There are hundreds of Christmas movies, with new ones made each year, and only so much time in the holiday season.
Every year, there’s a lot of debate over when the Christmas season starts. Some prefer to start celebrating and decorating immediately after Halloween, bypassing November and Thanksgiving, while others wish to start enjoying the season later, waiting until December to do so.
But no matter when you decide to start celebrating the season, the odds are that watching Christmas movies are part of your celebration. There are hundreds of Christmas movies, with new ones made each year, and only so much time in the holiday season. It can be hard to narrow down your top choices to watch from all of these options.
Fortunately, some of the work has been done for you, and hopefully, you can find a Christmas favorite from the list below.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
For so many people, holidays bring not only joy and happiness, but chaos and stress. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation captures Christmas craziness, as well as how your family can drive you insane, perfectly. Clark Griswold is determined to have the perfect Christmas with his family, and everything is going according to plan… at least until wild Cousin Eddy shows up in his travel trailer, his Christmas lights disturb his grouchy neighbors, and the bonus he was expecting from work doesn’t exactly meet his expectations. It’s hilarious, touching, and all too real, and will make the perfect Christmas movie this season.
Home Alone (1 & 2)
Home Alone and its sequel, Home Alone: Lost in New York, are two of the most iconic Christmas movies in history. In both movies, young Kevin McCallister is supposed to go on vacation with his family but is mistakenly separated from them and left to fend for himself, while also fending off burglars Harry and Marv. Kevin’s antics, plans, and creative troublemaking are a joy to watch on screen, and you have to root for him as he beats the bad guys over and over again. The Home Alone movies are the perfect mix of funny and sentimental, reminding us that family is what truly makes the holidays special.
A Christmas Story
One of the most well-known, classic Christmas movies is A Christmas Story, which tells the story of Ralph and his quest for the perfect Christmas present: a Red Ryder BB Gun. It’s an older movie but has held up over the years, and time has allowed it to spawn countless recognizable symbols and quotes, from “You’ll shoot your eye out!”, the pink rabbit suit, a tongue stuck to a frozen pole, and the leg lamp in the window. A Christmas Story shows a different, less-than-perfect side of the family, but there’s a reason why it’s on TV so often during the holiday season. If you haven’t yet seen it, make sure to carve out some time for it.
Will Ferrel is one of the most beloved actors of all time, and he cements this role in the movie Elf. Ferrel plays Buddy, a human who was raised as an elf, who leaves the North Pole for the first time to visit New York City in search of his birth father. He is incredibly naïve and hilariously clueless, but his joy for Christmas and the holiday season is infectious to everyone around him.
As he gets to know his birth family better and falls in love, Buddy still draws inspiration from the life he lived with Santa and the love he has for Christmas. Watching Elf has turned into a family tradition for many, and putting syrup on spaghetti has become a well-known symbol of the movie as well. It’s no wonder it’s often listed as one of the best Christmas movies of all time.
There are lots of other movies that didn’t make the top four but deserve an honorable mention. Several of these are classic Christmas films: The Grinch, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and The Polar Express. Kids especially will enjoy these fun, beloved movies that have spawned world-famous characters, been beloved throughout generations, and are filled with Christmas spirit.
Two more Christmas movies that deserve a watch this season are Christmas With the Kranks and Four Christmases. In the former, a married couple tries to skip out on their Christmas-crazed neighborhood’s holiday traditions for a tropical vacation, and in the latter, a couple spends Christmas with all four of their divorced parents. Both movies have a funny, unique interpretation of the holiday season, and receive an honorable mention.
Christmas is often referred to as “the most wonderful time of the year,” and there are countless movies that capture the joy and happiness of the holiday season. All these movies have been narrowed down to a few of the best, so this holiday season, whether you’re looking for fun, modern, classic, or funny, try one of the Christmas movies above.