Today I’m sharing the 5 best holiday movies out there- I’ve seen pretty much every vaguely Christmas related movie out there (bar horror movies), from the big name block busters to the early morning Hallmark movies that are replayed when no one should be awake. Nothing is more relaxing to me than popping on a Christmas movie and spending a few hours getting lost in holiday cheesiness, and I hope that you can experience the same! Grab some hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies, put on the fire, and get ready to embrace the holidays…
1. Miracle on 34th Street
This is cheating, but I am counting two movies for the price of one- I’m including both the 1947 black and classic and the 1994 update here. They each have their own strengths and charms, but the story of a department store Santa who claims to be the real deal and has to go to court to prove it is the ultimate Christmas triumph! Although department stores seem to slowly be fading from the retail landscape, getting your picture taken with Santa is a crucial part of the holiday season for a lot of us, and I love that this story is created on a person who in spite of being featured of hundreds of pictures is often instantly forgotten. Maureen O’Hara steals the spotlight in the original film, and Richard Attenborough shines in the remake, it’s definitely worth watching both to catch them. Plus, Miracle just gives me that warm, Christmas feeling that is the ultimate goal!
2. Frosty the Snowman
This classic cartoon version of Frosty the Snowman is perfect for any age- it’s short enough at just under twenty one minutes that most kids can sit through it, and it’s got a solid nostalgia factor for most adults! What’s a movie without a good villain? The evil magician isn’t quite as creepy as he could be, as far as Christmas villains go (Krampus, anyone??), and provides a good foil for the lovable Frosty! And if you don’t walk around singing “Thumpity thump thump, thumpity thump thump” for a week afterwards, I will be shocked. The only sad part about Frosty is that it doesn’t seem to get much TV action anymore- surely people can’t be over Frosty?!
3. Christmas with the Kranks
Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis deliver in a surprisingly touching comedy is actually the film version of John Grisham’s novel, Skipping Christmas. Two empty-nesters decide to skip Christmas (and all of the spending and time that goes with it) to go on a cruise leaving on Christmas Day, when their daughter in the Peace Corps announces that she is unexpectedly coming home for Christmas (and bringing her new boyfriend with her). Chaos ensues as they have to re-create the perfect Christmas with only a few days and nothing left in stores! The supporting cast are just as endearing, and provide much needed warmth and support to make this one of my favourite holiday movies. (Sidenote: are there people who have ham instead of turkey for Christmas??)
4. The Santa Clause
I didn’t realise that Tim Allen was so big into Christmas movies until looking at this list; I love The Santa Clause movies! The first is obviously the best, but I love that they are a clever approach to Christmas. For anyone not familiar, Allen is an advertising executive who ends up scaring Santa and replacing him due to a technicality (aka “The Santa Clause”)- suddenly he’s got to figure out how being Santa is going to fit into his life, and allow him to still be a dad to his son Charlie. I’ve got to say, I appreciate how focused and driven the elves at the North Pole are, and I would totally break my “no football” rule to play touch football with elves!
5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
I think that the 1964 Claymation Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer has got to be the ultimate Christmas movie for me- I’ve watched it every single year of my life that I can remember (so, at least 25 years), usually more than once. It’s got a fantastic soundtrack that is super fun, and there is something for everyone! Some people are like me and want to embrace Christmas and elf around to their heart’s desire, and some people are like Harvey and just want to be a dentist. Burl Ives is pretty much the greatest narrator out there, too- Sam the Snowman weathers any storm and still provides a good musical background. (Also, shout-out to Yukon Cornelius for persevering. Some people can’t turn off Netflix and he literally saved them from the Abominable Snow Monster…)
I do love Elf– I’m going to ballpark it and say that probably half of my favourite Christmas related quotes are from Elf. It’s got heart, it’s funny, and it’s just pure fun! However, it seems that it’s a pretty polarising movie in my circle of family and friends- people either love it or hate. What I say to people who hate it? “YOU SIT ON A THRONE OF LIES.”