What’s Your Favorite Christmas Movie?

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful. And since we’ve got no place to go, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!Written by Sammy Cahn and composed by Jule Styne, July 1945.

The log fire is crackling away nicely. You’ve made a hot cup of cocoa. You check outside again. Yes—it’s still snowing in large, fluffy flakes.

You have the house to yourself.


Now, at last, the time has come. The time to relax and watch your favorite Christmas movies!

Which one to watch first? Decisions, decisions.

But wait a second. What is it about Christmas movies that we love so much? Is it the warm, comforting feeling we get from uplifting stories that offer hope? Is it the inspiration we find in the life lessons of the classics?

In a world that often seems full of turmoil, perhaps we just like to know that the perennial favorites help keep alive the values and traditions that we hold dear.

Which one to watch first …? Here’s a few ideas—peruse the movie clips and then vote for your favorite.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) is a classic Christmas drama directed by Frank Capra and starring James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve until an angel shows him how different the world would be if he had never been born. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards and is considered one of the greatest films of all time.

Home Alone (1990) is a comedy film directed by Chris Columbus and written by John Hughes, starring Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old boy who is accidentally left behind when his family goes on a Christmas vacation to Paris. He has to defend his home from two burglars, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, using various booby traps. The film was a huge box office success and spawned four sequels.

Elf (2003) is a fantasy comedy film directed by Jon Favreau and starring Will Ferrell as Buddy, a human who was raised by elves at the North Pole. He travels to New York City to find his biological father, played by James Caan, and experiences the joys and challenges of the human world. The film also features Zooey Deschanel, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, and Peter Dinklage. It was well received by critics and audiences and became a Christmas staple.

The Santa Clause (1994) is a fantasy comedy film directed by John Pasquin and starring Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, a divorced father who accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall from his roof and die on Christmas Eve. He puts on Santa’s suit and finishes his deliveries, only to find out that he has to become the new Santa and convince his family and friends of his new identity. The film was a hit and spawned two sequels.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) is a live-action adaptation of the 1957 Dr. Seuss book of the same name, directed by Ron Howard and starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch, a green creature who hates Christmas and plans to ruin it for the people of Whoville. He is challenged by a young girl named Cindy Lou Who, played by Taylor Momsen, who tries to befriend him and show him the true meaning of Christmas. The film was a commercial success and won an Oscar for Best Makeup.

The Polar Express (2004) is an animated film based on the 1985 children’s book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg, directed by Robert Zemeckis and featuring the voice of Tom Hanks in multiple roles. It tells the story of a young boy who boards a magical train on Christmas Eve that takes him and other children to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. The film was the first to use performance capture technology for all the human characters and was nominated for three Oscars.

White Christmas (1954) is a musical film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen. It follows two former army buddies who team up with a sister act to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commander. The film features the songs of Irving Berlin, including the title song, which Crosby had previously introduced in the 1942 film Holiday Inn. The film was a box office hit and received a nomination for Best Original Song.

A Christmas Story (1983) is a comedy film based on the semi-autobiographical stories of Jean Shepherd, directed by Bob Clark and narrated by Shepherd himself. It depicts the childhood memories of Ralphie Parker, played by Peter Billingsley, who desperately wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas in the 1940s. The film also stars Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, and Ian Petrella as Ralphie’s family. The film has become a cult classic and is shown on television every Christmas.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is a Christmas comedy-drama film directed by George Seaton and starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood, and Edmund Gwenn. It tells the story of a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa and has to prove his identity in court. The film was released in June but became a holiday favorite and won three Oscars, including Best Supporting Actor for Gwenn. It has been remade several times, most notably in 1994 with Richard Attenborough as Santa.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) is a comedy film directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik and written by John Hughes, starring Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, a father who wants to have a perfect Christmas with his family and relatives. However, his plans are constantly ruined by various mishaps and disasters, such as a malfunctioning Christmas lights display, a kidnapped boss, and a squirrel-infested Christmas tree. The film is the third installment of the National Lampoon’s Vacation series and is widely regarded as the best one.

A Christmas Carol (1951) is a British film adaptation of the 1843 novella by Charles Dickens, directed by Brian Desmond Hurst and starring Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly businessman who is visited by three spirits on Christmas Eve who show him the error of his ways. The film is also known as Scrooge in the United Kingdom and is considered one of the best versions of the classic story. It features a faithful script by Noel Langley and a memorable performance by Sim.

The Holiday (2006) is a romantic comedy film written, produced, and directed by Nancy Meyers, starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet as Amanda and Iris, two women who swap homes for the holidays to escape their love problems. Amanda travels to Iris’ cottage in Surrey, England, where she meets Iris’ brother Graham, played by Jude Law, while Iris stays in Amanda’s house in Los Angeles, where she befriends an elderly screenwriter named Arthur, played by Eli Wallach, and a film composer named Miles, played by Jack Black. The film was a box office success and received positive reviews.

Scrooged (1988) is a comedy film directed by Richard Donner and starring Bill Murray as Frank Cross, a cynical and selfish television executive who is haunted by three spirits on Christmas Eve who teach him the true meaning of Christmas. The film is a modern retelling of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, with references to the original story and other pop culture elements. The film also features Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, Carol Kane, and David Johansen. The film was a hit and has become a cult classic.

The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945) is a drama film directed by Leo McCarey and starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman as Father Chuck O’Malley and Sister Mary Benedict, who work together at a Catholic school in financial trouble. The film is a sequel to the 1944 film Going My Way, which also starred Crosby as Father O’Malley. The film features the song “Aren’t You Glad You’re You?” by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke, and was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture.

Trading Places (1983) is a comedy film directed by John Landis and starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy as Louis Winthorpe III and Billy Ray Valentine, two men from opposite social backgrounds who unknowingly switch places as part of a bet by two wealthy brothers, played by Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche. The film is a satire of social class and race relations in America, and features Jamie Lee Curtis, Denholm Elliott, and Paul Gleason in supporting roles. The film was a critical and commercial success and is considered one of the best comedies of the 1980s.

Vote for your favorite Christmas Movie

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