From the classics to the less conventional, we’ve rounded up all our favorite holiday hits and there’s something for every member of the family to unwrap…
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, and all those other Christmas claymation movies — I don’t know how Christmas animations work today, but if it’s not in claymation, it’s not an animated movie worthy of Christmas.
A Charlie Brown Christmas — Okay, so I take back what I said about animated Christmas movies having to be in claymation. “Charlie Brown” is the exception. It was the first prime-time animated TV special and it truly stands the test of time.
A Christmas Story — Watch out Angelina Jolie’s right leg at the Academy Awards, this is the original show-stopping appendage for the ages. “A Christmas Story” is about a boy who just wants a red BB gun for the holidays and tries to convince his parents and teachers it’s the perfect gift ever. It’s like you don’t watch this movie all year, and then as soon as your local CVS starts selling candy canes you end up watching it 4 times in one day and quoting every line.
Love Actually — Set during Christmas, this British romantic comedy follows the love lives of various interconnected stories and I love that it just gets straight to the point with that sentimental airport scene. It pretty much cues you in to what kind of film this in and who it’s for—if you’re smiling just a minute into this scene, then this is a movie for you. Another reason to watch: “Love Actually” is nearing its 10th anniversary, so put on some Pointer Sisters and dance like Hugh Grant to celebrate!
The Santa Clause — Tim Allen stars at Scott Calvin who stumbles into the role of Santa Clause after the current S.C. stumbles off his roof. This movie also marked the first time I ever wanted to truly be one of Santa’s elves, specifically from the branch of E.L.F.S. (Elite Liberating Flight Squad) because they had jet packs, natch.
It’s a Wonderful Life — You can’t go wrong with a classic and “It’s a Wonderful Life” is the classic of all classics. Even if you don’t sit down to watch it, it can double as décor. This is a nice black and white picture to play on the television in the background on loop during a holiday party.
Home Alone & Home Alone 2 — Did you know “Home Alone” didn’t receive all that much love from grown up critics when it was first released? Roger Ebert gave it 2.5 stars, Entertainment Weekly graded it a D, etc., but the ultimate prank is on them because it ended up becoming a holiday favorite for generations and the highest grossing comedy ever up until 2009. HAHA! Merry Christmas, you filthy animals!
Elf — Will Ferrell gifted us this modern classic that joins the ranks of annual films to revisit this time of year. This oh, so quotable picture about a 30-something human raised all his life as an elf who looks for his biological father in NYC is a feel-good treat.
Gremlins — Now we’re entering the darker more atypical part of this list. Set during the Christmas season, these menacing monsters are like the best stockings of coal come to life. F Furbys, all I want for Christmas is a Gizmo. So cute!
The Nightmare Before Christmas — Stop wearing Hot Topic hoodies with Jack Skellington screenprinted on them because this is really the only time this cartoon is bearable. Like a Christmas markdown, this movie is a two-for-one deal you can’t pass up. A Tim Burton Halloween-Christmas mash-up, this Frankenstein of a movie lets you relive both holiday spirits this time of year as you follow Jack the Pumpkin King on his quest to take over X-mas.
Batman Returns — Our second Tim Burton movie on this list it combines three of my favorite things: Christmas, superheroes, and parody. It also stars Michelle Pfeiffer as the best Catwoman ever (sorry, Anne Hathaway, not that it was really a contest).
Die Hard — Ever since this movie I am always sure to add this to my Christmas wish list: a heather grey sweater that says “Now I Have a Machine Gun…Ho Ho Ho”. Bruce Willis is basically the Santa Clause OF ACTION in the most unexpectedly Christmas movie of all time, where a divorced dad and NYC police detective finds himself in the middle of a hostage terrorist heist, that gives me more adrenaline than a tray of Christmas cookies.