10 of the Best Movies to Celebrate the Christmas Season


Everett Collection

Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf, an iconic character known especially during the Christmas season.

Leah Dennison, Staff Writer

As someone who puts up their tree on November 1 while listening to Michael Bublé’s Christmas Album, there is no doubt that I may be a little too passionate about the season. With that being said, I feel like this makes me reliable to rank ten of the top, most iconic movies that every person who celebrates Christmas needs to watch at least once in their life. 


  1. A Christmas Carol (2009)

While I’m sure this movie doesn’t make it into anyone’s list of top ten Christmas movies, it definitely does for me. The plot of this movie is intriguing, following an apathetic old man and his journey to learn the importance of selflessness. The spirits of Christmas past, present, and future take Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey to teach him a lesson. This movie circles around the idea of redemption, as it is never too late to transform from being greedy to generous especially during the season of giving. I find this movie to be fascinating, as it is the only Christmas movie I’ve ever seen that has truly scared me.


  1. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Charlie Brown has been significant for decades in many peoples’ lives. Personally, I find it comforting to watch the same movie with such lovable characters at least once during Christmas time. From Snoopy to Lucy to Linus, watching this short movie is truly heartwarming. It is a sweet, innocent film solely purposed to entertain and excite viewers for the celebration of the holiday season. 


  1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Focusing on the more traditional level of Christmas, this movie is definitely one of the most iconic, classic Christmas movies. Released in 1946, this movie follows George Bailey, a man contemplating ending his life. After rescuing his guardian angel, he is given the chance to look back at all the good he has done for his town and all the things that couldn’t have been possible without him present. While more serious than the rest, I find this movie to be truly moving, as the message goes beyond the importance of Christmas, and more towards the importance of every individual, as we have all impacted the world whether we know it or not.


  1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Who doesn’t love the Grinch? Sure, his heart may be three sizes too small, but he sure brings a level of excitement and comedy to the town of Whoville. This Christmas classic is not only entertaining as an animation but it has also been created as a live-action movie starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch. Something about watching the main antagonist turn into the main protagonist is really satisfying, and I will always consider this movie to be up in the top ten.


  1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Ever wondered what bad luck during the holiday season is like? Well, look no further, because the Griswold family is the perfect example of a not-so-merry Christmas. I find this movie to be hilarious, as it is almost painful to watch how unlucky Clark Griswold is, from falling off of his roof while hanging up lights, to getting locked up in the attic while his family leaves to spend quality time without him. I love this movie because it is totally unrealistic in some aspects, yet somehow I still find myself relating to the movie, especially over the annoyance of neighbors who put up enough Christmas lights to light up an entire city.  


  1. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

Home Alone is truly iconic during the holiday season. Usually (in my personal opinion) sequels are never even close to being as good as the original. Home Alone 2 is an exception to this. As the second movie in this series follows Kevin coincidentally being stranded alone in New York after getting on the wrong flight, he is once again left to fend for himself while being hunted down by the now-named “Sticky Bandits.” This movie still has the same heartfelt message of the importance of family during this time of year much like the original Home Alone.


  1. A Christmas Story (1983)

As the number four spot, I placed A Christmas Story. This movie is truly a classic, following the honest perspective of a not-so-perfect Christmas season. This movie is relatable. As much as I’d like to say my family and I are perfectly happy during the holiday season, in reality, there is always fighting, stressing about getting the perfect Christmas tree, and of course, school. A Christmas story is also the inventor of the iconic leg lamp, a gag decoration now displayed in many peoples’ houses due to their love of this Christmas movie.


  1. Polar Express (2004)

Polar Express is one of the most iconic classic Christmas animated films. Filled with musical numbers and unique graphics, Polar Express is unique in every way. The movie is about a boy and his journey on a magic train that takes him (along with many other children) to the North Pole to meet Santa. Another aspect that makes this movie different is that most of the characters aren’t named. The main protagonist is simply considered the “Hero Boy,” and some of the supporting characters are named “Hero Girl” or “Know-It-All.” This movie is especially great to watch the closer you get to Christmas, and it is my personal favorite Christmas movie.


  1. Home Alone (1990)

There is no doubt that Home Alone is a Christmas favorite. The movie is about a boy, Kevin McAllister, who accidentally gets left at home alone while the rest of his family goes on a trip to France. Kevin must protect his house from the “Wet Bandits’’, a duo of thieves who plan to break into the McAllister household. Not only is the movie witty and entertaining, but it also teaches the viewer the importance of family, especially during the holiday season.


  1. Elf (2003)

Coming in at the top spot is my personal favorite, Elf. A timeless Christmas classic, this movie never fails to entertain the audience. The movie follows  Buddy the Elf, an overly optimistic human raised in the North Pole, as he goes on a journey to New York to meet his real dad, who unfortunately is on the naughty list. Along the way, Buddy meets his family, finds a love interest, and spreads Christmas cheer to all the people he crosses paths with. This movie is rich in humor and has a warm, cheery tone. No matter how often I watch this movie, it never fails to lift my spirits.


Whether you agree or disagree with what movies I’ve chosen and how I’ve placed them, one thing is for sure; Christmas is a time to wind down, relax, and drink a nice cup of hot chocolate while watching a comforting movie with friends or family. Enjoy the season with the ones you love, and have a Merry Christmas!