12 Days of Must Watch Christmas Movies

Now that Thanksgiving has come to an end, it’s finally socially acceptable to jump into Christmas! So blast some Michael Buble, hang up some Christmas lights, curl up with some hot cocoa, and get in the holiday spirit with these seasonal hits!

  1. 1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

    Confession- the live-action Grinch is my favorite Christmas movie of all time. Jim Carrey is absolutely hilarious as the famous green Christmas thief, with so many memorable and quotable scenes. The Grinch going through his daily schedule and trying on outfits will have you in stitches. Who knew the Grinch could be so relatable?

  2. 2. The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)

    Time for the Rankin+Bass Christmas classics! The Year Without a Santa Claus is a beautiful stop-motion animated film with amazing music and fantastical characters. Follow two elves as they try to convince Santa to not cancel Christmas, and raise the Christmas spirit. Also, The Heat Miser and Snow Miser song will be stuck in your head for days, trust me.

  3. 3. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

    Follow the adventures of quirky misfit Rudolph, who runs away with fellow misfit Hermey the elf after being ridiculed for his shiny red nose. This is another Rankin+Bass stop-motion classic, narrated by Burl Ives as the iconic Sam the Snowman. The music in this is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit and bring up all that good Christmas nostalgia.

  4. 4. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970)

    This movie details Santa’s origins from a young orphan to the jolly old fellow we know and love. This movie is great for answering any curious kid’s questions about Santa, as it takes the format of a mailman answering young kid’s questions. Yet another Rankin+Bass stop motion classic with memorable characters and music that will have you singing and dancing along as you remember what Christmas felt like as a kid.

  5. 5. Frosty the Snowman (1969)

    The last of the Rankin+Bass classic holiday films, this animated movie tells the classic tale of Frosty the Snowman, the charismatic snowman who came to life that fateful day, all due to the magic of a simple hat. Follow Karen and Frosty as they journey towards the North Pole to keep Frosty from melting, and watch your heart melt as Frosty sacrifices himself to keep Karen warm.

  6. 6. The Santa Clause (1994)

    Watch as divorced dad Scott (played by Tim Allen) is suddenly whisked away to the North Pole, and forced to become Santa after he accidentally makes the original Santa fall off his roof. He puts on Santa’s coat and thus takes on the responsibilities of Santa, due to the punny and aptly named “Santa clause.” This film is equal parts funny and heartwarming as we see Scott start to embrace his role and grow closer to his son, becoming a better person and father along his journey. The two sequels are also equally as good!

  7. 7. The Polar Express (2004)

    I think it’s a universal memory that we all used to watch this movie in elementary school the day before winter break, dressed in our favorite pajamas with a cup of hot cocoa. This movie centers on an absolutely magical journey to the North Pole on Christmas Eve aboard the Polar Express with an eccentric train conductor voiced by Tom Hanks. The songs and animated dance sequences are exceptional (especially the song Believe by Josh Groban AKA my favorite Christmas song of all time) and will have you singing along in no time.

  8. 8. Elf (2003)

    This wacky Christmas comedy starring Will Ferrell is an absolute must-watch. It’s so ridiculous yet also so wholesome at the same time. Buddy returns to the human world after being raised as an elf, reunites with his estranged family, and chaos ensues. It’s such a quotable movie (I’m pretty sure I could recite the entire movie from memory) filled with so many memorable moments. Watching this movie with your friends or family is the best way to spread Christmas cheer! (Besides singing loud for all to hear of course!)

  9. 9. Home Alone (1990)

    When an 8-year-old boy is left behind by his family during Christmas vacation, he must fend for himself and ward off the burglars that threaten to ransack his home. The traps little Kevin McCallister contrives are equal parts genius and terrifying, and Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern’s amazing physical comedy is the cherry on top. Between all the comedy and action, there are also some sincere heartfelt moments true to the spirit of the Christmas season. 

  10. 10. A Christmas Story (1983)

    This story is an absolute Christmas classic. Ralphie is convinced a Red Ryder BB gun is the perfect Christmas present for him, and he’s ready to convince everyone else too. Follow the ups and downs of growing up, dealing with school, friends, and bullies, and wishing for that one Christmas present to make it all worth it.  

  11. 11. Miracle on 34th Street (1994) or (1947)

    I’ve always loved this film because it feels like such an accurate representation of what would happen if Santa were to come to New York today. This classic tale follows a young girl who was convinced by her mother that Santa isn’t real, as she meets and interacts with the real Santa and watches as her mother’s lawyer friend tries to prove to the New York courts that this Macy’s Santa is, in fact, the real Santa. This is the perfect heartwarming story about believing in the Christmas spirit no matter how old you are.

  12. 12. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

    I know I’ve said that every entry on this list is a classic but this is the true classic Christmas film. George Bailey is feeling down on himself during the holiday season and wishes he was never born when an angel comes down from Heaven to show him how everyone’s life is better with him in it. This uplifting story is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit and remind you what this season is truly about. 

So, get cozy on the couch with your favorite holiday drink and relax to these classic Christmas tales. You’ll be filled with Christmas cheer in no time!

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