‘Tis the season of bad weather and time to stay indoors. My family loves to watch movies, and the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is prime Christmas movie time.
The thing about watching movies is that it’s not too expensive. If you have a Redbox account, DVDs cost a buck a night. We have a Netflix account, because we watch a lot of movies for school. And even if you don’t rent DVDs, if you have cable or satellite TV, Christmas movies abound on many stations right now.
In no particular order, here are my family’s favorite movies of the season. If I found a TV listing, I listed the day and channel, in case you’d like to watch. I didn’t list times, because I had a hard time finding which time zone the listings were for. Check your local listings for times.
My Family’s Favorite Christmas Movies
1. The Polar Express. Possibly my son’s favorite movie of all times. Based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express recounts the adventure of a boy who travels to the North Pole on Christmas Eve by train. We own this one and watch it several times every year. Watch on ABC Family on December 23.
2. Elf. If The Polar Express is my son’s favorite holiday movie, Elf is my daughter’s. Will Ferrell plays a man, who was adopted by elves as a baby. Now grown up, he returns to the U.S. to find his father. We’re not Will Ferrell fans, most of the time, but he’s pretty good in this movie. Watch December 18 on USA.
3. The Nativity Story. The kids and I actually watched this one for the first time yesterday. It’s not a lighthearted movie, by any means, and there are some scenes that aren’t suitable for young children. It really makes you reflect on what Mary and Joseph must have gone through in the time leading up to Christ’s birth, though. It’s not completely Biblically accurate, but the relationship between Mary and Joseph is worth watching.
4. The Christmas Shoes. This one is for the sappy movie lovers out there. I cry every time I watch it. Based on a country music song, The Christmas Shoes tells the story of two families. Workaholic Robert Layton works so much, he misses out on his wonderful family. Meanwhile, in another family, mother Maggie Andrews is dying, and her son just wants to buy her a pair of red dancing shoes for Christmas, before she dies. The lives of the two families cross, and you are left with a real tear-jerker. Watch December 24 on Lifetime Movie Network.
5. Miracle on 34th Street. I love the remade version of the classic movie. Mara Wilson is perfect as the little girl, who doesn’t believe in Santa, and Elizabeth Perkins is great as her all-too-practical mother. On ABC Family December 23.
6. It’s a Wonderful Life. Is there anyone who hasn’t seen this classic? It’s the story of George Bailey, who has so many problems, he wants to end his life at Christmas time. An angel comes to earth to show him what life would have been like, had he never been born. You will most certainly find this one on network TV as Christmas approaches. On NBC December 24 at 8:00 p.m.
7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. What’s not to like about the Griswolds? OK, there’s a lot not to like, but they sure are funny! Watching a disaster-prone dad trying to put the perfect Christmas celebration together makes the little things that go wrong in my Christmas season look pretty minor. This movie is a great diversion.
8. The Santa Clause. Tim Allen plays a workaholic, who accidentally agrees to take over as Santa Claus. As he grows (in more ways than one) into his new role, his relationship with his son improves. But his ex-wife and her new husband have their concerns about Allen’s new role in life, and seek to protect son, Charlie, from dad’s influence.
9. Home Alone. I first saw this movie in the theater as a college student, and it’s been on my holiday favorite list ever since. Home Alone is the tale of 8 year old Kevin, who is accidentally left at home by his parents, when they travel to France for Christmas. While waiting for his parents to come home, Kevin must defend his home from would-be burglars. Macaulay Culkin is perfect in the role of Kevin.
10. A Christmas Story. Possibly my husband’s favorite flick. It’s the story of Ralphie, a boy who is on a mission to convince his parents to get him the perfect Christmas present: a Red Ryder BB gun. I had actually never watched this movie until a few years ago. You have to be in a silly mood to “get” this movie, but if you’re in the right mood, it’s hysterical! Our family jokes about portions of this movie all year long. 24 hour marathon begins on Christmas Eve on TBS.
Now that you know my favorite holiday movies, what are yours?
In addition to all you mentioned, I also love “The Gathering” with Ed Asner and Maureen Stapleton from 1977…..When Adam Thornton learns that he only has a little time left, he decides that he wants to make peace with his family. Only problem is that most of his family are not exactly fond of him because he walked out on his wife and of his stubborn nature and he hasn’t spoken to his youngest son after having an argument with him which he was in the wrong but only realize after his son left and has not been heard from since. But he goes to her to help him find him. But when his doctor says that it won’t be good for him to travel, she suggests that they invite them all for Christmas. While most of them come, Adam’s attempt at reconciliation won’t be easy.
White Christmas is my favorite, and One Magical Christmas is a staple for my mom
“Miracle on 34th Street” the old version
“White Christmas” all time favorite
I saw a movie that was funny yet sweet and I don’t remember the details but a guinea pig was let loose in the house and someone thought it was a rat and so they evacuated the house which lead to all sorts of other effects. It ends happily with snow falling on Christmas. Does anyone know what that movie is? I want to see it again.
I would add “Miracle on 34th Street” and “A Christmas Carol”. Two of our favorites!
I like to watch “The Family Man”, it’s around Christmas. It’s a good story, but my favorite part (and this is strange) is the snow at the end. You’ll see what I mean if you watch it.
We also watch “The Grinch” both the cartoon and Jim Carey’s version.
Another odd one I like to watch at Christmas is “Die Hard”, and Leathal Weapon to a lesser degree.
We think “Elf” is a great comedy, but since you already mentioned it above, my 2nd favorite Christmas comedy is “Scrooged”, with Bill Murray.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is pretty good too, and we love the music!
Then there are the tons of kids movie “It’s Christmas Charlie Brown” etc… but I’ll assume you’re talking about real movies…
Nice initial list you have there…. I also watch “Holiday Inn”
White Christmas. Lots of great songs.
Christmas in Connecticut. Barbara Stanwick doing Martha Stewart before there was a Martha Stewart.
A Christmas Carol. The one with George C Scott as Scrooge.
“You’ll shoot your eye, out!”” hahahah!
“Love actually” – the movie to fall in love with. Unfortunately, absolutely not suitable for children.
I also love “Home alone”, but after one of my students told me about himself setting traps at home when he was 8 and had just seen “Home alone” I am not so sure anymore…
Oh, Christmas Vacation! “The little lights are not twinkling, Clark”. Makes me laugh every single time!
Merry Christmas to all!
LOVE “Just Friends” with Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, and Ana Farris. Very funny!
A Muppets Christmas Carol is a must see every year at my house! :) “Light the lamp not the rat, Light the lamp not the rat!”
We just love to see whats coming on the ABC Family Channel movie each night. I don’t think we own any Christmas movies. Hubs won’t give up cable so we are covered even with basic.
If you’d like to win a nativity set to go with that #3 movie pop on over to my blog and leave a comment. Ends tomorrow.
1. A Christmas Story
2. The Christmas List
3. Holiday Affair – with Robert Mitchum
4. Miracle on 34th Street – original/Natalie Wood
5. It’s a Wonderful Life
6. The Desk Set (sort of Christmasy)
7. A Holiday to Remember
8. Santa Claus vs. The Martains (pure camp)