Best Christmas Movies

Christmas reindeer

Your halls are already decked and the tree has been trimmed. Your Christmas decorations are on the wall and around the house and when night falls, your lights are bright and burning in the snowy night. You’re ready to really kick the holiday cheer into high gear. It’s time to have a Christmas movie marathon. This is the perfect Christmas party—have your guests bring their favorite flick or vote beforehand on what movies you should watch.

Almost every channel is going to be doling out their version of the Christmas movie, from Christmas episodes of sci-fi shows, to the cheesiest of cheesy made for television Christmas movies on networks like Lifetime. You want the classics. Set your DVR now to make sure that you catch all of the X-mas flicks you want to watch before the season winds down. Alternatively, start checking Netflix now—though they’re bound to add more Christmas movies before the holiday arrives.

Home Alone

A perennial classic, though perhaps not one of the most “Christmas-y” movies out there. It’s a favorite of anyone who was a kid in the 90’s and definitely worth a watch during the Christmas season, even if just to feel happy that your family never forgot about you. It’s got action, it’s got adventure, it’s got heart. If you’ve never seen a Home Alone movie, now is the time.  Watch this first and best rendition, with all sorts of classic Christmas hijinks.

Elf

One of the newest movies on this list, Elf is also one of the funniest and has a great message about believing in Christmas and believing in the people around you. It’s fun for all ages, with slapstick for the kids and enough goofiness to keep even the most disinterested millennial smiling.

A Christmas Carol

Might we suggest the Muppet version? There are plenty of renditions of this Charles Dickens novella and which one you choose depends on your mood. There’s the slightly silly but still poignant Muppet version or the truly terrifying Patrick Stewart version, or the brand new animated movie put out by Disney, starring Jim Carrey. There are plenty of other ones you can snag, as well. Maybe watch a few different ones and compare?

The Nightmare before Christmas

What happens when all the ghouls that make up Halloween find out about Christmas? This is the perfect post-Halloween, pre-Christmas movie, and not just because the animation and story are great. It’s about love, redemption, and finding the holiday spirit.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Another Christmas classic that almost everyone has seen. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth another visit. The holiday season can get so wrapped up in Christmas decorations and buying the perfect gift and making the house look beautiful, that we forget that, despite our religious beliefs, Christmas is about family and good will. That’s what Charlie Brown’s Christmas special is all about.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

There truly is nothing better than the original Claymation Christmas classics. Rudolph’s story is one of perseverance and love, even though his fellow reindeer rejected him. It’s not just a story about Christmas, it’s a story about not being afraid to be who you are and knowing that your talents will be recognized, even if, at first, they are misunderstood.

Frosty the Snowman

Another Claymation short and the source of a favorite Christmas tune, this movie is sure to be loved by children and adults alike. You don’t have to be a child to appreciate Frosty and his great story.

The Year without a Santa Claus

Do you remember that year? Santa got a cold and was just too sick to take presents out to the girls and boys. While this isn’t one of the most popular of the Claymation set, it is definitely one of the most charming, with St. Nick venturing out to Middle America, where it never snows, to rescue two of his daftest elves and poor little Vixen, the reindeer.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

There are two versions of this movie you can watch. If you want the one that is practically ripped straight from the pages of Dr. Seuss, there is the original, animated, half an hour short that is, of course, a favorite. But there is also the live-action version, which tells some of the Grinch’s backstory and amps up the entire movie. Both are good, but if you’re going to watch the Jim Carrey, live-action one, probably start with the cartoon to get a sense of the story.

The Santa Clause

When Tim Allen’s character kills Santa, he’s enlisted in the Santa service. He has to become the next Santa Claus and begins putting on weight and learning the tricks of the trade in order to become the jolly old elf. There are some bumps in the road, of course.

A Christmas Story

While somehow not a favorite among some Christmas movie buffs, this tale is as funny as it is poignant, and TNT even runs a twenty-four hour marathon of this movie across Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It’s a brilliant tale of just what it’s like to be a kid during the holidays, with plenty of laughs and plenty of heart. Don’t skip this movie!

Miracle on 34th Street

For the little kid in all of us who desperately wants Santa Claus to be real—even if we found out, early on, that Santa was actually just your parents and not actually a magic man who came down the chimney to delivery presents to good little girls and boys. This movie is the ultimate for installing holiday cheer. Use it to open your holiday season and to top off your Christmas movie marathon!