It has long been a Hollywood staple to release some of the biggest blockbusters over the holiday season, and for good reason. People are off work, kids are off school, and there is plenty of movie merchandise to be sold. This week, we’re going to take a look at some of the holiday movies that have stood the test of time. There’s nothing better than cuddling up around the fire and watching a great Christmas flick with the family, and while there are plenty to choose from, only a select few will make our list. Enjoy!
A perennial classic, Christmas Vacation shows the hijinks of the Griswold family as they try to spread the holiday cheer. There are a few scenes that may not be appropriate for the littler kids, but throw it on when they’ve gone to bed and prepare to laugh hysterically.
The legendary James Stewart stars as George Bailey, a down-and-out businessman who is sent an angel that shows him what life would be like if he never existed. This is a fantastic movie to watch with the entire family and gives some unforgettable life lessons along the way.
What kid didn’t want to be Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin)? When the eight-year-old is accidentally left home alone on Christmas vacation, he must defend his home from two burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). Clever and ahead of its time, Home Alone is one every adolescent and grown-up will love.
It’s tough to find anything truly original in Hollywood, but if you’re looking to someone, it’s Tim Burton. The Nightmare Before Christmas has been copied many times over but never matched, and it works all the way from Halloween to Christmas. The stop-motion animation also fits beautifully with the film.
5. A Christmas Story (1983) – PG
Ralphie only wants one thing for Christmas: a Red Ryder BB Gun. He attempts to convince his mother, teacher and Santa…but what will end up under the tree? This is a holiday classic both kids and adults will love.
6. Bad Santa (2003) –R
I’ll preface this by saying Bad Santa is definitely not for kids or those who might get a little offended in your family. Billy Bob Thornton plays Willie, a miserable conman and mall Santa who plans to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. If you’re OK with adult humor and bad language over the holiday, Bad Santa is pretty hilarious.
7. Miracle On 34th Street (1947, 1994, watch the old one) –NR, but fine for everyone
Another classic from the earlier days of Hollywood, Miracle on 34th Street is about a lawyer who defends an institutionalized man claiming to be Santa Claus. Turns out, he just might be. This is a great Christmas movie for young and old alike, and is another you can watch year after year.
8. Elf (2003) – PG
Last but certainly not least is our favorite Christmas movie, Elf, starring Will Ferrell. Buddy (Ferrell) was a baby in an orphanage who stowed away in Santa’s sack and ended up being raised by elves. Eventually, Buddy is allowed to go to New York City to find his real birth father. Elf is a hilarious and heartwarming romp about what it means to be with family over Christmas. Don’t miss it!
OK, so we left a few great movies out (Die Hard, obviously). Let us know in the comments if you have any favorites we didn’t include. A happy and healthy holiday to you and yours, and hopefully you get a chance to watch one of these films with the ones you love. Have a fantastic Christmas!