I’m back again and already getting excited for Christmas. If you remember from my post last year, it’s an impressive feat for me to wait until after Thanksgiving to start listening to Christmas music. (I failed again this year.) And good news! Thanksgiving is next week already! I love the holiday season.
Without further ado, here are my five favorite Christmas movies:
- The Holiday
This movie has to be at the top of my list, and it’s hard to believe it is 11 years old now! It was released in 2006 and stars Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black. If you’re anything like me, Jack Black’s name makes you immediately skeptical. He does not seem to belong in that star-studded line-up, and yet his character is lovable and integral to the plot. Everything about this movie is relatable—even if the plot is somewhat predictable. What Christmas movie doesn’t have a bit of predictability after all? I don’t want to give anything away if there’s any chance you haven’t already seen it, but in my opinion, the story is extremely well done. The characters experience a range of emotions and reactions to relationship issues, and each of them end up stronger. The storyline switches easily between gorgeous scenes in the United States and England. All four of the main characters end up connected in some way, but it doesn’t feel forced as some plotlines do. Prepare to laugh and cry when you watch this movie.
Fun fact: Hans Zimmer composed the soundtrack, and the film’s music adds another level of enjoyment.
- The Polar Express
Released in 2004, this heartwarming Christmas adventure is based on Chris Van Allsburg’s children’s book. A young boy takes a magical train ride to the North Pole and makes fascinating discoveries on his journey. The entire movie is a reminder that the spirit of Christmas never fades for those who continue to believe, and it transports the viewer back to childhood. The film soundtrack composed by Alan Silvestri is also amazing.
Fun fact: Tom Hanks voiced six of the characters. See if you can guess all of them without looking it up!
I could never write a Christmas movie list and not include Elf. This film was released in 2003—and again, how has it been 14 years already! It is a laugh out loud comedy following the story of Buddy the elf, played by Will Ferrell, who leaves the North Pole and must navigate life in New York City after the discovery that he is not a “real” elf. Buddy goes on a search to find his father and through a series of hilarious mishaps, he ends up saving Christmas and finding love with Jovie, played by Zooey Deschanel. As Buddy says: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” There is plenty of loud singing involved in this movie to fill you with contagious good cheer.
Fun fact: For fans of Game of Thrones, did you realize that Peter Dinklage was in Elf long before he starred as Tyrion Lannister in the hit HBO show?
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966 cartoon)
Before you ask, yes, I have seen the live action production of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but there will always be a special place in my heart for the short 26-minute cartoon version. I remember watching it every year with my family. We would wait in anticipation all day, and then sit enthralled in front of the TV and sing all the words to every song. Is it possible not to sing along to “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”? You will feel so sad when Cindy Lou Who wakes up in the night and sees “Santa Claus” stealing her Christmas tree, and you will feel your own heart growing when the Grinch’s heart grows. For me there is no better representation of the Christmas spirit—especially when I remember how I felt watching it as a kid.
Fun fact: If you miss the show airing on TV this year, it is on YouTube!
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The last one on my list is this 1964 TV movie. This stop motion animated film was actually based on the classic Christmas song. If you haven’t seen this movie, it doesn’t really need an explanation. It is the endearing story of Rudolph and how he saved Christmas by being different even when everyone made fun of him for his red nose. Like all the movies on my list, Rudolph fills you with warmth and a reminder of why we love Christmas, even when the magic starts to fade in adulthood.
Fun fact: CBS will air Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on Saturday, December 9, 8:00 P.M. Eastern/7:00 P.M. Central. Don’t miss it!
I could have made this list much longer, but I’ll just add the runners-up here:
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and Frosty the Snowman (1969) are basically a three-way tie with Rudolph, but I had to choose one! Something else we all learned from this post is that we can thank the 1960s for some of the best Christmas movies ever made!
I also don’t know how I forgot to add It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) near the top! Obviously, this list could have been Top 10 or 20, but I’ll stop for now. Happy Christmas movie-watching!
Do you agree with my list? What other Christmas movies would you add to the list?