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Emily’s 15 Must-Watch Christmas Movies for This Holiday Season 

Along with decorating your tree and baking festive treats, watching a holiday film is a great way to get into the merry mood this season. Even though we're in the middle of finals season, it’s never too early to start getting into the holiday spirit by snuggling up and turning on your favorite Christmas movies.

The weather outside may be turning frightful, but these holiday movies are sure to be delightful. And, just like Santa Claus himself, I’ve made a list — and yes, I did check it twice — of 15 of my favorite Christmas movies that are so good they could never end up on the naughty list!

Home Alone

Starting off with a classic, it’s Home Alone! It stars a young Macaulay Culkin playing the role of Kevin who was accidentally left at home to defend himself against a pair of not-so-bright bandits while the rest of his family head to Paris for Christmas. Enjoy this one, ya filthy animals!

The Santa Clause

A divorced ad executive, Tim Allen, must take on the role of Santa after the big guy falls from his roof in this family-friendly movie.

    A Christmas Carol

    Jim Carrey takes on this classic tale as Ebenezer Scrooge as he's visited by three spirits, and learns the true meaning of Christmas.

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas

    Another Jim Carrey classic, this live-action version of the children's book by Dr. Seuss, stars the isolated green Grinch who decides to ruin Christmas for the citizens of Whoville, but one little girl foils his plans and ends up teaching him the true meaning of Christmas.


    In this film, Will Ferrell plays Buddy, an adult man who grew up thinking he's an elf. Unable to shake the feeling of being an outsider, Buddy travels to New York to find his biological father. Elf is a cheerful family comedy benefiting greatly from Ferrell’s fun-loving performance as Santa’s biggest helper.

    Office Christmas Party

    A not so family-friendly Christmas movie, but one that’ll have you rolling on the floor laughing features a sibling feud and a party that’ll go down in office history.

    The Nightmare Before Christmas

    Is it a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? No one knows, but this Tim Burton film blends both holidays together in this ghoulish nightmare that convinces Jack Skellington that there is more to life than just trick-or-treating.

    A Charlie Brown Christmas

    Relive the cartoon special you grew up watching, as Charlie Brown finds out the meaning of Christmas with help from his friends, one odd dog, and a tiny Christmas tree.

    The Polar Express

    On Christmas Eve, a young boy sets off on a magical adventure to the North Pole on a train, while learning about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.

    Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

    Although just a TV special, this classic has been aired every single year since its debut in 1964, about a toymaker who wants to be a dentist, a reindeer who wants to be accepted, and all of their friends in between.

    Frosty the Snowman

    Another TV special from the '60s that deserves its own place on this list, about a snowman who comes to life with the help of some kids and a magic hat.

    Love Actually

    This 2003 rom-com follows the love lives of eight couples during the chaotic holiday season.


    This Disney+ movie centers around Santa's children — starring Bill Hader and Anna Kendrick — where Santa’s son, Nick, flees the North Pole after he was supposed to take over as Santa Claus and his daughter, Noelle, has to put the pieces back together to save Christmas.

    Just Friends

    Ryan Reynolds stars as a high school outcast who reinvents himself as a thriving record producer in Los Angeles. Ten years later, he heads back to the East Coast for the holidays to finally get out of the friend zone with his high school crush, giving us cringe-inducing nostalgia and hilarity.

    Edward Scissorhands

    Nothing says “Merry Christmas!” like a friendly misunderstood protagonist Johnny Depp with scissors as hands, right? Watch him navigate a small suburban town and a love life, all with blades for fingers.

    What are you watching this holiday season? Share what you're watching or your holiday favorites on Instagram and Twitter, and make sure to tag us so we can see what you're up to! You can find us by searching for @HCatLUM on both Twitter and Instagram.

    Loyola University Maryland '23
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