From heartwarming tear-jerkers to hilarious comedies, there are so many great holiday movies to watch with the family. We’ve ranked the ten best Christmas movies below to get your holiday started off on a good note.
While most of the movies on this list are “old school,” Klaus is a 2019 film that still holds up against all the classics. A mailman and toymaker combine forces to bring joy to a dismal town in Northern Europe and eureka, a rendition of the origin story of Santa Claus is born. The whimsical cartoon depictions give this movie a traditional twist to computer animated children’s films.
This funny comedy for the parents is a friendly reminder to help those in need during the holidays. A bunch of Christmas shenanigans ensue when Eddie Murphy’s street hustler character switches places with Dan Aykroyd’s snobby upper-class broker character. You know a Christmas film is good anytime wholesome morals are combined with ridiculous entertainment.
If a romantic comedy is more your speed, then The Holiday is one of the best ones out there. Another stellar cast with notable actors Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black. Each character is a hopeless romantic with hopeless holiday plans until they meet one another in the most unexpected ways.
Miracle on 34th Street
One of the best feel-good films out there, Miracle on 34th Street has become a Christmas tradition viewing since its debut in 1947. This became the first of many films to focus on the “is Santa real?” plot. It’s charming, captivating, and guaranteed to get you into the Christmas spirit.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Since 1989, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has been setting the bar for over-the-top Christmas comedies. Everything seems to go wrong in Clark Griswold’s life during the holidays, which makes him reconsider what Christmas is really about. Meanwhile, the whole family will be laughing at all the funny scenes occurring around the neighborhood.
A Christmas Story
A little eccentric to say the least, but a lot of families have fallen in love with this film and its many quirks. The film is narrated by a little boy who goes through several holiday vignettes before leading up to the ultimate scene of opening presents on Christmas morning. This classic is one reason why families partake in holiday traditions such as going to Chinese restaurants on Christmas and placing a leg lamp in the living room.
Another classic from the 1950s that will get the whole family tapping their feet to a selection of catchy songs. Bing Crosby stars as the main character and you’ll be graced with his soothing voice throughout the movie. Crosby’s character Bob Wallace and his sidekick Phil Davis try to save Christmas at a Vermont ski resort that hasn’t seen snow all season. Their acts of kindness lead up to a heartwarming ending.
One of the funniest modern Christmas films around, it’s hard to beat this hysterical comedy featuring Will Farrell. Farrell’s character Buddy travels to New York City to reconnect with his lost family and save Christmas by “singing loud for all to hear.” He also teaches everyone around him about elf culture which is sure to get the whole room laughing.
Home Alone 1 & 2
Between humor and life lessons, Home Alone has a little bit of everything for your Christmas movie night. Not only does Kevin McCallister save his house from burglars, he also learns about love, compassion, and the value of getting to know neighbors before judging them. The witty humor in the first film carries to the second where Kevin finds himself in New York City on Christmas.
It’s a Wonderful Life
It’s a Wonderful Life is considered one of the best American movies of all time and the proof is backed by multiple award nominations and a high ranking on the American Film Institute’s list. This classic came out just the year before Miracle on 34th Street and both are deemed must-sees during the holidays. The film’s theme is a reminder that everyone’s life is cherished and valued by loved ones and no one should go unwanted during the holidays.