I absolutely love Christmas. It’s my most favorite holiday. And I really really love Christmas movies. I think there needs to be more happy, feel good, movies all year long. Today I’m sharing with you my favorite 25 Christmas Movies so you can to the “25 Days of Christmas Movies” with your family this year! Let’s start with their ranking from least awesome, to most awesome . . .
This post contains affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy for more information.
#25- The Lemon Drop Kid– Bob Hope stars as Sidney Melbourne (a/k/a “The Lemon Drop Kid”), a con man who offers a friendly “sure thing” horse tip to the girlfriend of mobster Moose Moran.
#24- A Very Merry Mix Up– A woman sets out to meet her fiancé’s family at Christmas and winds up at the wrong house. Once the mistake is corrected, she realizes that her bond with the wrong family–and their eligible son–was stronger than her bond with the right one.
#23- The Christmas Ornament– Widow Kathy Howard is having a hard time facing her first Christmas without her husband when she meets Christmas tree lot owner Tim Pierce who helps her to see that there is still hope and love in the world. Kathy however, is unsure if she is truly ready to move on. Will she stay stuck in her grief, or will Tim and the Christmas season help open her heart to a new life?
#22- The Holiday– In Nancy Meyers’ “The Holiday,” a romantic comedy from the director of “Something’s Gotta Give” and “What Women Want,” two women trade homes only to find that a change of address can change their lives. Iris (Winslet) is in love with a man who is about to marry another woman. Across the globe, Amanda (Diaz), realizes the man she lives with has been unfaithful. Two women who have never met and live 6000 miles apart, find themselves in the exact same place. They meet online at a home exchange website and impulsively switch homes for the holiday. Iris moves into Amanda’s L.A. house in sunny California as Amanda arrives in the snow covered English countryside. Shortly after arriving at their destinations, both women find the last thing either wants or expects: a new romance. Amanda is charmed by Iris’ handsome brother Graham (Law) and Iris, with inspiration provided by legendary screenwriter Arthur (Wallach), mends her heart when she meets film composer Miles (Black).
#21- The Night Before the Night Before Christmas– Just two days before Christmas, after having a mid-flight accident, Santa Claus and his reindeer land with a thud on the home Angela and Wayne share with their young son, Toby. Santa has lost his memory and his magical bag and soon the family realizes they’ve got a true crisis on their hands. They need to help Santa remember what’s he supposed to do so the world doesn’t have to miss Christmas. Stars Jennifer Beals and Rick Roberts.
#20- A Holiday Engagement– Jilted by her high-powered fiancé just before Thanksgiving, and terrified of disappointing her demanding mother, Hillary Burns hires an unemployed artist to pretend to be her fiancé over the holiday weekend. She soon discovers however, that the hired replacement, David, may not be a replacement after all.
#19- The Night Before Christmas– This stop-motion animated fable was a big hit when it was released — not only at the box office, but critically. It was praised for its stunning originality and for the excellence of its execution. In addition, it was praised for being a completely absorbing fable that both grownups and children can enjoy, so long as the children are able to its handle scary bits (beginning perhaps at age seven or eight). In the story, Jack Skellington (voice of Chris Sarandon) is the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, a realm of reality where the inhabitants make it their life’s work to scare humans on Halloween. He’s good at his work, and is very popular around town, but it all bores him. In a funk one day, he wanders into a wood where every tree is the doorway to realms serving one or another human holiday, and falls through the doorway into Christmas. There, he sees scenes of such glee and good will that he is overwhelmed.
#18- Scrooged– “Scrooged”, the hilarious spin on Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol”, is now available on high-definition Blu-ray! Bill Murray is television executive Frank Cross, the meanest, most selfish man on Earth. He will stop at nothing to increase his network’s ratings, even if it means that his staff works on Christmas Eve. It will take three spirits – the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future – to show Frank that he needs to change. With an all-star cast including Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Carol Kane, Alfred Woodard and Robert Mitchum, and a memorable musical score from Danny Elfman, “Scrooged” will have your entire family rediscovering the true meaning of the holidays.
#17- Home Alone– When little Kevin McCallister is accidentally left behind when his family dashes off on a Christmas trip, he is left to defend his family’s home from two bumbling burglars until the relatives return.
#16- The Bishops Wife– This Christmastime angelic intervention sparkles with good humor as Dudley the angel is sent to help a bishop and his wife survive their attempt to finance a new cathedral.
#15- National Lampoons Christmas Vacation– Chevy Chase, star of National Lampoon’s Vacation and its sequel, is back as the paterfamilias of the Griswold family (including Beverly D’Angelo as his missus) to skewer the Yuletide season. Chevy mugs, trips, falls, mashes his fingers and stubs his toes as he prepares to invite numerous dysfunctional relatives to his household to celebrate Christmas. Amidst the more outrageous sight gags (including the electrocution of a cat as the Christmas tree is lit) the film betrays a sentimental streak, with old wounds healing and long-estranged relatives reuniting in the Griswold living room.
#14- Arthur Christmas– How CAN Santa deliver billions of presents to the whole world in just one night? With an army of one million combat-style Field Elves and a vast, state-of-the-art control center under the ice of the North Pole! So how could this incredible operation have MISSED one child?! To Santa’s young son, Arthur, it threatens to end the magic of Christmas. With retired Grandsanta, a rebellious young elf, an old sleigh and some untrained reindeer, Arthur sets out in a crazy mission to deliver the last present! Deck the halls with excitement, fun and wonder in this new Christmas classic.
#13- Babes in Toyland– All roads lead to magical, merry Toyland as Mary Contrary and Tom Piper prepare for their wedding! But villainous Barnaby wants Mary for himself, so he kidnaps Tom, setting off a series of comic chases, searches, and double-crosses!
#12- White Christmas– Two talented son-and-dance men (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) team up after the war to become one of the hottest acts in show business.
#11- Meet Me in St. Louis– The well-off Smith family has four beautiful daughters, including Esther and little Tootie. 17-year old Esther has fallen in love with the boy next door who has just moved in, John.
#10- Disney’s A Christmas Carol– Robert Zemeckis directs this animated version of the Yuletide classic A Christmas Story. The story centers on Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey), a penny-pinching miser who cares nothing for the people around him, least of all his hopelessly downtrodden employee Bob Cratchit (Gary Oldman) and infectiously optimistic nephew, Fred (Colin Firth). On Christmas Eve, after a frightening encounter with the ghost of his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley, Scrooge is visited by three spirits — the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come — who take him on an eye-opening journey to expose the truths he is reluctant to face.
#9- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer– Remember when Santa called upon Rudolph to guide his sleigh that foggy Christmas night? Relive the adventures of Rudolph and friends as they help save Christmas and have some fun along the way. Told and sung by Burl Ives.
#8- The Christmas Candle– A young minister brings electricity to an English village during the late 20th Century, threatening a local tradition involving a candle capable of delivering Christmas miracles. According to local legend, an angel visits the quaint hamlet of Gladbury every 25 years, touching a candle produced by the local candlemaker, and giving one lucky family a Christmas miracle. Now the year is 1890, and as Christmas approaches, youthful minster David Richmond (Hans Matheson) arrives in Gladbury convinced that the locals will embrace the convenience of electricity with open arms. Meanwhile, the tempestuous candlemaker sees electricity as a direct threat to his livelihood, and plots to ensure that the legend is preserved. When the one blessed candle disappears, however, the citizens of this quaint hamlet have a Christmas like none ever before.
#7- The Santa Clause– A bizarre twist of fate transforms a divorced dad into the new Santa.
#6- A Charlie Brown Christmas– It’s bound to be a white Christmas with this classic! From creator Charles M. Shultz and producer Bill Melendez, it’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. Not only does this timeless special have the distinction of warming hearts young and old, but it has won both an Emmy and a Peabody Award. Whether you are seeing this holiday masterpiece for the first time or the first time in years, you have doubtless heard of that ol’ blockhead Charlie Brown and the little tree that could. Filled with mythology as the gang tries to put on a holiday play, kids big and small will end up with a pretty decent dance party, a lesson for the ages and some good old-fashioned fun. As for the tree — it’s amazing what a little love can do.
#5- How the Grinch Stole Christmas– Oscar winners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer go to Whoville to bring the world’s best-loved grump to life in this hilarious celebration of the true holiday spirit, which stars Jim Carrey.
#4- Elf– One Christmas Eve a long time ago, a baby crawled into Santa’s bag of toys Raised as an elf. Buddy goes looking for his true place in the world–in New York City.
#3- Miracle on 34th Street– In this new holiday “miracle” based on the famous 1947 film classic, a little girl discovers dreams can come true if you really believe. Six-year-old Susan has doubts about childhood’s most enduring miracle – Santa Claus. Her mother told her the “secret” about Santa a long time ago, so Susan doesn’t expect to receive the most important gifts on her Christmas list. But after meeting a special department store Santa who’s convinced he’s the real thing, Susan is given the most precious gift of all – something to believe in. Starring Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott, and Mara Wilson as Susan, this uplifting and joyous film will make believers out of the entire family.
#2- A Christmas Story– In this holiday classic, Ralphie, a young boy growing up in the ’40’s, dreams of owning a Red Rider BB gun. He sets out to convince the world this is the perfect gift.
#1- It’s a Wonderful Life– This is director Frank Capra’s classic bittersweet comedy/drama about George Bailey (James Stewart), the eternally-in-debt guiding force of a bank in the typical American small town of Bedford Falls. As the film opens, it’s Christmas Eve, 1946, and George, who has long considered himself a failure, faces financial ruin and arrest and is seriously contemplating suicide. High above Bedford Falls, two celestial voices discuss Bailey’s dilemma and decide to send down eternally bumbling angel Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers), who after 200 years has yet to earn his wings, to help George out. But first, Clarence is given a crash course on George’s life, and the multitude of selfless acts he has performed: rescuing his younger brother from drowning, losing the hearing in his left ear in the process; enduring a beating rather than allow a grieving druggist (H.B. Warner) to deliver poison by mistake to an ailing child; foregoing college and a long-planned trip to Europe to keep the Bailey Building and Loan from letting its Depression-era customers down; and, most important, preventing town despot Potter (Lionel Barrymore) from taking over Bedford Mills and reducing its inhabitants to penury. Along the way, George has married his childhood sweetheart Mary (Donna Reed), who has stuck by him through thick and thin. But even the love of Mary and his children are insufficient when George, faced with an $8000 shortage in his books, becomes a likely candidate for prison thanks to the vengeful Potter. Bitterly, George declares that he wishes that he had never been born, and Clarence, hoping to teach George a lesson, shows him how different life would have been had he in fact never been born. After a nightmarish odyssey through a George Bailey-less Bedford Falls (now a glorified slum called Potterville), wherein none of his friends or family recognize him, George is made to realize how many lives he has touched, and helped, through his existence; and, just as Clarence had planned, George awakens to the fact that, despite all its deprivations, he has truly had a wonderful life. Capra’s first production through his newly-formed Liberty Films, It’s a Wonderful Life lost money in its original run, when it was percieved as a fairly downbeat view of small-town life. Only after it lapsed into the public domain in 1973 and became a Christmastime TV perennial did it don the mantle of a holiday classic.