Our Favorite Christmas Movies, Why They Matter, and Yours Don’t

This list of favorite Christmas movies has been compiled by Erin Ellis and Aidan Reilly, in an attempt to encapsulate the holiday spirit. These films have spanned generations and filmmaking techniques that have shaped the Christmas experience for the world.  Now(in no particular order) our top 10 Christmas films.

A Christmas Story: This film released in 1983 is filled with quotable scenes, imagery, and double dog dares. Based around Christmas in the late 30s this film follows the reminiscing Ralphie Parker on his most memorable Christmas. Young Ralphie tries every angle to get the coveted Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, but is met with disapproving “You’ll shoot your eye out!” A fantastic tale that will make you bust a gut laughing so hard. If you haven’t seen it you might as well get your fill for 24 hours on Christmas Day from TBS.


Miracle on 34th Street (1947): Edmund Gwenn captures the epitome of Santa Claus in a black and white film featuring Natalie Wood. This creative tale captures the beliefs of children all over the world, showing them that dreams really do come true. Natalie Wood plays a young girl named Susan Walker whose mother, Doris Walker, has a firm disbelief in Santa Claus. Throughout the movie, Kris Kringle continuously proves how real Santa Claus is to Susan’s mother. By the end of Miracle on 34th, Kris proves that Santa is real by presenting Susan and her family with a house. This movie triumphs the 1994 version because of it’s black and white spin and classic old movie feel.


Cartoon Grinch: Dr. Seuss’ imaginative story of a green scrooge despising, stealing, and then loving Christmas hit the silver screen in 1966. A lovely cartoon that reminds us all that Christmas is not just about getting fantastic presents, but about the people we spend it with. You can catch this colorful cartoon on Cartoon Network on December 20th at 11am.


How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000): This movie really comes to life with heavy makeup, costuming, and of course, Jim Carrey. Cindy Lou Who teaches the Grinch how to love others and the spirit of Christmas to mend his small, broken heart. While the historic cartoon begins this adventure in Whoville, this version amplifies the meaning of love and true Christmas spirit.


Elf: Directed by Jon Favreau(Iron Man, Swingers) and released in 2003 features Will Ferrell is the ever optimistic Buddy. Buddy an orphan human raised by elves at the north pole has spent his entire life making toys for Santa Claus, but when he finds out the truth about his father he travels to the big apple and attempts to spread Christmas cheer.


Home Alone (1990): Macaulay Culkin stars as the family troublemaker in this holiday must-see. Being eight years old and the youngest of nine kids, Kevin McCallister is left at home while his family leaves for Christmas Vacation. While Kevin’s family is out of town for Christmas, two goofy thugs try to invade and rob him. Being the clever riot that he is, many booby traps and pranks are pulled these two robbers to keep them away from the large home that the McCallister’s reside in. This movie is famous for the iconic wide open jaw drop and one hand on each side of the face and can be seen on ABC Family on Christmas Eve at 5:00pm!


Charlie Brown: Released in 1965 this Charles Schulz original cartoon based on the popular peanuts strip. All your favorite characters make appearances as the woeful Charlie Brown attempts to find the true meaning of Christmas. He’s accepted the role of director for the Christmas pageant and is constantly frustrated with the goofing off of his cast, only to be redeemed by little Linus’ soliloquy of the true meaning of Christmas.


The Santa Clause (1994): This 1994 comedy directed by John Pasquin has formed it’s way into a trilogy with Tim Allen as the famous Santa Clause. Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is a typical dad of a young boy named Charlie. On Christmas Eve Scott and Charlie hear Santa upon the roof and capture his attention, but they end up startling him and he tumbles down. Scott puts on Santa’s coat without realizing that when you put on the coat, you become Old Saint Nick. This film shows the magic that a typical man brings to the holiday of Christmas.


Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, released for television in 1964 this classic stop motion film tells the story of one of the most well known Christmas carols. The poor reindeer is cast out of his society, and joins forces with a misfit elf who dreams of becoming a dentist. In the end Rudolph is praised for his unique gift and saves Christmas by lighting the way for Santa’s sleigh.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989): John Hughes has done it again, with the help of Clark Griswold of course. It’s Christmas time and the Griswold’s are preparing for a seasonal celebration of fun, but things never run smooth in this family. Clark’s continual bad luck is elevated by his obnoxious family guests. Knowing that Christmas is due soon, he keep on trucking with holiday spirit. This movie can be watched on ABC Family on Christmas day at 5:00pm!