Holiday Favorites: A List of Beloved Christmas Movies

Here are the classics the entire family can enjoy.

During the holidays, it is important to take time for family. Some of the best memories are made at home, and holiday movies provide the perfect chance to gather together to share classics that give you that warm, fuzzy feeling. With a bundle of holiday movies to choose from, options are endless. It can be tough to find movies everyone from Grandma to Little Timmy will enjoy, but these classics provide that perfect balance of entertainment for adults and magic for children.

Some of my favorites include It’s a Wonderful Life, a movie I didn’t even see until my husband and I were dating more than a decade ago. Now the movie keeps bringing me back each Christmas with its message and great storytelling. And children will always remember the iconic line, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.”

Another favorite is A Charlie Brown Christmas. Year after year, we keep rooting for Charlie Brown, and it never grows old. This was the first prime-time special based on the Peanuts comic strip and debuted in 1965. As a child, I remember anxiously waiting for the night when A Charlie Brown Christmas would air, but now, On Demand and DVRs make it easy to watch the classic when it fits into your schedule. Check out Augsburg Park Library to see about checking out the DVD.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the perfect mix of naughty and nice as the cranky old Grinch learns about the holiday spirit. Based on a Dr. Seuss book, the story follows Grinch as he tries to destroy the Whos’ Christmas. Compare the original animated version from 1966 to the live-action movie from 2000 featuring Jim Carrey and then take a vote to see which your family prefers.

Every boy secretly longs for a BB gun, and adults will enjoy the look back at Christmas during that long-ago decade, the 1980s, in A Christmas Story. One scene that has always stuck with me is Ralphie’s younger brother floundering in a snowdrift, looking like a balloon from the Macy’s Parade. For anyone experiencing those cold Midwest winters, that scene might be all too familiar.

The magic of Christmas is reborn every year in Polar Express. Children are fascinated with trains, as are many adults, and we long to fly along tracks in a magical train bound for the North Pole. The film was nominated for an Oscar and features Tom Hanks. Like It’s a Wonderful Life, a bell brings us back to the magic of Christmas.

Local video stores, including Redbox Kiosks, should have many of these favorites in stock right now. A few Redbox locations include McDonald's, Rainbow Foods and Walgreen's.

With your movie list made, get that popcorn popping and keep the cocoa close at hand.

What Christmas movie do you watch every year?

Jake Rappe December 05, 2012 at 10:50 PM
There can be only one, it all begins and ends with A Christmas Story.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) December 05, 2012 at 11:10 PM
It may begin there, but how can it end? There are so many good Christmas movies. I love Miracle on 34th Street ... and Die Hard. (wink)
Jake Rappe December 06, 2012 at 12:00 AM
True, I should have been more specific, A Christmas Story, to be more accurate, is the standard by which all else is measured. Elf is an instant classic, any adaptation of A Christmas Charol, Christmas Vacation, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year!
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Here, here!
Kelly Schneider December 07, 2012 at 05:20 AM
White Christmas, followed by Love Actually. Elf is pretty fabulous too. I like all of the Christmas movies *except* the one that everyone above me loves.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) December 07, 2012 at 05:04 PM
My best friend can also not stand A Christmas Story. (Probably because the 24-hour marathon each year can be a little much.) I forgot about Love Actually! I love that movie!
Jake Rappe December 07, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I could totally watch the ENTIRE 24 hour TNT marathon! I do, however, believe that before too long, another network will have a 24 hour Elf marathon. I would hope they would time them so I could alternate between the two and not miss anything. Merry Christmas!
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) December 07, 2012 at 10:40 PM
"Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?"


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