Do you have Christmas Traditions? We certainly do. Of course, among the variety of activities and festivities is usually a good Christmas movie in the mix. Here is my personal top ten list of Christmas movies. So, pop some corn, snuggle with someone you like to snuggle with and enjoy!
1. It’s a Wonderful Life
Absolute classic. This is a Christmas must. Forget the technicolor version. Go with the original in black and white. Hand’s down this movie is the strongest and most inspirational Christmas movie you will find. Jimmy Stewart is brilliant. If you had to pick only one Christmas movie this year, go with this one! This film is best watched on Christmas Eve.
2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Great movie to get you laughing. It will probably make you grateful for your family! Fair warning, if you are watching the original version the language is NOT family friendly. I recommend watching your local listings for the cleaner TV version.
3. The Elf
Will Farrell is now a name we think of at Christmastime. The Elf is fantastic. It’s kid friendly. It’s magical and will only add to the Christmas spirit. I’ve actually used this movie in a sermon, strangely, lots of parallels to the Christian life. Just imagine if you believed in Jesus like Buddy the Elf believes in Christmas! This movie is best on Christmas day when the excitement of Christmas morning has settled down.
4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Love this movie! I appreciate the newer, full length version with actor, Jim Carrey, but I much prefer the original cartoon version by Dr. Seuss and co. This one is perfect for family viewing. Lots of great teachable content for kids. Don’t let Christmas go by without watching this one!
5. Holiday Inn
Talk about a classic! This is one of my mom’s favorites so it was a staple when we were growing up. I might be disowned if it didn’t make the list! This film is a great example of exceptional talent put on film. This film is full of great music and dancing. We just don’t see movies like this anymore. This is the kind of movie you want playing on your TV in the background during your Christmas party!
6. Miracle on 34th street
Ok here is where I break form and strongly approve of BOTH the original version from 1947 and the remake from 1994. This movie truly brings us back to the simplicity of child-like faith albeit regarding Santa Clause. Obviously, family friendly, and also a great film to help connect the dots for your kids between the holiday frenzy and the wonder of faith built into Christmas.
7. Home Alone 1
This movie is securely in the Christmas movie hall of fame. I just can’t get enough of Kevin completely embarrassing the bad guys in the way only an 8 year old could! This movie was followed by a series of sequels. Listen to me closely…all sequels of Home Alone 1 are a waste of time. They should have stopped while they were ahead. Home Alone 1 is a Christmas season MUST - especially if you have an 8 years old boy!
8. A Christmas Carol
This movie from the standpoint of total message is second only to, It’s A Wonderful Life. I love the story regardless of whether I watch it or read it. There are so many versions of this movie out there you have to be choosy on which one you will watch. In our family, the Disney version featuring Scrooge McDuck is just right for us. If you have to only watch part of this movie, watch the turning point when Scrooge wakes up a new man and spreads his generosity all over town. Not a bad model for many of us who are more of a “scrooge” than we’d care to admit!
This is the darker, funnier more crude version of A Christmas Carol. This movie features Bill Murray, who I love in just about any role. It is very 1980s but really funny and does not abandon the power of the original story. This is one I try to watch all or part of every year.
10. Die Hard
I know, you’re thinking “What!?” Trust me, its a Christmas movie! This is the Christmas movie most guys are looking for by the time the holiday season winding down. There’s something therapeutic about a good terrorist army defeated by one man with lost of blood, bullets and explosions! This movie is also NOT family friendly. I would also advise watching this one on TV to avoid some of the language and violence. Yippee ki yay and Merry Christmas!
What are your favorite Christmas movies? I’d love to see your comments!