From Grinches to Scrooges and ghosts of Christmases past — there are an abundance of holiday movies to get you in the mood for the upcoming festivities. Lifetime and The Hallmark channel have both cornered the market and put every spin imaginable on the theme of Christmas. Here are my top 5 favorite Christmas movies of all-time (that I can honestly watch during any time of year) with an honorable mention:
01. A Christmas Story || Dir. Bob Clark || 1983
My love for this movie knows no bounds. It’s a staple in my life and reminds me of my childhood. No, I didn’t want a BB gun for Christmas nor did my mother ever wash my mouth out with soap, but it just reminds me so much of the kids and families I grew up around in the suburbs when I was a child. That Wonder Years-like narration is like the cherry on top. I have made it a tradition of mine for the last 6 or so years to watch this movie on a loop on Christmas Eve while I wrap gifts and I’ve yet to tire of it. I’ve watched it so much I could probably recite it scene by scene.
02. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation || Dir. Jeremiah S. Chechik || 1989
This film is movie gold! Nothing goes together better than comedy paired with family dysfunction during a holiday. This is a film every writer wishes they could write at some point during their writing career. John Hughes is a genius (he has written 5 of my favorite movies including this one)!
03. Home Alone 1 & 2 || Dir. Chris Columbus || 1990 & 1992
The Home Alone franchise is a 2 for 1 deal. You have to watch the Macaulay Culkin versions only (because I don’t recognize any other versions) back to back. This film is such a classic. We all wished to be home alone when we were kids (and I still do as an adult). I randomly utter the words, “I’m eating junk food and watching rubbish,” whenever my kids are not around…because I more than likely am.
04. A Charlie Brown Christmas || Dir. Bill Melendez || 1965
Give it up 2 times for my hometown connection. Charles Schulz Peanuts may have been the first comic strip I read. Back during my much younger years when I wanted to be a cartoonist – I had checked out every Peanuts book from the public library and read them all from cover to cover. This particular Peanuts film holds a special place in my heart (besides Snoopy Come Home) between the Christmas dance and Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, that’s obviously seen better days, nothing seals the deal quite like listening to the “Christmastime Is Here” song.
05. Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas LIVE-ACTION || Dir. Ron Howard || 2000
I don’t know any other actor who could pull off being a disgustingly hairy, green creature who loathes Christmas quite like Jim Carrey. He was made for this role. With all the nuances in his speech and physicality – he has to be one of the greatest character actors ever to be able to convince me that he’s not just a man in a costume, but that he is The Grinch…heart, mind, body and soul.
Honorable Mention: Jingle All The Way || Dir. Brian Levant || 1996
Arnold Schwarzenegger did a string of cutesy, campy movies once upon a time ago and Jingle All The Way was one of them. This film gets an honorable mention solely because it was filmed in my hometown and all the familiarity I have with some of the locations and local talent featured makes it a bit nostalgic to watch every Christmas.
Question: What’s your Top 5? If you could replace one of my Top 5’s which movie would it be and what would you replace it with? Comment below…