December 5, 2011

My Top 10 Christmas Films

Part of the fun of Christmas is watching the films that celebrate it.  Deep down, a part of us rejoices when the magic of this holiday is captured in films. For a fleeting moment, our spirits are lifted like dust in the air and a little light is switched on, and remains this way, as we partake in family get-togethers, holiday ceremonies and all-around fun and laughter. I cannot think of any other holiday that can transform us this way and makes us feel like a child all over. With so many great and funny movies out there, I can confidently narrow down my favorite Christmas  movies:
10.  The Shop Around the Corner
Did you know The Shop Around the Corner was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"?  I love this movie and Jimmy Stewart is a holiday treat you can't miss. 
9.  A Charlie Brown Christmas
Good grief! Good, ol' Charlie Brown is shaking things up again when he decides to take back the meaning of Christmas by putting the gang on stage for an unforgettable holiday performance.  A must see, even the grumpier, old crowd would love the message of this movie. 
8. Holiday Inn
This wonderful movie is a treat to the eyes and ears. A holiday classic that keeps you cheery from beginning to end.  The explosive musical duo of Crosby and Astaire will have you clamoring for more.  Back then, actors had  to act, sing and dance.  Great performance all around!
7.  A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens' classic tale of greed and redemption is retold in this amazing picture packed with amazing performances and visuals (for the time, 1951).  Your kids would love the storybook version and you can maybe then treat them to the movie, although it might be a challenge to keep them interested in this black and white version.

6.  Home Alone
The kid in me loves this movie for the eternal innocence and resourcefulness of this 8 year old kid, who is left behind by mistake during the holidays.  The first time I saw this movie, I was smitten with Culkin.  Sweet face and cute voice.  And how about that house!  The foyer and staircase had me at hello!  

5.  A Christmas Story
I didn't grow up in this country, but when I saw this film for the first time, I was sold.  The narrator perspective and the quirky parents completely stole my heart.  Who knew I would relish this movie year after year with the same novel excitement I felt the first time I watched it. 
4.  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
The title might be a little misleading, because Chevy Chase's family doesn't really go on vacation.  But that doesn't trump his painstaking plans of creating the perfect Christmas holiday for his family, even when his cousin-in-law screws everything up!  The laughs will have you shaking.  
3.  Miracle on 34th Street
New York,  Macy's, Santa Claus, lonely but sweet rich girl, dare I say more?  I love this film so much.  It's perfect in everything sense. You just have to believe...

2.  Love Actually
This film is unbelievably heartwarming.  So many stories to choose from and yet, all of them so good.  I love the writer and Portuguese immigrant story, and the prime minister's and his sister's stories are also sweet and real.  I bought the soundtrack many years ago after watching the film in theaters and I took it with me to NYC for Christmas that same year (2003).  With my headphones on the whole time, I had my own personal Love Actually experience while we drove and strolled around NYC. Priceless!

1.  It's a Wonderful Life
"Everytime a bell rings, an angel gets his wings." Those words just melt me in the right place.  My favorite holiday movie, with my favorite actor (Jimmy Stewart) of all time.  It requires no flattery, it's truly special and a commentary on our times, then and now.

How about you, guys? Do tell, what are your favorite Christmas movies?  I know I left out many good ones, but I had to narrow them down to ten.


  1. Fun choices! We love "Shop Around the Corner," "Christmas in Connecticut," "Holiday Inn," "Christmas Carol" with George C. Scott, and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." My husband really loves "A Christmas Story" too. "Miracle on 34th St." and "Wonderful Life" are every-other-year ones for me. We watched "Miracle on 34th" on Thanksgiving this year.

  2. "It's a Wonderful Life" is definitely at the top of my holiday movie list, especially as it's my mom's favorite movie ever and she makes us watch it over and over again during the holidays.

  3. I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award, in this post:

  4. Fabulous ones! I really like all of them


    Have a great weekend!

  5. My son was crazy about the Home alone movies a few years ago, I don't know how many times he saw them. And I saw Love Actually again last week :-)

    I think that many Swedes think of Tomten är far till alla barnen (Santa Claus is the father of all the children)is a fun Christmas movie. It's about a crazy Christmas when Sara decides to celebrate Christmas Eve with her three ex-husbands and their families - and her new spouse.

    And every Christmas Eve there is always the GREAT story of Karl-Bertil Jonssons jul (jul = christmas) An animated robin hood-inspired christams story. And of course Donald Duck and his Disney friends, that's a Swedish tradition to watch at 3 pm on Christmas Eve.

    Hope you had a great weekend!

  6. Maria that movie sounds really funny, and I wouldn't have imagined a Disney cartoon Christmas story as a Swedish tradition.