Top Christmas movies
The holidays have rolled around once again, and this year we’ve got a list of movies to put you in the Christmas spirit. Chime in with a comment to let us know about your favorite.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be Kevin from Home Alone. I wanted to have the house to myself, eat all the ice cream there was, jump up and down on the bed without fear of punishment, and shoot BB guns in the house. Most of all, I want to face my fears. Kevin defeated the horrible furnace in the basement, and he learned to fend for himself. He also stood up to the two worst criminals in movie history because it was his house, and he had to defend it. I love his hand-drawn “Battle Plan” schematic of his master plan, and his traps were clever and resulted in hysterical mayhem as Marv and Harry struggled to notice dangerous objects on the floor or to move out of the way of flying paint cans.
— Jeremy Costello
Jingle All the Way
Christmas in modern times has not been so much about Santa Claus or peace on Earth, but about consumerism and essentially bribing your children into loving you. Jingle All the Way deals with this topic by showing how unnecessarily ridiculous and crazy this time of the year can get. A father (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who generally pays more attention to his job than his family, is tasked with finding and buying the most coveted child’s toy in the world — and doing it on Christmas Eve. After many antics and adventures, he finally finds the toy, only to realize that what his son really wants for Christmas is his father’s presence. This is a movie that will make you laugh but also impresses the importance of family and keeping your promises.
— Samuel Heinrich
My favorite Christmas movie in recent years is Arthur Christmas. It’s kind of an overlooked family movie from Aardman Animation, the same company that made Wallace & Gromit. The movie is centered around the North Pole operation and the Claus family dynamics. The elves have a command center like a NASA mission, and the modern Santa flies around in a spacecraft-style sled ship. One child is missed, and Santa’s clumsy son Arthur takes off with his grandpa (the former Santa) to make sure the child wakes up with a gift. It’s a fun, lighthearted movie I find myself putting on every year now.
— Joshua Maine
My top choice for a Christmas movie has to be 1984’s Gremlins. This movie is so cheesy and terrible, it traps me every time. Regretfully, I even own the movie. Between the setup of a father looking for a unique gift — then receiving a few obviously-foreshadowing rules cautiously spoken by a shady old man — and its completely foreseen storyline, there is nothing better than this classic, (supposedly) scary and funny Christmas movie with a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter night.
— Josh Riddle
The Santa Clause
With a pun in the title that goes over the head of 75% of its adolescent viewing audience, what’s not to love about The Santa Clause? As a 90s kid, this was an every-year-must-watch Christmas movie for me. The Santa Clause seems to get lost in the pack of Christmas classics (perhaps because of less-than-stellar sequels), but its quality, content, and “feels” are too good to ignore. The movie is imaginative in its portrayal of the North Pole and magical moments but isn’t afraid to involve real life challenges of divorce, therapy, and split-family dynamics. Vintage Tim Allen attitude and short humor give way to character transformation in the spirit of Christmas that, in turn, transforms other people close to him. This movie checks all the boxes for me!
— Brian Wilde
A Christmas Carol (2009)
I’m keen on this Christmas flick for a couple of reasons, namely the fantastical visuals and Jim Carrey’s unhinged performance as Ebenezer Scrooge. It’s an inspired version of the classic story that’s exhilarating to behold. The film takes sharp turns into nightmare territory (as it should) before drifting into sentimental soft spots, and director Robert Zemeckis handles the mixed tones wonderfully. If you’re a fan of A Christmas Carol in general and haven’t seen this one yet, I strongly recommend watching it this holiday season. It just might surprise you.
— Levi Yager
Frosty the Snowman
Frosty the Snowman is a Christmas classic. It really makes you feel the magic of Christmas. By the end, it’ll have you saying, “Happy Birthday!”
— Noah Yager
In the mood for more Christmas cheer? Check out our top Christmas albums here.