They spent much of the year tucked away in boxes alongside the tree ornaments, stockings and tangled strands of lights. Now, it’s finally time to pull out that holiday movie (or movies) you look forward to watching each year.
For many families, movie night has become an annual tradition when loved ones are gathered for holiday celebrations. And everyone has their personal preference, whether it’s a timeless classic or a modern favorite.
Now cozy up under a warm blanket and grab a cup of cocoa (or big bowl of buttery popcorn), because here’s a quick look at some of our favorite holiday movies.
The Original Christmas Classics: This box set includes seven holiday favorites, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Santa Clause is Coming to Town. A must-have for any collection.
It’s a Wonderful Life: Now celebrating its 75th anniversary, many regard this inspirational tale to be one of the greatest films ever made. Just be sure to keep a box of tissues handy as George Bailey rediscovers just how wonderful his imperfect life really is.
Miracle On 34th Street: A young girl and a lawyer fight to prove that the Kris Kringle at a New York City department store is the real deal in this 1947 film best known for the line, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”
Laugh out loud
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: We’ve all felt like Clark Griswold from time to time—overflowing with holiday spirit only to have hijinks and family drama throw off our best-laid plans. Thankfully, this comedy can help take the edge off even the most awkward family gathering.
A Christmas Story: Much to the distress of his mother, and despite his disgruntled and distracted father, 9-year-old Ralphie will stop at nothing to get a BB gun for Christmas. After some subtle (and not-so-subtle) hints about the perfect gift, this movie comes through in the end, just like dear, old dad.
Home Alone: Aaaahhhh!!! A little boy named Kevin gets accidentally left at home when his family leaves on vacation. He has to fend for himself — even protecting his home from burglars — in this slapstick comedy. (Just don’t forget to invite the whole family. You’d hate for anyone to feel left out.)
Elf: Buddy the Elf has quickly emerged as one of America’s favorite holiday characters, thanks to his exuberant and undying holiday spirit. You might even want to dish up from the four main food groups — candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup — during the movie.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: This 2000 remake puts a modern, comical spin on the classic tale of the Grinch who learns the true meaning of Christmas amid a foiled attempt to put an end to it. (Don’t worry. Best Buy still carries the original cartoon version, if you prefer that.)
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: This critically acclaimed, stop-motion animated movie follows tells the story of Jack Skellington. He’s the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town who wanders into Christmas Town and is overwhelmed by sights and sounds.
The Polar Express: Based on the popular children’s book by Chris Van Allsbury, it’s the story of a young boy whose belief in Santa is rekindled after a mysterious train trip to the North Pole. It’s also available in 3-D.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas: The original Disney movie is an all-time animated classic. The sequel follows Belle as she tries to get the Beast into the holiday spirit. Other blockbuster movie spinoffs include Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special and Shrek the Halls.
Arthur Christmas: In this fun-filled animated movie, Santa’s mischievous son Arthur sets out on a crazy mission to deliver a misplaced present to a young girl.