1) Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
One of the best movies of all time, this timeless classic is worth watching again and again. A movie that I try to see every few years, and a riveting piece of cinema if there ever was one, this movie also inspired a remake in 1994. If you have somehow not seen this movie yet, you need to put it at number one on your priority list. Why is it my number one? It is one of the few movies that keeps me absolutely glued to it every time I watch it. I know exactly what's going to happen and yet still I am just engrossed with the characters upon every viewing. This is because of great writing and equally great acting. I remember I sat down to watch it with some relatives a few Christmases back and we immediately became engulfed in the story and emotionally tied to the characters and the mysterious Kris Kringle. We watched the entire movie, despite the fact that it was in the middle of a Christmas party. Plus let's not forget that it's the single greatest product placement ever. Before product placements were even a thing. Well done Macy's!
2) The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Ok this one is all me. I lost count how many times I watched this movie as a kid. I think I watched it so many times I wore out the tape it was on. Wouldn't surprise me honestly. Now it's been several years since I've seen it, but man did I watch it a lot back in the day. The movie was a very smart interpretation of the classic Christmas Carol with Ebenezer Scrooge. Oh and did I mention that Scrooge is played by Michael Caine? Ya there's that. It has a perfect blend of comedy and seriousness to actually tell the story with a convincing character arc. One of the best Muppets movies of all-time, and definitely my personal favorite Muppet movie, this movie does frequently find its way onto many a critic's best Christmas movies list. If you like the Muppets definitely be sure to add this one to your list to watch this holiday season.
3) Love Actually (2003)
Ok so this one is probably on everyone's list. Definitely the inspirer of those God-awful New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day movies, Love Actually has multiple story lines that all converge brilliantly on Christmas Eve. And recognizable British A-list stars play all of these roles seriously and effectively. Nobody is given the chance to shine which is perfect because if they did this would definitely not be as good. Even a young Martin Freeman shows up here. Just saying. Don't remember him being in this? It's ok there about 25 other actors that you might remember before him. Not to mention several story lines having tear-jerking endings. Definitely the perfect Christmas date movie.
4) The Santa Clause (1994)
Another movie that I watched many times as a youngling, this movie really gives the younger audience a respect for what Santa Clause has to do to get ready for Christmas. Tim Allen puts on a good performance as the man who accidentally kills Santa and thus inherits his responsibilities. The movie inspired 2 sequels, which we aren't going to talk about, but the original did a phenomenal job teaching me, a young child, what Christmas is really about. If you have children, I would strongly recommend this movie for sure.
5) A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)
Neil Patrick Harris. Your argument is legitimately invalid. Ok now that I briefly made you think that I was about to put that at number 5 on my list, onto my real number 5.
5) How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
Ok so technically this is a TV short, but bite me. This short is an absolute classic. We won't talk about the terrible live-action version made in 2000, but this movie was a brilliant piece of 1960s animation. Loyally adopting the Dr. Seuss' classic, and filled with songs that have become synonymous with Christmas, this short is truly a must-watch. Oh and it's only 26 minutes long so you have absolutely no reason not to watch it this holiday season. How on earth did they make a 104-minute movie out of this? Whatever. I'm going to go watch this now. The 1966 version, mind you. Not the 2000 version. I'm going to go burn that.
Thanks for reading! Here are a few random lists for you to check out:
Honorable Mentions (in no particular order)
The Polar Express (2004)
Home Alone (1990)
It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
White Christmas (1954)
Christmas movies that you don't think of when Christmas is in the conversation
Die Hard (1988)
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
LA Confidential (1997)
Batman Returns (1992)
There ya have it! Hope you found this helpful as you search about for a Christmas movie to watch this holiday season. Thank you so much for reading and Happy Holidays!