When I think of the holidays, I always grow excited to watch Christmas movies. I have many I always attempt to cover, though some of them trickle in throughout the year. However, most Christmas are ones I feel I can only view them during December. No matter how down I am feeling, these have raised my spirits. They continue to make me laugh year after year. I always quote them as I sit and enjoy them in company or without company making these classic must watch films during the holiday season. Below are ten classic Christmas movies that have warmed my heart this year, despite being able to call every shot.
One of the movies that made Christmas for me growing up is none other than Christmas Vacation. Every year my mother and I would watch this on NBC. Now, this particular classic airs on various networks throughout December as it should. The reason Christmas Vacation works after all these years is that it embraces the insanity of the holidays with numerous family members. We have all had to endure family members that make us crazy, but at the end of the day, they are family, and that trumps everything. They might be the jolliest nuts this side of the nuthouse, but they love each other, and that is what is important.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
For years, thanks to bratty cats, one of the Christmas trees in my home is the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. They tend not to mess with it thankfully. Some might think merely having this tree as their only Christmas tree is crazy, but this tree says way more than any seven-foot Christmas tree could say. As Linus points out, the tree isn’t so awful. The tree needs some tender love and care. This cartoon morphs this tiny tree into something virtually impossible, but it’s the thought that counts. Linus reminds everyone that they need to embrace Charlie Brown and tell him the true meaning of Christmas.
From the moment that we all first saw Home Alone, we knew we could take out robbers if our parents ever left us home alone. After all, Kevin had taught us how to do so with various objects around the house. The plausibility of an entire family getting on a plane to then realize that they had left their child at home, though, isn’t exactly going to happen these days. There are too many ways to communicate with one another now. Technological development does not make this cherished classic from childhood any less amazing to watch. Plus, it isn’t Christmas until Marv gets an iron to the face.
Elf is one of those movies that quickly became a holiday must watch for all families. Throughout the year, people quote this film. In many ways, if it were not so Christmas oriented, I would find myself watching this one quite more often than not. However, I do try to keep this one to the holidays as it reminds others that sometimes they have to believe. We find ourselves not believing in ourselves or others from time to time, but if we put some faith in each other, something greater can come of it.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Although Phoebe Buffay might disagree, It’s a Wonderful Life is by far the ultimate Christmas movie. The crazy part is this isn’t the happiest go-lucky film most people remember it by. We watch George Bailey go from contemplating suicide to recognizing the true meaning of Christmas. He realizes that the world would not be a better place if he were not a part of it and that he did not mess up anything at all. He has enriched the lives of those around him in more ways than he could ever imagine. As Clarice takes him on a journey of self-discovery, It’s a Wonderful Life reminds us it is right in the world, and part of that is each one of us.
A Chipmunk Christmas
Growing up, A Chipmunk Christmas would air on the USA Network every Christmas morning. I’m not sure why they quit playing this special because it’s by far one of the best ones out there. The Chipmunks record their famous Christmas song in this one but also get invited to play a concert. They even want Alvin to bring his echo grand harmonica with him, but he has given it to a sick child that might not make it through Christmas, Tommy. Although Dave does not understand why Alvin needs money for himself all of a sudden, by the end, he’s proud of him as well as the other chipmunks, as is the surprise of the film.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
I do not go a Christmas without watching a version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Typically I even watch every version of this special. However, the Jim Carey one holds a special place in my heart. Though in a way, it is kind of weird to think about The Grinch went to be on his own again because of bullying and that the mayor is the one who drove him away because The Grinch never thought he would end up with his woman. Cindy Lou Who, of course, reminds everyone in every version of this how important it is to bring everyone together at Christmas time. And the truth is the older we get, the more we can relate to The Grinch merely wanting to stay at home with his dog Max. Not so much ruining everyone else’s Christmas, but hey, his heart grows three sizes before it’s over.
There are so many version of A Christmas Carol it isn’t very easy to pick just one. However, in this one, Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a selfish television executive trying to recreate the classic telling extremely. He is visited by three Christmas spirits to make him see the error of his ways and that there are more important things in life besides money. Yes, money might make the world go around, but it does not replace the time we could spend with our loved ones. Nothing goes as Frank plans, but just like all various of A Christmas Carol, that is for the best. Besides, can it be Christmas until you have been yelled at by Frank?
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
This Christmas classic has gotten a lot of flack in the past couple of years for all its bullying. I cannot help but want to watch it every year despite that fact. Do I think Santa is a mean now? Yeah. Is Donner mean for not letting Rudolph by himself? Yeah. I think this one is a great tool, though, to open up a line of discussion. After all, they should have accepted Rudolph and Hermey all along. They were unique, and that is okay. Granted, by the end of the film, everyone accepts them. Remind your kids that they do not have to do anything for that acceptance, and it can remain a holiday classic in your home too.
The Santa Clause
Tim Allen’s transformation into Santa Claus remains one of my all-time favorite Christmas classics. Plus, the idea of Santa falling off the roof and the next person that puts on his jacket becoming Santa is creative. Thankfully, Scott Calvin (Allen) saves the day. Although his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd) is the only one who believes that he is Santa. Through a lot of trials and tribulations, Scott manages to make believers out of everyone again in this heartwarming tale with many quotable moments for years to come.
Are any of these movies on your must-watch holiday list? Are you looking for some Christmas alternatives or some cheesy Christmas goodness? Make sure to check out my other holiday lists to keep you in the mood for the next couple of days. Also, let us know your favorite Christmas classic you must watch every season. And let us know the new ones you have discovered this holiday season that instantly became a classic for you.
Michelle Patterson prides herself on her random pop culture knowledge. She finds great joy in all things horror related and tries to enjoy movies on a weekly basis. If she’s not at the theater, she can be found at a convention or a concert. To connect with her more, check out her Instagram page, Twitter Page, Facebook Page, or her website.