Sure, Christmas gifts and spending time with family is great and all, but we tend to overlook the true star of Christmas: the movies. There is something about the way a Christmas movie makes you feel that gets you into a holiday spirit so extreme that it is impossible to shake. Here are our Top 10 Favorite Christmas movies of all time.
1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Whether the original cartoon version or the Jim Carey remake (jury is still out of the 2018 Grinch movie), How the Grinch Stole Christmas never fails to bring the holiday cheer. Discovering the true meaning of Christmas, the Grinch tells the eternally funny tale of a Grinch who’s heart grows three sizes with the help of the festive Whos of Whoville.
2. Santa Claus is Coming to Town: A classic, Santa Claus is Coming to Town never fails to cheer me up. Hopper the Penguin, the Winter Warlock, are some of the best characters in any movie. The love story between Kris Kringle and Jessica is the icing on the cake in this movie from 1970.
3. Elf: Elf is one of those Christmas films that is pretty much universally known. Who hasn’t watched Elf? Will Ferrell plays Buddy, a human who was raised on the North Pole and believes that he’s an Elf. When he finds out that he’s a human, he goes to New York to find his dad, and build a relationship with him. He ends up building a relationship with his half brother and falling in love with a woman. Will Ferrell provides tons of laughs, and the movie is just really fun to watch.
4. The Polar Express: The Polar Express is a pretty weird film. It centers around an unnamed boy, that did not write a letter to Santa Claus that year, who wakes up in the middle of the night to find a train outside his house. The conductor offers him a chance to tell Santa in person what he wants, and the boy agrees. He boards the train and makes friends along the way to the North Pole. The movie is still well remembered and watched today because of it’s themes of Christmas spirit and belief, and it’s slick animation.
5. Home Alone: This classic comedy is as much a Christmas fixture as caroling and lights are. Home Alone tells the tale of eight-year-old Kevin McCallister’s (Macaulay Culkin) antics as he is left to fend for himself, having been forgotten by his family on their holiday trip. His outlandish contraptions and ingenious plans help him thwart the schemes of two conmen, portrayed by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. Adults and children alike are sure to enjoy this film.
6. The Santa Clause: The Santa Clause, starring Tim Allen, is absolutely outstanding. After Santa Claus falls off of his roof, Scott Calvin transforms in Santa Claus, growing fat with a white beard. His son, Charlie, urges him to embrace this role, while Scott’s ex-wife and new psychiatrist husband criticizes his choices to “pretend” to be Santa Claus. The Santa Clause continues on with two other movies, neither coming close to the cheerful movie that is the original.
7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Another classic, this 1964 special, highlights everything Christmas-y and wrong about today’s society. An outcast, Rudolph befriends another misfit, Hermie the Elf, who wants to be a dentist. Dodging the Abominable Snowman, Rudolph and Hermie venture out to the Island of Misfit Toys in this feel-good classic.
8. A Christmas Story: We have all seen the scene where Schwartz is dared to stick his tongue on the frozen pole and being left outside by his classmates. The fear induced by this scene, the fear created by the Mall Santa scene are ingrained in our memories forever. Highlighting a funny approach to a Christmas, Ralphie and his family navigate a Christmas, relatable to us all.
9. A Charlie Brown Christmas: A timeless animation, A Charlie Brown Christmas follows the Peanuts cast as they help Charlie Brown discover the true meaning of Christmas. Struggling to shed his winter blues, Charlie Brown learns to celebrate the biblical origin of Christmas through friendship, carols, and original tunes including “Christmas Time is Here.” The 1965 Christmas Special is beloved by many generations and is certain to make your Christmas brighter.
10. Holiday in Handcuffs: This lesser known film airs on Freeform pretty much every year, never failing to bring me to putting on my pajamas and watching Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez experience the strangest Christmas ever. Trudie kidnaps David when her boyfriend breaks up with her, and, not wanting to disappoint her parents on Christmas, brings David to her family’s home, portraying him as her long-time boyfriend.