Christmas movies are arguably the pinnacle of the holiday season; there’s nothing more cozy than curling up with your favorite people and a mug of hot chocolate and immersing yourself in the idyllic Christmas setting of holiday films. Growing up, you knew the holiday season was upon us once ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas turned on every night without fail. Here are some of my favorite movies that are always at the top of my list.
1. “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946)
Trigger warning: suicide
As a child I dreaded watching this movie. The black and white was boring, and the 1940s Hollywood production style just confused me. Yet, as I grew older I was better able to understand what makes this movie so great. Surprisingly dark for a Christmas movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life” follows George Bailey as he struggles to make ends meet after spending a life putting others before himself. On the verge of ending his life, an angel saves him by showing George what the lives of his town and loved ones would be like if he never was born. Although emotional at some parts, this movie is a Christmas staple in my house because of the way it celebrates the true meaning of Christmas, selfless actions and the support of community in trying times.
2. “A Christmas Story” (1983)
This Christmas staple is played 24/7 on Christmas Day, and I don’t think I have ever sat and watched it all the way through. Taking place in 1960s Indiana (go Hoosiers!), “A Christmas Story” chronicles the holiday experience through a series of vignettes of Ralphie Parker, a young boy who desperately wants a Red Ryder B.B. Gun for Christmas. This film is sentimental, cheesy at times and the background of many of my Christmas Day memories.
3. “Olive, the Other Reindeer” (1999)
“Olive, the Other Reindeer” tells the story of an anthropomorphic dog, Olive, who goes on an adventure to save Christmas after mishearing Santa saying Christmas would be cancelled if “all of the other reindeer” couldn’t help pull the sleigh after Blitzen gets injured. This misadventure is hilarious and heartwarming, and teaches us that the holidays aren’t always what we want them to be or expect, but joy can still be found.
4. “A Year Without a Santa Claus” (1974)
All I have to say is that Heat Miser and Snow Miser has no business being that catchy. After Santa falls ill, Mrs. Claus must find a way to convince him that people still believe in the magic of Christmas. Throw in some clueless elfs, creepy stop motion puppets and catchy AF songs and you have the perfect recipe for a timeless Christmas classic.