It’s Christmas, and whether you celebrate with your friends, family, cats, or otherwise; there’s always some Christmas Classic movies that you no doubt have playing in the background. I always start off the Holidays on TNT with the 24 Hours of A Christmas Story and then jump back and forth between the other nine films below. Check out my list of Ten Favorite Christmas Movies.
10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Both Versions)
I grew up with the animated classic, and fell in love with the Jim Carrey version. Carrey and Ron Howard took everything that I loved from the Dr. Suess movie and expanded on it. You learn the Grinch’s backstory and the makeup by Rick Baker is a thing of pure genius. As is Carrey singing ‘You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch’
9. Batman Returns
It’s actually my favorite live-action Batman film. I love Michael Keaton as The Dark Knight. This film was a bit over the top with Christopher Walken being some made up character, but Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer as Penguin and Catwoman are spot on. I don’t always watch this around Christmas, but the snowy backgrounds and Holiday feel put it on the list.
Joe Dante directing a film about demons that’s produced by Steven Spielberg. PLUS it takes place on Christmas! What’s not to love about Gremlins? I still have my Gizmo toy from my childhood and refuse to feed my mogwai after midnight to this day.
I wasn’t a big fan of this film when it first came out. I liked Will Ferrell and Jon Favreau, but there wasn’t anything that especially drew me to it. Then, I started working for Family Video and having to watch the show for 9 hours straight. The movie quickly made my Top Ten list as I fell for Zooey Deschanel and the one-liners. “Buddy the Elf, What’s your Favorite Color?”
6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
What would Christmas be like if we weren’t spending it with The Griswold Family. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo are the perfect Christmas Couple as they open up their doors to their completely insane family. Some favorite moments: The squirrel, Elaine from Seinfeld, the sledding, and many, many more.
5. The Nightmare Before Christmas
From the moment I watched the movie, I was completely obsessed with it. Always a Tim Burton fan, combine that with my love of stop-motion animation and beautiful music by Danny Elfman; and you have the perfect film. The only reason it’s in the middle of the list is because I end up watching it on Halloween AND Christmas b because it’s great for both. I have spent a small fortune on collectibles from this film and will continue to enjoy it for years to come.
4. Love Actually
I just got finished this film for the umpteenth time this past weekend. The music is brilliant, the stories intertwine seamlessly, and the acting from everyone involved is pitch perfect. Tell me you don’t get a little choked up when Colin Firth’s character asks Aurelia to marry him. Haven’t you ever wanted a wedding where they play The Beatles live? Throw in a little Shannon Elizabeth and you have a classic film.
3. Die Hard
Alan Rickman is on this list twice. Both of the films he’s a bit of a bad guy. Obviously Hans Gruber trying to take over Nakatomi Plaza is a bit worse than a cheating husband, but at least Bruce Willis does something about it. I love the Christmas backdrop of this film. It mixes in the right Holiday music, filled with the great John McTiernan action. Some people want to say this isn’t a Christmas film and to them I say “Ho Ho Ho, Now I have a Machine Gun”
2. Home Alone
A family spends half a million dollars to go on vacation and forget their psychotic child. What could be more Christmas than this? The script is John Hughes and the director is Chris Columbus. The two of them create the perfect combination of wildly sarcastic and whimsical, in a Christmas film which will go down as one of the best of all time. Jimmy Stewart has nothing on a young Macaulay Culkin hell-bent on destroying the lives of two bumbling robbers.
1. A Christmas Story
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I start it off at 8pm on Christmas Eve and it continues to play through the end of Christmas Day. My family has been watching A Christmas Story that way since as long as I can remember. Pretty much every line that comes out of the characters mouths is quotable, and the voice-over from Ralphie is the inspiration for Daniel Sterns voice in The Wonder Years. Even though the Holiday Season starts a day after Halloween, it’s never TRULY Christmas until I watch this movie with my family.