Whether is an old time classic or a modern favorite, watching holiday movies is an annual tradition for many families.
Listed alphabetically below are movies the whole family can enjoy together. Grab your favorite person (or people) and a cozy blanket and make tonight a movie night!
‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ (1965)
In this timeless cartoon, Charlie Brown seeks out the true meaning of Christmas. Charlie Brown finds himself sad despite the onset of the cheerful holiday season. He attempts to direct a neighborhood Christmas play, but his best efforts are ignored and mocked by his peers. After Linus tells Charlie Brown about the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown cheers up, and the Peanuts gang unites to celebrate the Christmas season.
‘A Christmas Carol’ (1951)
There are too many film adaptations of Charles Dickens’s Christmas story to count, but this 1951 version (originally called Scrooge when it was first released) is considered to be the best by many. as the story goes, an old bitter miser is given a chance for redemption when he is haunted by three ghosts on Christmas Eve.
‘A Christmas Story’ (1983)
When I think of this classic three things come to my mind, the infamous leg lamp, Red Ryder BB guns, and never to lick a frozen pole. Set in the 1940s, a 9-year-old named Ralphie spends most of his time dodging the neighborhood bully and dreaming of the one thing he wants for Christmas, a Red Ryder B.B.gun. Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact. Follow along as he tries to persuade his parents, teachers and friends in this holiday classic.
‘Arthur Christmas’ (2011)
Set on Christmas night, the film tells a story about Santas clumsy son Arthur Claus who discovers that the Santa’s high-tech ship has failed to deliver one girl’s present. To try to make things right, he goes on a mission to save her Christmas, accompanied only by his aging grandfather, a rebellious yet enthusiastic young Elf , and a team of eight strong untrained magical reindeer.
As a toddler, Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally sent to the North Pole. Buddy, a regular-sized man was raised as an elf by Santa Clause and his elves. When the learns that he’s not a real elf, he decides to head back to his place of birth, New York City, in search of his biological family.
‘Home Alone’ (1990)
When bratty 8-year-old Kevin McCallister acts out the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother makes him sleep in the attic. After waking up late and rushing to leave for the airport, his family mistakenly leaves without him. Kevin awakens to an empty house and assumes his wish to have no family has come true. He quickly learns it is not all fun and games when he realizes that two con men plan to rob his home. He decides that he must protect the family home and comes up with a brilliant and hilarious tricks to prevent burglars from robbing his home.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’ (1992)
The McCallisters decide to take a trip to Florida, but Kevin loses track of his father at the airport and takes the wrong plane and ends up in NYC. Now alone in the Big Apple, Kevin cons his way into a room at the Plaza Hotel and begins his usual antics. But when Kevin discovers that the renamed “Sticky” Bandits are on the loose, he struggles to stop them from robbing an elderly man’s toy store just before Christmas. Watch as he manages to outwit the Sticky Bandits one more time.
‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’ (1966)
A grumpy Grinch has spent 53 years of his life hating Christmas. On Christmas Eve he hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville. The Grinch disguised as Santa empties each house in Whoville of all the food and Christmas-related items, namely presents, the tree, decorations and even the stockings on the chimney. Instead of waking and crying about the stolen goods, the Whos joyously begin to sing Christmas carols, proving that the spirit of Christmas does not depend on material things. The Grinch begins to understand the true meaning of Christmas and has a change of heart. Since the 1966 other versions have been produced including the latest version, which is still playing in theaters.
‘Miracle on 34th Street’ (1947)
When Santa can’t participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, Kris Kringle steps in and proves to be a hit. He begins to appear regularly at Macy’s in Manhattan and other events. He continuously claims that he is the real Santa Claus, which leads to a court case to determine his authenticity and his mental health. Along the way, he tries to win over the heart of a young girl who lost her Christmas spirit.
‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ (1989)
Dreading going home to visit your family this year? Watching this Chevy Chase movie will make anything your family does this Christmas seem normal. As the holidays approach, Clark Griswold wants to have a perfect family Christmas, so he pesters his wife, Ellen and children, as he tries to make sure everything is in line, including the tree and house decorations. Things go bad quickly when his “back of the woods” cousin, Eddie and his family show up unplanned and start living in their camper on the Griswold property. Just when he thought it could not get worse, Clark’s employers renege on the holiday bonus he needs.
‘Planes, Trains, and Automobiles’ (1987)
Funny men Steve Martin and John Candy team up for a classic holiday tale gone awry. Released in 1987, this film features these two comedians at their best — two rivals trapped in the car on their way home for the holidays. Easily excitable Neal Page (Steve Martin) is somewhat of a control freak. Trying to get home to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with his wife (Laila Robins) and kids, his flight is rerouted to a distant city in Kansas because of a freak snowstorm, and his sanity begins to fray. Worse yet, he is forced to bunk up with talkative Del Griffith (John Candy), whom he finds extremely annoying. Together they must overcome the insanity of holiday travel to reach their intended destination.
Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a 1964 Christmas stop motion animated television special produced by Videocraft International, Ltd. Donner, Santa’s lead reindeer, and his wife have given birth to a new fawn named Rudolph. All the the reindeer are surprised to see he was not like them, he was born with a glowing red nose. Rudolph goes out to the reindeer games hiding behind a fake nose. While celebrating his flight Rudolph’s fake nose pops off, causing him to be expelled. One Christmas Eve while everybody was celebrating, Santa reluctantly announced that the weather has forced him to cancel Christmas. Then he thinks of Rudolph’s red nose and asks Rudolph to lead the sleigh. Rudolph saves the day and leads the way as Santa wishes everyone a Merry Christmas!
‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ (1992)
The Muppets perform a retelling of the classic Charles Dickens holiday tale in musical fashion. The story follows Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine) as he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Favorite Muppets play Dickens’s characters. Kermit the Frog plays Bob Cratchit the clerk of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge. Other Muppets — Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and Sam the Eagle also star in the movie. They try to help him to see the error of his self-serving ways.
‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ (1993)
Tim Burton blends Christmas and Halloween together in a way that’s a little spooky but also heartwarming. Jack Skellington, Halloweentown’s pumpkin king becomes bored with scaring people. He accidentally ends up in Christmas Town, which is filled with vibrant colors and joyous spirits. He decides he wants to control the new town, so he plots to kidnap Santa Claus to take over that role. Jack finds himself in a pickle when things don’t go according to his plan.
‘The Polar Express’ (2004)
The Polar Express features Tom Hanks in an animated adventure, based on the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that if you believe, the wonder of life never fades away!
‘The Santa Clause’ (1994)
When a divorced businessman accidentally kills Santa, he must take over the role in this 1994 movie starring Tim Allen. Scott (Tim Allen) and his son are transported to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. The elves tell Scott that he must take Santa’s place before the next Christmas arrives. Throughout the next several months he physically transforms into Santa by gaining weight and growing a white beard.