Christmas / Holidays / Movies

5 of Our Favorite Holiday Films

Now that Thanksgiving is well behind us, we’re officially in the holiday season. As the temperature goes down and people look for things to do while staying indoors, what’s better than watching a holiday film? There’s so many to chose from, but here are five that we especially enjoy. For some other picks, check out our previous post on the subject here.


Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Yes, TV specials count as holiday movies, and this is one of the best. Based on the book by Dr. Seuss, this special takes his delightful writing and mixes it with some wonderful Chuck Jones animation and great narration from Boris Karloff to bring this tale of the true meaning of Christmas to life. While some may prefer the live-action Jim Carrey version, this version keeps the story simple and delivers its message in a more compelling way without getting bogged down in the unnecessary backstory.

You can’t have a holiday movie list without one of the many versions of A Christmas Carol. Instead of one of the straight-up adaptations of the story, we’re going with the 1988 version that reimagines Ebenezer Scrooge as television network president Frank Cross. It still hits the same beats but in the more modern setting of 1980s New York City. Bill Murray is great as our Scrooge stand-in and the movie is a nice darkly comedic adaptation of a story we all know. For me, the ending of this version also has a better emotional impact than that of some of the others.

Home Alone
Another Christmas comedy, and for some, maybe just as dark. The story of Kevin McCallister being left at home while his family flies to Paris, and subsequently having to ward off two burglars looking to score big from his house, may not sound like quintessential Christmas, but it’s an entertaining movie that does contain a pretty heart-warming message about family. But mostly, it’s just fun to see Kevin set up all the traps throughout his house that our unsuspecting burglars eventually fall prey to.

The Year Without a Santa Claus
Another TV special, but is it really the holiday season without a Rankin/Bass production? You could sub in whichever of the charming stop-motion specials you’d like here, I’m sure some are fonder of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, but The Year Without a Santa Claus is the pick here for its endearing story of two elves trying to find Santa Claus proof that people still believe in him and in effect, still care about Christmas. The most memorable characters are of course Snow Miser and Heat Miser and both their eponymous songs and their back and forth with each other are really enjoyable and help elevate this special even more.

Love Actually
This ensemble piece delves into what may be the most important aspect of the holidays, love, through ten storylines that show us the different ways people love and the different forms love takes. However, it doesn’t fall into being a mass of romantic comedy tropes, instead standing out a unique romantic comedy, and one that actually has some real comedic moments. It may not be the most Christmassy movie out there, but with its holiday setting and important messages about love and connection between people, I think it counts.

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Our Favorite Holiday Films. Featured Image courtesy of Universal Pictures

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