My 10 All-Time Favorite Christmas Movies

There’s something about watching those Peanuts characters belt out “Hark the Harold Angels Sing” that puts me smack dab in the holiday spirit. Not that I need much help – I’m a huge sucker for all things holidays. Christmas carols, shopping, wrapping presents, the movies, decorating. I love it all. There are tons of holiday movies out there but there are a handful that I could (and do) watch over and over (and over) again come December. Just about all of them are very well-known but there is a surprise in the list that you may have not heard of and is one of my favorites. Does anyone else flock to holiday programming the way I do?

My top-10 favorites, in no particular order:

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas

Probably my favorite if I had to choose. It’s so simple but an absolute classic. From the  poor little bare tree to the pageant and all the characters singing in the end, it just embodies the holiday spirit for me.

2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

This is one of those shows that just makes me feel good. It’s old-school claymation. And while I find the notion of “island of misfit toys” a little weird and slightly disturbing, I just love seeing Rudolph’s nose light up and him saving Christmas. It never gets old.

3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The original. Definitely the original. I actually can’t judge the new one because I’ve never seen it. (Have you? Is it good?) Re-makes of old classics like the Grinch sometimes make me cranky and then I boycott them. Same thing with Willy Wonka. Nothing wrong with the original. The remake totally creeped me out. Anyway, LOVE the original Grinch. A must-watch for me!

4. Elf

Elf definitely ranks up in the top three of my favorite holiday movies. It was on what appeared to be a loop last weekend after Thanksgiving, and while I never sat down to watch it from start to finish, I caught pieces of it as many times as I could. It makes me belly laugh. I love belly laughing.

5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

It seems that everyone either loves or hates this movie, and I positively love it. It makes me laugh no matter how many times I watch it. It’s on my must-watch list when I am wrapping presents or baking.

6. A Christmas Story

Although I admit that I am not as enamored with this movie as I was when I was younger, it’s still a staple for me. I love the TBS 24-hour marathon on Christmas Eve. I’ll never tire of seeing the little brother get his tongue stuck on the flag pole or watching the dad ogle his leg lamp. A definite classic!

7. One Magic Christmas

This is the surprise movie that isn’t as well-known as the others. I’m pretty sure my parents taped this off of the Disney Channel when we were kids and we would watch it every year. The past few years I have caught it on the Hallmark Channel during December, but usually in the wee hours of the night, so I finally bought the DVD. It’s a really touching story that centers around finding Christmas spirit. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend!

8. Love Actually

I probably watch this one the least often, but it’s still a favorite and great for popping in on a snowy night when you want to curl up with some hot chocolate.

9. The Holiday

This movie makes me feel good whenever I watch it, but particularly so around the holidays. It’s sort of ironic because I’m not a huge fan of Jack Black or Cameron Diaz, but I just adore this movie. A great story about letting go of the familiar and embracing an adventure.

10. A Muppet Family Christmas

What can I say? I’m a child of the ’80s and the Muppets were a part of my upbringing. They give me the warm fuzzies. And throw in Sesame Street? Can’t beat it!

And now a shameful confession: I have never seen classics like Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life. Eek, what kind of Christmas-lover am I? I need to get to watching those this year! I have never seen The Polar Express either, but it’s on this weekend and I’ve already set my DVR!

What are your favorite holiday movies?