The Most Wonderful Holiday Films

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we only have one more weekend to watch all of our favorite Christmas classics before the big day! Despite my love for films and Christmas, I will be the first to admit that I have not seen enough Christmas movies. This is due to the fact that I prefer to watch my favorites on repeat. In fact, one of my favorite Christmas memories was when my college roommate and I skipped class and watched Love Actually and The Holiday. When both ended, we watched them again… In one day. Twice. Each.

It would be unfair of me to compile a list ranking the films from “best to worst” when I simply am not educated enough in this genre. However, if you need a little inspiration for Christmas this year, here are 16 films that I like to spend my time with each November/December (typically with a marathon every Black Friday).

It’s Not Christmas Until…
Frosty the Snowman
Frosty the Snowman
Happy Birthday! For as long as I can remember, it has been tradition to watch Frosty the Snowman every year with my father. It doesn’t feel like Christmas until we get out the VHS tape, make a fire, and drink some hot cocoa. Frosty is a lovable guy and I can’t wait to be home in snowy Ohio to watch this classic with my favorite men: my father and my pup.

Cleveland Classic
A Christmas Story
A Christmas Story

I’m from Cleveland and for the first time this year, I finally visited the Christmas Story house. They play this movie for 24 hours during the holiday, so don’t ask me why I only saw it for the first time two years ago. It is charming, hilarious, and a staple if you are from my town. I will never forget the Christmas that my uncle exposed us to his new favorite decoration: the giant inflatable leg lamp that sits in their front yard every year. What a major award!

Is This a Christmas Movie?
Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands
The last quarter of this film takes place during Christmas, so arguably this COULD be a Christmas movie. Even if you disagree, you can’t deny the fact that this film is pure genius and absolutely beautiful. What better way to spend a lazy day in December than spending some time with arguably Tim Burton’s best character.

So Bad It’s Good
The Family Stone & I’ll Be Home for Christmas
The Family Stone I'll Be Home For Christmas

Let’s get real. Both of these are not good. Are they so bad it’s good? Actually probably not, but The Family Stone is so heartbreaking and we all love a good cry, and I’ll Be Home for Christmas reminds us that JTT is and will always be a God and we get to make fun of Jessica Biel’s terrible outfit choices in this film which makes us feel a little bit better about the fact that she’s married to everyone’s prince charming, Justin Timberlake. Also, the villain of this film was also in 7th Heaven, so there’s that too.

Claymation at its Best
Nightmare Before Christmas
Nightmare Before Christmas
I already wrote about this film during Halloween, but it deserves another mention. This film will stand the test of time as one of the best films to watch at both Halloween and Christmas. Danny Elfman’s score is great background music for your house and the songs are great for a sing-a-long. And of course, the Claymation is absolutely beautiful.

The Best of the Best
These are the films that I will never go a single Christmas without watching. They are classics. The crème de la crème of Christmas cinema.
Love Actually
Love Actually 2 Love Actually

The ultimate Christmas film. Love Actually is king. The all-star cast. The amazing score. The fantastic writing. The hilarious jokes. The Hugh Grant dance sequence. It has it all! Not only is every story very different, but not one stands out as the best or worst! I love them all! Sometimes I think the widowed stepfather story is the best, and then Hugh Grant says “Would we call her chubby?” in a high voice and I change my mind. Colin calls himself the god of sex and I quickly think he is the superior character, and then the best friend of Kiera Knightly’s husband stands outside her door professing his love with Silent Night playing on a boombox and handwritten cards. I LOVE THIS FILM SO MUCH. This film requires multiple viewings for a sufficient Christmas… and by multiple, I mean, MULTIPLE.

The Holiday
The Holiday

A close second is The Holiday. While the Cameron Diaz/Jude Law story is clearly better than the Kate Winslet/Jack Black tale, Kate Winslet’s character is definitely the most relatable! Her fun times with Arthur are so adorable, but not as adorable as Jude Law’s children! Oh my gosh, Mr. Napkin Head! Hans Zimmer has also composed a great score to listen to while we’re all still at work before the Holidays.

It’s a Wonderful Life
It's A Wonderful Life

Jimmy Stewart and Christmas in one film? Please and thank you. If this film hasn’t changed you for the better, then I think you need to reevaluate your life. Both heartbreaking and joyful, It’s a Wonderful Life will make you FEEL and that’s important. This film also includes one of the most touching lines from ANY film (and with Titanic being my favorite movie, I am a sucker for romance): “What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.” Swoon.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
With one of the best Christmas scores and most touching lessons, how can you not indulge in a little Charlie Brown Christmas every holiday season? At least to laugh at the jokes and help decorate the Charlie Brown tree.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
NO! Of course I don’t mean the Jim Carrey Grinch! THAT WOULD BE ABSURD! The Dr. Seuss cartoon is wholesome and it rhymes and it’s just the perfect length for the story. It’s adorable and no live-action movie will ever compare.

Friendly Picks
Like I said, I have always stuck to my favorites and rarely venture out. Even though I have seen these films and loved them, I don’t watch them every year, but I know my friends ADORE them. So I guess these are an honorable mention?
The Santa Clause
Because… yes.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Because… my Uncle wore a dickie for Christmas last year and I will never forget it.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Because… the Muppets. Duh.
Home Alone
Because… it’s just awesome.