As I mentioned in my favorite Halloween movie post here, holiday movies are a fantastic way to get into the spirit of the season, and there are few things I love more than to curl up on the couch or in my bed with some hot chocolate and a Christmas movie playing.
It really can be any Christmas movie that I either own, or that I find scrolling through Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Video, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t movies I have to watch in order for it to feel like Christmas.
In (mostly) no particular order, here are my must-watch Christmas movies to ring in the season.
This is my favorite christmas movie, hands down. I can quote most of the movie (much to everyone who watches it with me’s chagrin). It’s so silly and Will Ferrell, who’s known for more adult comedy is a gem in this family movie. I watch it multiple times a year and it never gets old for me. Hard to believe it’s 14 years old already!!
The Santa Clause
This movie right here is my childhood. I loved Tim Allen growing up, and I’m sure this movie had a lot to do with that. Well, and Home Improvement. It’s just so cute and so real and deals a lot with having faith in something/someone which is something we could all use a little more of.
Christmas with the Kranks
Okay, yes, it’s Tim Allen again, but how can you not love this movie? Tim Allen is, as usual, a grump, and it takes place just outside of Chicago as many of my favorites do, and it’s just so dang festive! Plus it’s really funny.
The Polar Express
I’ve heard pretty polarized (no pun intended, believe it or not) opinions on this movie, mostly based on the animation. I actually really like it, and it looks to me like Shane’s video games (anyone seen Josh Duhamel or David Tennant in Call of Duty: World War 2?). The story is such a great expansion of the books, the music is truly magical, and it has Tom Hanks: a truly winning combination.
If we’re talking about cute movies, I would be remiss to skip Arthur Christmas. There are so many famous actors voicing characters, which always results in a fun game of Guess Who. Kids will love the animation, adults will love the subtle grown-up jokes, and everyone’s heart will melt at Arthur’s dedication to and admiration of Santa Claus (who just happens to be his father).
Charlie Brown Christmas
But is it even Christmas if you don’t watch Charlie Brown? I honestly don’t even think I need to include an explanation for this one. Yeah, no. I’m not going to.
Jim Carrey could not have been a more perfect Grinch, and if Dr. Seuss himself had to come up with a live-action version of one of his more famous stories, he couldn’t have done a better job. I distinctly remember going to see this movie at the theater with my mom and sisters and having to sit in the aisle just so we could sit together. It was packed but it was so worth it. It’s been on my must-watch list ever since. Also, it’s almost 20 years old. Now you can feel old with me.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
I was never actually super into the Home Alone movies as a kid, so it wasn’t until I got older that I finally watched this one, but it’s become very dear to me. I love the New York backdrop, because it’s on my bucket list to visit during Christmastime.
Eloise at Christmastime
Speaking of New York at Christmastime, this cutie also takes place at The Plaza hotel! If you’ve never heard of Eloise, you’re seriously missing out. If you have kids, there’s really no excuse not to watch this one. I don’t even have kids and I love it so much. Shane’s not a fan because he says Eloise is a brat, which she kinda is, but she’s sweet and means well.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
I never envied the Griswolds, but I can kind of relate to each of the main four at various parts in the movie. It really appeals to fans of all types of comedy, and the dysfunction is the funniest gag of all.
The Christmas Classics
I grew up with these because my mom grew up with them and I’ve loved them my whole life. I used to be afraid of the Winter Warlock and Bumble as a kid, but as I got older, I grew to love them. I also have a tendency to quote these movies at various times of the year.
I remember when this movie came out on video. My mom used to make me cover my eyes during Martin Freeman’s porn scenes (which is hilarious to me now) and I think it’s where my love for Colin Firth and Hugh Grant began. There are honestly so many famous British actors shoved into this movie, and it doesn’t feel forced. I also love how everyone’s story lines connect.
I will watch this movie any time of year, as it’s closer to a general rom-com than a Christmas movie. I want to live in Ivy’s cozy English cottage so much it’s not even funny. I also love that Kate Winslet’s character is so relatable and that she’s excited about ending up with Jack Black in the end. Also, Jude Law is beautiful and so sweet as a widowed dad of two little girls.
I do love me some good cheesy Freeform/Hallmark/Lifetime Christmas movies, too, and am ecstatic when they’re on one of my streaming services (I don’t have cable so it’s the only way I’d be able to watch it), and always have a backlog of them to watch.
What are your must-see Christmas movies? Have any traditions you like to do while you’re watching the movie? Leave me a comment and let me know!