Merry Christmas! I absolutely love this time of year. The music, the decorations, the MOVIES!!!!!! Every year, I have a sort of mental checklist of films that I feel like I have to see before Christmas Day to really commemorate the season. Others that come on TV are just a bonus. But a few certain ones I almost have to stop and watch, no matter what else is on or how many times I’ve seen them (sorry, Bri).
For me, the Christmas season begins the day after Thanksgiving, when Bri and I head to the tree farm to pick out our Christmas tree and begin decorating the house. On that day, I want the world to celebrate with me by playing nothing but Christmas music and holiday specials on television.
Unfortunately for me, that is not reality. But thankfully there is Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and Pandora, so I can create my own little festive bubble. Plus, Freeform’s (previously ABC Family) 25 Days of Christmas plays a few favorites on repeat, which is AWESOME (just not for my poor husband).
So without further ado, here are my top 10 Christmas films of all time (plus a few honorable mentions):
10. It’s a Wonderful Life: This movie is an American classic. Although parts of it are depressing, who can’t love an angel getting his wings, or the selfless acts of a man who has been kicked down by life more times than he can count.
9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: TBH, this movie makes me equal parts happy and stressed out. I mean, what else could possibly go wrong!?!?!
8. Elf: “Smiling’s my favorite!” So many quotable lines!!! But my favorite scene is the first date when they run all over NYC twirling through revolving doors and drinking crappy coffee.
7. A Christmas Story: Another classic. “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” Also, does anybody else just feel nostalgic about the 50s (even though I wasn’t born yet)? Life just seemed so much simpler then.
6. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York: Kevin McAlister’s precocious antics are hilarious, and made even better by the setting of New York City at Christmastime. The turtle doves and the bird lady get me every time.
5. Holiday Inn: An inn that is only open on holidays? Sign me up! Plus, the singing and dancing are fabulous!
4. White Christmas: This will always hold a special place in my heart because I’ve been in local performances of this classic twice at Town Theatre. I was Rita – look for her next time you watch the film.
3. Miracle on 34th Street: There are 2 versions of this – the original with Natalie Wood, and the 1990s one with Mara Wilson. I have loved the 90s version since my childhood and always wanted that white robe ensemble Elizabeth Perkins wore at the end of the film. But the original version holds another special place in my heart, as I was in a local production of it a few years ago at Village Square Theatre (I played Doris Walker). It was my first local play when I moved back to Columbia after college.
2. The Santa Clause: Tim Allen as Santa Claus. I cannot even tell you why I love this movie so much, but I will say that sequels 2 and 3 nowhere near did this first one justice.
1. The Muppet Christmas Carol: Call me childish, but I love love LOVE this movie. When I think of Christmas, I always want to go back in time to Charles Dickens’ era. Anything from this time period feels festive. But add in great songs such as “There goes Mr. Humbug” and “Only One More Sleep ’til Christmas,” and you’ve got my favorite Christmas movie of all time!
- A Charlie Brown Christmas: My mom loves to point out that when Linus quotes the angels saying “Fear not,” he finally drops his blankie – and then promptly picks it back up again after telling the Christmas story.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas (live action): Who didn’t read this book as a child? And although Jim Carey stresses me out, Cindy Lou Who’s “Where are you Christmas” melts my heart.
- Home Alone 1: The original. Although it’s not in NYC, it still reminds me of my childhood – not because I was anything like Kevin, but because this movie came out when I was probably about his age.
- Love Actually: This movie is terrible. But in an endearing way. Plus, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson…the list goes on…
- You’ve Got Mail: Though technically not a Christmas movie per se, it does have some fabulous Christmas scenes. It makes me want to pack my bags and move to New York.
So how about you? Did I miss any of your favorites?