There are more Christmas movies than grains of sand on a beach or so it seems. Each year brings another round of made-for-TV holiday specials and seasonal movies released in the theaters. Plus, there are all the ones from years past.
It can be hard to narrow down your list for a Christmas movie marathon. Here are some of our favorite holiday movies.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
As the saying goes, the original is the best! This sweet little gem focuses on a single working mom and her daughter. Both mom and daughter are practical and Santa Claus is not a part of their holiday cheer. Enter a sweet gentleman with “white whiskers” and a dashing lawyer who help to bring joy and magic into Christmas. While there have been remakes, this one has stood the test of time.
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
This one features a handsome sailor who falls head over heels for a reserved, and already “engaged” writer. The twists and turns that this plot takes are a little mind boggling. A borrowed baby, a semi-fake fiancé and an overprotective Hungarian chef all figure prominently in the film. But the post-World War II patriotism and the romance of black and white film make the outlandishness worth it!
Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, classic Christmas songs and barely-there plots create movie magic. These movies are a package deal since they have the same movie star (Crosby) and follow similar story arcs.
The jist: a performer buys/visits a rural “inn,” creates a floor show featuring extravagant costumes, falls for the leading female and nicely wraps everything up with a bow. But the songs along the way…*sigh.* Nobody croons “White Christmas” quite like Bing. Note: White Christmas is available for streaming on Netflix.
The Santa Clause (1994)
Tim Allen is hysterical as a divorced dad who accidentally becomes Santa. Watching him transform into the jolly old elf, while trying to maintain his normal life and relationships, is funny and heartwarming. With a few sequels, you could make a whole day of this series!
“Santa! I know him!” One movie, seemingly endless memes and funny sayings. Will Ferrell is classic as the extra large elf Buddy trying to connect with his biological family in the scary world of New York City. Just try not to laugh or cringe, at Buddy’s antics and adventures.
These three made-for-TV specials are classics for kids and adults alike. The stop motion animation, the songs and the Whos down in Whoville are touchstones of the holidays. Catch these short movies on TV through the Christmas season or buy the boxed set!
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
The sad little tree and Linus’ retelling of the first Christmas are beautiful reminders of the simple things in life and a way to escape the endless commercialism of the season. Charlie Brown, Lucy and the whole Peanuts gang are a major part of American pop culture and this movie might be the ultimate Peanuts experience.
A Christmas Story (1983)
Where to begin with this one?
The leg lamp.
The pink bunny suit.
The tongue stuck to the lamp post.
No, it’s the Santa pushing Ralphie down the slide at the department store.
This poor kid tries so hard to win, but gets shut down at almost every turn. A Christmas Story is a slightly raunchy, totally relatable movie for those of us with zany (in a good way) families.
If you were looking for a Christmas movie that involves raw sewage, fire and crazy relatives, this is the one for you. One unbelievable thing happens after another, inducing shudders and laughter as you watch. That light display makes it (almost) all worth it though.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Yes, this will be playing on repeat on at least one channel all day long on Christmas Eve, and it will probably make a few appearances before that as well.
And for good reason: It’s a Wonderful Life is almost universally beloved as THE movie of the holiday season. It’s a story of love, self-sacrifice, redemption and community.
The incomparable Jimmy Stewart gets you right in the heart with his portrayal of a man who has given up his dreams to boost the dreams of others and who has seemingly lost everything. This classic film is the perfect package and definitely one to gift to yourself this holiday season!
Which Christmas movie will you be watching this holiday season?