As a follow-up to my 12 Must-Watch Hallmark Movies, this is my top 12 must-watch Christmas movies. No, Die Hard did not make the list. Just because the movie is set during Christmas doesn’t make it a Christmas movie. Deal with it. Love ya.
This list is based on my personal preference, along with a very official survey I conducted on Facebook. Super legit.
#12: Holiday in the Wild (2019)
So, if you know me, you know I love two things. Christmas and elephants. This movie is about those two things, so naturally, it made it to my list – the end.
#11: A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
“I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.”
Charlie Brown is feeling pretty depressed. He can’t seem to get in the spirit of Christmas because he doesn’t understand its true meaning. What he does know is that he’s sick of the commercialism of Christmas. Realizing he doesn’t have to let commercialism ruin his own Christmas, he finds and decorates the saddest little tree he could find. After the kids give the tree a little love, they gather around and sing around the tree. It starts to snow, and all is well in Charlie Brown’s world.
#10: Elf (2003)
A toddler is accidentally dropped off at the North Pole and is raised by Santa’s elves. And now he’s an adult – a very large adult among the small elves. He decides that he doesn’t fit in and sets off to find his father in New York. His father is a super uptight business man who never knew he had a son. It’s funny, witty, and Christmasy.
#9: A Christmas Story (1983)
All Ralphie Parker wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder air rifle. He spends most of the movie avoiding a couple of mean ol’ bullies and daydreaming about said rifle that no one wants to gift him – not even the mall Santa. (Rude!)
You’ll have to check out this nostalgic comedy to see if Ralphie gets his gift from his cranky dad and adoring mother,
#8: Home Alone (1990)
This is a classic to be watched any time of the year.
After the entire family leaves for the airport without Kevin, an 8-year-old, he wakes up to an empty house. He assumes his wish from the night before, to spend Christmas alone, came true. He has a good ol’ time doing all things he’s not allowed to do, like eat all the junk food. But the fun stops when he realizes that two men are planning to rob his house. Comedy ensues when this 8-year old sets booby traps all over the house and protects his family home.
#7: The Polar Express
This animated classic has a magical train, golden tickets, adventure, and Tom Hanks. And that’s how you spell awesome.
#6: Jingle Jangle (2020)
This is a shiny new Christmas musical on Netflix. It’s so musical, and I love it. It’s about a toymaker who’s trusty apprentice betrays him – not so trusty after all – and steals all of his inventions. His granddaughter comes into his life and reignites his belief in magic and himself. The costumes, singing, and dancing are all on point. If you like musicals, and even if you don’t, this is a must-watch.
#5: A Christmas Carol (1951)
If you haven’t seen the movie or the play, you’ve clearly been living under a rock. Go watch it. It’s about Ebenezer Scrooge (a wealthy businessman) being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future for being just that, a scrooge.
#4: The Santa Clause (1994)
A divorced dad is magically transported to the North Pole after he accidentally kills a man in a Santa suit. (OOPS!) Once there, the elves explain that Scott must take Santa’s place before the next Christmas arrives. He doesn’t believe it and thinks he just had a really weird dream, but over the next several months, he gains a lot of weight and grows an inexplicably long, white beard.
#3: Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Santa goes to court for claiming to be the real Santa. His mental health and authenticity are questioned. It’s the trial of the century. Belief vs. evidence. Are they really going to commit Santa to a mental health institution? You’ll have to watch to find out.
#2: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
A do-gooder wishes he had never been born. An angel is sent to earth to grant George his wish. George starts to realize how many lives he has changed and impacted and how they would be different if he was never there. It’s a heart-warming story about purpose and appreciating how blessed you are for what you have.
#1: The Grinch (2018) & How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966 & 2000)
All three versions made the list. It’s Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and it’s the best story out there. If I absolutely had to pick from the three, it would be the 2000 version with Jim Carey because he KILLS it.
If you’ve never watched the movie, you’ve lived a sad, sad life, and this must be corrected immediately. Kindly go acquaint yourself with the Grinch, his dog, Max, and the Whos of Whoville. Please and thank you.
And there you have it, the top Christmas movies of all time. Which one is your favorite?