These are my favorite Christmas movies. I try to watch them every year, some with my family, but some are just my own traditions. Is anything missing? Comment below. Merry Christmas!
1. Home Alone
The story of Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), left home alone after his family leaves for France with his sleeping alone on “the third floor!” is one of my favorites of all time, let alone of Christmas-time. It’s hilarious and touching, witty and painful. Joe Pesci, as (a bald) Harry, leads the “Wet Bandits” duo that tries to rob the McCallister’s house, except that Kevin has something to say about it. I always wanted to rig up my house to repel burgler-buffoons, like Kevin, but I just just have to live vicariously through this film.
Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang learn about the true meaning of Christmas. A deep philosophical discussion of religion vs. commercialism ensues, until Linus settles the matter with his monologue. With a memorable score composed by Vince Guaraldi, this is a wonderful family film which I eagerly watch every year.
Macaulay Culkin and company return as Kevin McCallister gets left behind again–this time in New York! The stakes are higher this time, as Kevin has no home-field advantage. With a stolen credit card, a Talkboy, and his quick thinking, Kevin must escape from his old nemeses: the Wet Bandits. There is a moment that I remember watching over and over again, when Kevin covers Marv (Daniel Stern) in paint and then electrocutes him–I could not breathe for laughing!
My family marks the beginning of the Christmas season by watching this film on Thanksgiving Day. It’s the true-to-life tale of a boy’s single-minded desire for a Christmas present, filled with non-sequitors, tongues freezing to lamp poles, eyes being shot out, and the warm glow of a severed appendage gleaming from the front window.
5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Animated)
Boris Karloff narrates this animated Christmas classic about the Grinch whose heart was two sizes too small. However, when he invades the small hamlet of Whoville, he learns that he cannot defeat the spirit of Christmas, and eventually is allowed to eat Roast Beast with his fellow Whovians. I love it!
Ok, so I’m a romantic at heart, and this tale interweaves several stories of love around Christmas-time. However, it’s not all happy romance. Love is won and lost, discovered for the first time, and regained after heartbreak. With an all-star cast, the spirit of Christmas is infused with love.
Unfortuntely, this is not suitable for teens and children.
7. Die Hard
Many people forget that this is a Christmas movie. John McClane had plans. He (Bruce Willis) was going to a Christmas party to meet his wife, but as it will happen when Bruce Willis is in a movie, terrorists attack. Led by Hans Gruber (the brilliant Alan Rickman), a group of criminals siezes the Nakatomi Building in search of $600 million locked in a vault. McClane, an NYPD officer, starts a guerilla war against the bad guys–all while barefoot–and comes out on top, to learn that the true meaning of Christmas is killing terrorists. Really, what better way to win back your estranged wife? It’s really a family film. I love it! Yippie-ki-yay…
Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera-Ellen all play performers who meet up and decide to help out Crosby and Kaye’s old army commander, to show him that he is still important to those who knew him. A great many musical numbers ensue, including the title song by Irving Berlin—and my favorite Christmas song. It’s like a batch of warm cookies and hot chocolate on a cold winter night.
Jim Carrey lends his incredible acting and comedic talents to the classic Dr. Seuss tale. It’s absurd, yet good fun.
I love the Muppets. With Michael Caine as Scrooge, Kermit as Bob Cratchet, and the narration of Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat, the Muppet gang teach Scrooge the true meaning of Christmas. It’s also a musical, filled with crazy puppet Christmas cheer!
The Nightmare Before Christmas