Without a Santa Claus?" Santa's origin story fascinated me as a kid. I loved watching the clay animated figures dance, sing, and watch the evolution of how Christmas came to be (according to this movie). The meisers are iconic, and many people my age still know their songs by heart!
5. "A Charlie Brown Christmas"
The months of October-December guaranteed Charlie Brown and his dog on our TVs. Whether it was for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or in this case, Christmas, these films shaped a lot of our holiday experiences. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was perhaps the most popular. Everyone remembers the poor, tiny tree Charlie Brown had. The heartwarming movie is both nostalgic and maintains quality after all this time.
6. "A Very Minty Christmas"
Before the era of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, we had Minty. This is the version of My Little Pony a lot of early 2000s kids grew up on. Minty had her own Christmas movie, and it was fantastic. In it, Minty accidentally breaks the Christmas Candy Cane and has to fly to the North Pole to make sure Santa can arrive in Ponyville in time for Christmas. There's singing, ponies, and lots of socks. What more could you ask for in a Christmas movie?
7. "The Search for Santa Paws"
I remember watching this movie when it came out, and I fell in love with it immediately. It has all the best Christmas movie tropes: Santa appearances, New York City, Orphans. Look at that dog, how could you not love him? This movie is entertaining, fun, nostalgic, and perfect if you're watching with younger kids.
8. "Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas"
This movie, based on the show "Good Luck Charlie" follows the beloved Duncan family on their family vacation. Lots of kids who grew up with Good Luck Charlie put this movie up there with some of the best Christmas movies. With the usual charm of the show, this movie was even better than most of its usual episodes. We got emotional moments, family turmoil, Christmas magic, and the announcement of Amy's pregnancy.
9. "The Polar Express"
If you didn't watch this movie every year in your classroom Christmas party as a kid, was it even Christmas? I have vivid memories of hot chocolate in paper cups and frosted sugar cookies as teachers put on the "Polar Express." This movie was a tradition we really had no choice in, but one we loved anyway. It's so popular, in fact, that even today kids have created memes based on some of the characters.
10. "Merry Christmas, Drake and Josh"
I can't make this list without --dare I say it--the best Christmas movie of all time. Another movie based on a show, Drake and Josh are threatened with jail if they don't give Mary Alice and her foster family the best Christmas ever. Is the plot ridiculous and nonsensical? Sure. But that's what makes it a Christmas movie. With beloved characters like Helen, Megan, and Crazy Steve making frequent appearances, Christmas Carols, and cheese-snow...I don't think there's any other Christmas movie that comes close to "Merry Christmas, Drake and Josh."
ELF is a must-watch every year. It's hilarious, it's heartwarming, and it made me want to try spaghetti and maple syrup. If you can't recite ELF quotes off the top of your head, I just don't want to be your friend. A human-elf goes to New York City for the first time to find his biological father and ends up saving Christmas? I can't think of a more perfect plot. I will forever associate Pennies from Heaven with Christmas because of this movie alone.
While you're celebrating this year, remember to stay safe and healthy. Movies are a great way to do this, whether it be Christmas or any other genre. As 2020 comes to a close, the best thing we can do is take care of ourselves and others.