My favorite Christmas movies

I think a lot of Christmas movies are corny.   I avoid any “Made of Television – Hallmark”  holiday movie.  However, there are a few Christmas movies I watch every year, and some I don’t watch annually, but are still on  my favorites list.


“A Christmas Story” (1983) – I’ve been watching this movie every Christmas for years now,  and it’s easily my all-time favorite Christmas movie. Set in the 1940’s, it’s a story about obsession. Writer and narrator, the late Jean Shepherd once said he felt obsession  often makes very good  comedy and he was right. Ralphie is a 9-year-old with one Christmas wish – he wants nothing more than a Red Ryder BB gun and it is an all enveloping desire. His mother is dead set against the idea, fearing Ralphie will “shoot his eye out.” If you haven’t seen this movie, rent it today. If you’ve ever been a kid, I think you’ll enjoy this humorous look at childhood.


“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989) – This silly Chevy Chase flick is my husband’s favorite Christmas movie and every since we met he’s made me watch it during the holidays.  Eventually  my love/hate relationship with “Christmas Vacation” turned into mostly love. In this National Lampoon’s movie, the Griswold family is hosting Christmas and Clark’s desire for the perfect holiday with the family quickly develops into one crazy scene after another. With Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Nicholas Guest playing the Griswold’s yuppie neighbors, and the non-stop hilarious trainwreck that is Clark Griswold, this one is a much-watch at my house during the holidays.

By the way if anyone knows where to get egg nog  glasses with reindeer antler handles, please let me know.


“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964)  – This  is a Christmas movie from my father’s childhood, therefore  my brother and I  sat  down with my parents  every Christmas to watch  “Rudolph.”    I don’t have much to say about this movie except that I love it.   And if you haven’t seen it, have you been living under a rock?


“Elf” (2003) – This movie has become a holiday tradition for  my husband and I. Starring Will Ferrell as a human named Buddy  who has been raised by  elves at the North Pole,  this movie is Ferrell at his  very best. When  Buddy decides to leave the  North Pole to look for his real father, he  is more than a little out of place in New York City. James Caan plays Buddy’s father and he is the perfect straightman to Ferrell’s outrageous comedic genius in this movie.  According to Netflix this is the #1  rented Christmas movie this year, so apparently I’m not the only one with an “‘Elf”-fetish.      



“Joyeux Noel” (2005) – I recently watched this movie and it easily makes my list of favorite  Christmas movies. The movie is based on true accounts of Christmas 1914, on the front-lines during World War I. Allied Scottish and French troops are spending Christmas in  the trenches. Their German enemies are  hunkered down in their trenches, approximately fifty yards away. This is the story of how guns and preconceived notions were put aside to celebrate a holiday held dear by those fighting on both sides of this gruesome war. It is heartwarming movie, but it  isn’t sappy. In the end it’s a war movie, so be prepared, but it  also a Christmas movie with all the right messages about what it means to celebrate  the holiday.  

Honorable Mention


“Home Alone” (1990) – I do not watch this one every year, but  I was a kid when it came to theaters so  it represents a childhood holiday memory for me. To  this day, whenever I hear “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree” I think of MacCaulay Culkin creating a fake party in his living room to  make the robbers think adults were home. While not Oscar-worthy, this is a cute movie starring two of the funniest home burglars in history, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. While perhaps not   a film for adults, if you have children, they will love it.  

 I know I’ve missed some  good Christmas  movies, such as “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and those are both great movies. However, I can’t blog on this topic all night and this list  only represent my favorites. It’s not a list of movies I  regard of  as the Best  Christmas Movies ever Made – that list  would  include “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  

If you have other favorites, please share them in the comment section


  1. Good choices. I’m 40 and I would rather watch “Rudolph” or “Year without a Santa Claus” AGAIN this time of year more than any other new release. Especially “Four Christmases.”


  2. A good selection of films, and I’d agree with most all of these. You just need to include the ‘Muppet Christmas Carol’ in the list… one of my favorites.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *