It’s December 1st! That means it’s time to bring out all the Holiday favorites! Since everyone likes to see lists, I’ve worked up my personal list of must-see Christmas movies. Obviously everything is subjective and this list doesn’t represent my Top 25 critically, but a whole bunch of my favorites I get around to watching every year.
There are so many movies that you can choose from, so I feel the need to mark some Honorable Mentions like Trading Places, Holiday Inn, Meet Me in St. Louis, Bad Santa, Deck the Halls, Fred Claus, Christmas with the Kranks, The Night Before, Office Christmas Party and plenty more.
The best thing about Christmas Movies (like you’ll see in this list) is the fact that they can be really stupid or really serious. They can be critically acclaimed or just plain all-around stupid. That’s the best thing about this time of the year… there are so many movies to choose from for every type of mood. You could legitimately make a Top 100 list if you really dove deep into it.
Give it a scroll below and let me know your favorites in the comments. What’s the best and most stupid Christmas movie you watch every single year?
#25. Four Christmases
When their plans for an exotic vacation fall apart, unmarried couple Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon) must spend Christmas Day trudging around to a quartet of family get-togethers. While Brad counts the hours till he can escape the onslaught of crazy relatives, Kate begins to wonder about her own choices and ponders whether her family members are so crazy after all.
#24. Jingle All The Way
Workaholic Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) wants to make things up to his son, Jamie (Jake Lloyd), and wife, Liz (Rita Wilson). He promises to get Jamie the hottest toy of the season, Turbo-Man — even though it’s Christmas Eve and the toy is practically sold out. As Langston hunts down the elusive gift, he runs into mailman Myron (Sinbad), another father on the same quest. With the clock winding down, Langston’s moral code is tested as he starts to learn the real meaning of Christmas.
#23. Most Wonderful Time of the Year
A hard-working, single mother falls for a stranger her father brings home for the holiday season. However, he is unimpressed with her attitude towards Christmas and is willing to walk away if she refuses to change
In this modern take on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a wildly successful television executive whose cold ambition and curmudgeonly nature has driven away the love of his life, Claire Phillips (Karen Allen). But after firing a staff member, Eliot Loudermilk (Bobcat Goldthwait), on Christmas Eve, Frank is visited by a series of ghosts who give him a chance to re-evaluate his actions and right the wrongs of his past.
#21. White Christmas
Singers Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) join sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont. There, they run into Gen. Waverly (Dean Jagger), the boys’ commander in World War II, who, they learn, is having financial difficulties; his quaint country inn is failing. So what’s the foursome to do but plan a yuletide miracle: a fun-filled musical extravaganza that’s sure to put Waverly and his business in the black!
#20. A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott)
Christmas elicits nothing more than “Bah, humbug!” from Ebenezer Scrooge (Scott), a miser whose sole pursuit of financial success has left him a bitter and lonely old man. But a Christmas Eve visit from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future ultimately teaches him to open his heart to the spirit of Christmas and to the joys of friends and family.
#19. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
In this Christmas classic, an old man going by the name of Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) fills in for an intoxicated Santa in Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Kringle proves to be such a hit that he is soon appearing regularly at the chain’s main store in midtown Manhattan. When Kringle surprises customers and employees alike by claiming that he really is Santa Claus, it leads to a court case to determine his mental health and, more importantly, his authenticity.
#18. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
As the holidays approach, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) wants to have a perfect family Christmas, so he pesters his wife, Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo), and children, as he tries to make sure everything is in line, including the tree and house decorations. However, things go awry quickly. His hick cousin, Eddie (Randy Quaid), and his family show up unplanned and start living in their camper on the Griswold property. Even worse, Clark’s employers renege on the holiday bonus he needs.
#17. The Santa Clause 2
Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) has been in the role of Santa for the past eight years, and his loyal elves consider him the best one ever. But the world of the “Merry Old Soul” turns upside down when he’s dealt a double whammy of news: Not only has his son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd), landed on this year’s naughty list, but Scott discovers that he must marry by Christmas Eve — just a month away! — or he will stop being Santa Claus forever.
#16. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
In this live-action adaptation of the beloved children’s tale by Dr. Seuss, the reclusive green Grinch (Jim Carrey) decides to ruin Christmas for the cheery citizens of Whoville. Reluctantly joined by his hapless dog, Max, the Grinch comes down from his mountaintop home and sneaks into town to swipe everything holiday-related from the Whos. However, the bitter grump finds a hitch in his plans when he encounters the endearing Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen).
#15, #14, #13 & #12: The Original Christmas Specials Collection
(The Little Drummer Boy, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town)
‘Tis the season to enjoy the timeless holiday classics in The Original Christmas Specials Collection with four unforgettable stories. Produced by Rankin/Bass, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town and The Little Drummer Boy feature iconic “Animagic” stop-motion animation and Frosty the Snowman isbeautifully animated. Starring the voice talents of Fred Astaire, Jimmy Durante, Mickey Rooney, Danny Thomas, Burl Ives and many more, these favorites also feature some of the most beloved songs of the season and are sure to entertain audiences of all ages for generations to come!
#11. This Christmas
At holiday time, family matriarch Ma’Dere Whitfield (Loretta Devine) assembles her large brood for their first reunion in four years. However, family ties show signs of strain when various secrets come to light, especially concerning Marine Claude’s (Columbus Short) true military status, Quentin’s (Idris Elba) debts and teenage Baby’s (Chris Brown) secret plans to become a singer.
#10. A Christmas Carol (Jim Carrey)
Though London awaits the joyful arrival of Christmas, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) thinks it’s all humbug, berating his faithful clerk and cheerful nephew for their view. Later, Scrooge encounters the ghost of his late business partner, who warns that three spirits will visit him this night. The ghosts take Scrooge on a journey through his past, present and future in the hope of transforming his bitterness.
#9. Scrooge (Albert Finney)
Ebenezer Scrooge (Albert Finney) is the definition of a miser. He is rich, but completely stingy with his money, and he exploits the good nature of his employee Bob Cratchit (David Collings). On Christmas Eve, however, Scrooge is in store for a rude awakening when he is visited by the ghost of his old business partner, Jacob Marley (Alec Guinness), who informs him that he is going to be visited by three ghosts, including the Ghosts of Christmas Past (Edith Evans) and Present (Kenneth More).
#8. The Family Stone
Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) wants to bring his girlfriend, Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker), to meet his bohemian Connecticut family at Christmas. Straitlaced Meredith, feeling she needs backup, asks her sister Julie (Claire Danes) to come along. Hoping to win the approval of her boyfriend‘s parents Sybil (Diane Keaton) and Kelly (Craig T. Nelson) and the rest of the family, instead Meredith succeeds only in highlighting her uptight personality and making Everett doubt his intentions.
Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa’s elves. Unable to shake the feeling that he doesn’t fit in, the adult Buddy travels to New York, in full elf uniform, in search of his real father. As it happens, this is Walter Hobbs (James Caan), a cynical businessman. After a DNA test proves this, Walter reluctantly attempts to start a relationship with the childlike Buddy with increasingly chaotic results.
#6. The Polar Express
Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump”; “Cast Away”) reunite for “Polar Express,” an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.
#5. The Santa Clause
Divorced dad Scott (Tim Allen) has custody of his son (Eric Lloyd) on Christmas Eve. After he accidentally kills a man in a Santa suit, they are magically transported to the North Pole, where an elf explains that Scott must take Santa’s place before the next Christmas arrives. Scott thinks he’s dreaming, but over the next several months he gains weight and grows an inexplicably white beard. Maybe that night at the North Pole wasn’t a dream after all — and maybe Scott has a lot of work to do.
#4. A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas is a 1965 animated television special based on the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. Produced by Lee Mendelson and directed by Bill Melendez, the program made its debut on CBS on December 9, 1965.
#3. Home Alone
When bratty 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) acts out the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother (Catherine O’Hara) makes him sleep in the attic. After the McCallisters mistakenly leave for the airport without Kevin, he awakens to an empty house and assumes his wish to have no family has come true. But his excitement sours when he realizes that two con men (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) plan to rob the McCallister residence, and that he alone must protect the family home.
#2. A Christmas Story
Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), who spends most of his time dodging a bully (Zack Ward) and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” Frequently at odds with his cranky dad (Darren McGavin) but comforted by his doting mother (Melinda Dillon), Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact.
#1. It’s A Wonderful Life
George Bailey has so many problems he is thinking about ending it all – and it’s Christmas! As the angels discuss George, we see his life in flashback. As George is about to jump from a bridge, he ends up rescuing his guardian angel, Clarence – who then shows George what his town would have looked like if it hadn’t been for all his good deeds over the years.
Merry Christmas (Cheers),