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Editor’s Blog: Holiday Movie Favorites

The Hallmark Channel is releasing 36 new movies before Christmas this year. The holiday season is always a good excuse to curl up under a blanket and watch tons of movies while it’s storming outside. Those cookies won’t eat themselves! We’re inspired here at HerCampus American, so here are a bunch of our favorite holiday films.


Meghan Howie

1. Elf.

     This absolute holiday classic cannot be forgotten! I grew up with this movie and all of it’s quirky quotes. It’s not your average romcom, but has an air of puppy love throughout the film. Buddy is the same nervous kid all of us were around our crush, so it’s a good thing that Jodi finds his genuine nature to be absolutely endearing. On that note, my favorite quote is probably this:

                    Buddy: I think you’re really beautiful and I feel really warm when I’m around you and my tongue swells up.


                    Buddy: So… do you wanna eat food?

I think it’s a top-of-the-list kind of movie and a good start to your holiday season. It’ll warm the heart of even the most Grinchy person. Don’t forget the snow angels and ice skating and cookies.


2. Love Actually

     For all my RomCom lovers out there, this is your festive take on the classic. It was released in 2003 and is a must-watch for all Christmas movie bucket lists. The holiday season is a time for love and we can’t ignore that fact!

                    Daniel: Tell her that you love her.

                    Sam: No way! Anyway, they fly tonight.

                    Daniel: Even better! Sam, you’ve got nothin’ to lose, and you’ll always regret it if you don’t! I never told your mom enough. I should have told

                    her everyday because she was perfect everyday. You’ve seen the films, kiddo. It ain’t over ’til its over.

                    Sam: Okay, Dad. Let’s do it. Let’s go get the shit kicked out of us by love.

We all remember this scene where we learned that love needs no audible words. Sometimes showing our love is more valuable than telling someone about it. This movie is definitely a tear jerker as we find that Christmas is a time for lovers.

Katie Malone

3. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Whether you consider it a Halloween movie or Christmas movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a must-watch this time of year. It’s the perfect combination of creepy and cute with just enough festivities to get you ready for Christmas. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a 90s classic to get you into the holiday spirit with Jack Skellington.  

Jack Skellington: Forgive me, Mr. Claus. I’m afraid I’ve made a terrible mess of your holiday. 

Santa: Bumpy *sleigh*-ride… Jack. Next time you get the urge to take over someone else’s holiday, I’d listen to *her*. 

[points to Sally]

Santa: She’s the only one who makes any sense around this insane asylum! 

[walks away, muttering]

Santa: Skeletons, boogie men… 

Jack Skellington: I hope there’s still time. 

Santa: To fix Christmas? Of course there is! I’m Santa Claus! 

[flies out chimney]

4. A Christmas Story

Who didn’t grow up watching A Christmas Story? This classic tale of Ralphie’s attempt to get his Red Ryder BB on Christmas Day – and the classic leg lamp scene – are memories from everybody’s childhood. This movie is a great way to relive your childhood and catch some of the hidden, not so appropriate jokes. 

Ralphie: I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle! 

Mrs. Parker: No, you’ll shoot your eye out.

Tori Dickson

5. The Polar Express 

During a time when CGI took a turn for the worse, The Polar Express brought light to our world even if the the wrinkly animated elves give off serious creeper vibes. There is purely something electrifying and magical about a train taking you to the North Pole on Christmas Eve.

This movie has everything: suspense (will he die jumping to the next train cart?), friendship (the quintessential trifecta of a smart girl, endearing sidekick, and pretty average dude that we all root for anyway), and a catchy bop (never ever let it cool, folks.) 

To top it all off, Tom Hanks is in it. 

The Conductor (Tom Hanks): Watch your step, please

Hero Boy (yes, this is actually what his name is in the script): Thank you.

The Conductor: No, thank you. One thing about trains: It doesn’t matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on. Merry Christmas! 


6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Listen, I get that it’s not the original – but Jim Carrey kills this role. Also, it took him 3.5 hours in make up every day to transform into full Grinchy glory, so let’s give him some credit. 

It’s  a funny twist on the classic tale and we can all agree Grinch needed a little background plot (how the heck did a furry green Grinch land with a bunch of Whos, anyway?) 

The Grinch is the type of the movie that captures you with the laughs and stays with you for the heartfelt messaging. Also, as college students who have finals during peak holiday season, there are definitely times we can relate – maybe more than we’d like to –  to The Grinch

The Grinch: All right, you’re a reindeer. Here’s your motivation: Your name is Rudolph, you’re a freak with a red nose, and no one likes you. Then, one day, Santa picks you and you save Christmas. No, forget that part. We’ll improvise… just keep it kind of loosey-goosey. You HATE Christmas! You’re gonna steal it. Saving Christmas is a lousy ending, way too commercial. ACTION!

[Max knocks the red nose off]

The Grinch: BRILLIANT! You reject your own nose because it represents the glitter of commercialism. Why didn’t I think of that? Cut, print, check the gate, moving on.

Hayli Spence

7. Home Alone

The holiday season is a time of chaos, which is why Home Alone is such a great movie–it’s so chaotic, it makes our relative-filled households feel normal by comparison! Not to mention all of the easy slap-stick style comedy and snarky wit of everyone’s favorite Kevin McCallister:

Not to mention all of the robber’s reactions to the eight-year-olds pranks:

Harry: Marv?

Marv: Harry?

Harry: Why the hell did you take your shoes off?

Marv: Why the hell are you dressed like a chicken?

8. A Nanny for Christmas

While it may not be the classic you grew up watching, one of my favorite Christmas movies to watch with my mom is A Nanny for Christmas, wherein a woman looking for a job in advertising stumbles into the role of full-time nanny instead. The thing I like best about this movie is that, at it’s heart, it has one of those messages that perfectly encapsulate the feel of the holiday season. I think it’s a great reminder to slow down and appreciate those we love in a world where everything moves so fast and free time is hard to come by. So, if you haven’t seen it yet, grab your mom and some hot chocolate and give it a go–you won’t be disappointed! 

Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

To learn more about Katie or get in touch with her, please visit katiemaloneportfolio.wordpress.com/. 
A senior and Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus at American who enjoys reading banned books and drinking overpriced coffee. 
Hayli Spence

American '20

Hayli is a junior at American University with a passion for reading, writing, and neurolinguistics. She also loves cats and memorizing Broadway soundtracks.
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