Christine Illes
Features Writer

The most wonderful time of the year is here once again! After all the shopping and stress of getting everything together, it’s nice to relax on the sofa and watch a movie with a mug of hot cocoa in hand. But which holiday movies to watch when there are so many to choose? Here’s a starter list of some holiday favorites to keep you in the spirit. Unfortunately, television classics such as A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the 1966 version) will not be listed since they are not feature length films.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a combination of both the Halloween and Christmas holidays.

5. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
What’s great about this movie is the fact that you can watch it from Halloween on. Tim Burton’s film has surely become classic for this generation and onward. In the film, “all hell breaks loose when the tall and spindly skeleton Jack Skellington, known as the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, kidnaps and tries to replace the much rounder Santa Claus.” ( It is a magnificent film that expresses that anyone can engage in the spirit of the holiday, regardless of your religion, race…and if you’re alive, for that matter.
4. Home Alone (1990)
What happens when an eight year old is left home alone while his parents accidentally forget about him and leave for vacation without him? Complete chaos! Home Alone is an American classic that is beloved by many, providing us with many laughs and memorable scenes. After all, a boy has the right to protect his own home!
3. Elf (2003)
Who can forget the scene when Will Ferrell assaults a department store Santa, telling him angrily that he “sits on a throne of lies?” Elf is a film that has become an instant classic, and is at the top at the “Must Watch” list of holiday films. It follows a man named Buddy who was raised by elves at the North Pole, who then travels to New York to find his biological father. It is a pure, family-friendly, comedy that everyone should see.
2. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
The thing that makes this movie a classic is the fact that it has some of the most realistic and relatable characters. Although it didn’t receive the best reviews when it first premiered, it has developed into a classic. It follows the story of George Bailey (played by James Stewart), a man who feels as if he is losing everything, and wishes he had never been born. He is then visited by his guardian angel, Clarence, who then shows him what the town he lives in would be like if he had never been born. “There never has been, and never will be, a more earnest, beautiful, touching treatment of the Christmas subject than there is here.” ( This film is unlike any other holiday film, and It touches everyone’s heart. And don’t forget about Zuzu’s petals!
1. A Christmas Story (1983)
“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” The story of little Ralphie Parker is one of the most beloved films in America. It has gained much popularity (it’s at the point where TBS plays it for a whole 24 hours, starting Christmas Eve). A Christmas Story is a tender family movie, filled with hilarious moments. Take the sexy lamp for example, and when Ralph’s friend sticks his tongue to a flagpole. This movie should be at the top of everyone’s holiday movie list, because it is a truly warmhearted American classic.
There are just so many holiday films out there. If your favorite didn’t make the list, here is another list of films that are just as jolly!
Miracle on 34th St (1947)
The Santa Clause (1994)
The Polar Express (2004)
Die Hard (1988) Yes, apparently it is a holiday movie. If you like action films, this is the holiday film for you!
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) Yes, the one with Jim Carrey
Scrooged (1988)
Jingle All the Way (1996)
National Lampoon’s Christmas
Vacation (1989)
Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy
Nights (2002)
White Christmas (1954)
Bad Santa (2003) Please note, this one is not family friendly!
Love, Actually (2003)
Gremlins (1984)