This holiday season, take some time to watch the best Christmas movies to get you in a festive mood.
During the holidays, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the scramble to get to all the feasts, gift-buying, and tree-trimming. But in fact, just as essential to Christmas is the tradition of slowing down, relaxing, and watching your favourite Christmas films. While there are certainly too many magical films to keep track of, we’ve put together a list of some of the best Christmas movies to watch this holiday season.
Snuggle up with the best Christmas movies
1. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
It’s A Wonderful Life isn’t just known as one of the best Christmas movies of all time, but rather one of the best films of all time, period. When George Bailey contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve, his guardian angel comes to visit him to show him how much he’s affected his community for the better. George gets to see how his life actually means something when he is then shown how everything would be worse if he had never existed. It’s A Wonderful Life is a classic for a reason, and you’ll soon find yourself rewatching it over and over every year.
2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Jim Carrey gives a performance of a lifetime as the Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Based on the Dr Seuss children’s book of the same name, the film follows the Grinch as he plots to ruin Christmas for the citizens of Whoville after he was ostracised by them as a child. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a great family-friendly film which always makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside, and reminds us of how wonderful Christmas is (beyond the parties and presents!).
3. The Holiday (2006)
Rom-com aficionado Nancy Meyers writes, produces, and directs this heartwarming take on the festive season. Led by two iconic actresses, Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, The Holiday follows an American and a Brit who decide to do a home exchange for two weeks during the Christmas holidays. With both seeking to escape their own misadventures in love from home, the two women soon find new romance in unexpected places. Perfectly capturing both the love and the melancholy that the festive season brings for many, The Holiday is the perfect Christmas film to watch for rom-com lovers.
4. Elf (2003)
Elf is the story of Buddy, a human who grows up on the North Pole believing that he is an elf. When he discovers the truth, he ventures to New York City to find his biological father in order to reconnect and get his dad off the naughty list. A modern Christmas classic, Elf is loved by many for its wholesome message and Will Ferrell’s hilarious performance. No matter how old you are, you won’t be able to help but chuckle at Buddy’s antics and feel his infectious Christmas spirit.
5. Home Alone (1990)
We bet you’ve seen this one before, whether on Christmas or not! Home Alone takes place over a few days when eight-year-old Kevin is accidentally left home alone by his vacationing family. While that would be trouble enough, a pair of burglars are planning on robbing his house over Christmas. The quintessential Christmas heist movie, Home Alone features an incredible performance by then-child actor Macaulay Culkin with an original story full of mischief and cheer.
6. Klaus (2019)
One of the more recent best Christmas movies is Klaus, an animated tale set in 19th-century Norway. When the spoiled son of the Postmaster General, Jesper Johanson, is sent to Smeerensburg, he discovers an old woodsman named Klaus who makes handmade toys. While Jesper convinces Klaus to donate his toys to children who write to him, the adults in the two conflicting familial clans in the town of Smeerensburg resist their efforts. The whimsical animation of Klaus makes its story of Christmas feel all the more magical. A film perfect for the whole family, Klaus is definitely one to check out this season.
7. Die Hard (1988)
Hear us out with this one – Die Hard can “technically” be classified as a Christmas movie! Considered one of the greatest action films of all time, this Bruce Willis-led romp takes place on Christmas Eve in Los Angeles. As the now-legendary character of John McClane arrives in the city, hoping to reconcile with his wife, he runs into a plot by German radicals led by the formidable Hans Gruber (a fantastic Alan Rickman). Throughout the night, McClane works to foil Gruber’s nefarious plans while attempting to rescue his wife along with other hostages. Featuring intense action sequences as well as a touch of humour, Die Hard is exciting to watch during the holiday season as a welcome change of pace from the typical Christmas movie.
8. Love Actually (2003)
What’s better than a Christmas story? 10 Christmas stories in one! Featuring an ensemble cast of British stars like Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, and Keira Knightley, Love Actually depicts the five weeks leading up to Christmas for everyone, from the British prime minister to a recently separated writer. A timeless romantic comedy as well as a classic Christmas movie, Love Actually is definitely worth checking out this holiday season.
9. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Who doesn’t love the Muppets? Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol is given the Muppet treatment and turned into a musical in The Muppet Christmas Carol. Ebenezer Scrooge, a selfish grouch, is visited one night by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and yet to come in an attempt to show him the error of his ways. This film is fun to watch as your Muppet favourites like Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy play iconic characters in the classic story while they also break into cheerful songs. Even a not already established fan of the Muppets may soon find themselves converted after a watch!
10. A Christmas Story (1983)
A Christmas Story is a film told through a series of vignettes surrounding the Parker family one holiday season. While Ralphie Parker deals with neighbourhood bullies, his parents, and his teacher, he wishes for a Red Ryder air rifle for Christmas. A Yuletide favourite for any kid, A Christmas Story perfectly captures the feeling of longing for the ultimate gift when you were younger. Not only can the little ones enjoy this film, those looking to reminisce about their youth and childhood will also find this film to be one of the best Christmas movies!