My 10 Favorite Christmas Movies

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I know, I know, here we go with another list, right? But they’re so much fun…and you’re reading it, so you must be as bad as me! This one is actually numbered, so we can debate my favorite Christmas Movies list, if you like.

10.  The Santa Claus

No, this isn’t the greatest movie, but it’s very likable.  I enjoyed the Judge Reinhold character (a little too much, actually), Bernard (the head elf)…and the actual premise is kinda clever and, importantly, new. It’s cute.

9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

I’m not sure if people will argue this because it shouldn’t be on the list at all or because it should be listed higher.  Either way, it’s definitely a staple…and this is definitely Cousin Eddie’s best appearance. However, I find the Julia Louis Dreyfus character a little annoying, which is saying a lot given that I’m a HUGE Seinfeld fan.

8.  How The Grinch Stole Christmas (with Jim Carrey)

Also not great, but pretty good, as far as remakes of cartoons go. Jim Carrey was great as the Grinch. In fact, so great that it puts this movie on my list of Favorite Christmas Movies.

7.  A Christmas Story

Some people consider this the be all, end all of Christmas movies (which would explain its 24-hour rotation on Christmas). I’m actually not the biggest fan anymore, but that’s probably because it’s been shoved down my throat. Don’t get me wrong, I love it — the tongue stuck to the flagpole, the “f-u-u-u-d-g-e” scene, the beautiful, wonderful lamp, the dogs — but it’s just been overdone. That being said, I’ll still watch it a few times this season.

6.  Home Alone 

I love this movie. I still enjoy it as though it’s the first time I’m watching it. I’m a nerd.

5.  Miracle on 34th Street (the original, of course)

This movie is unbelievable. Great story, great acting, great setting (New York, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, the old department stores)…and if you don’t thoroughly enjoy the final courtroom scene, well, there’s no helping you. Doesn’t this movie make you believe in the magic of Christmas, just a little?

4.  Prancer

Not a popular choice, strangely, but I think it’s wonderful, with its pure childlike innocence and belief in Santa. Clever premise, likable characters, and, overall, just a sweet, touching movie. Nothing earth-shattering, no huge stars, no huge budget, just a nice movie.

3.  Scrooged

I love this movie. It’s witty and sentimental (at times, sappily so) and fun. Lots of big names came together to put a timely and interesting twist on the old classic. One of my favorite Bill Murray performances, actually.

2. The Bishop’s Wife

Many have probably never even seen (or heard of) this film, but it is a fantastic Christmas movie about an angel (Cary Grant) who tries to “help” an Episcopalian bishop (David Niven). He does so, but not in the way the bishop expects. This is, plain and simple, a magical movie that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor. And please don’t bring up the remake, which I won’t even mention by name. Some movies simply shouldn’t be remade. Like this one.

1.  It’s a Wonderful Life

Cliche, right? Well, I actually mean it. I adore this movie.  I’ve seen it, easily, more than 100 times. Easily. Probably closer to 200. You can’t beat Jimmy Stewart, and the message…how important every individual is to the people in their life, is one that can’t help but bring tears to your eyes. What a fantastic movie. It’s the standard in Christmas movies, and rightly so. If you haven’t seen it (is that even possible?), what are you waiting for?

What are your favorite Christmas movies?

Don’t forget to check out my list of what I consider the Worst Christmas Movies of all time.

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  1. VandyJ says

    I can agree with most of your choices, but I'm not a fan of It's a Wonderful Life. I kind of feel about it what you feel about A Christmas Story. It just doesn't really speak to me. But I do like most of the other choices.

  2. WeeMasonMan's Mom says

    My yearly ones are A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Elf! I think I'm the only person who has never seen It's a Wonderful Life!

  3. Kathie says

    I finally made myself watch It's a Wonderful Life last year. I thought it was pretty good, but it just felt too long…maybe I'm a part of this generation's short attention span and modern movies have corrupted me in that way. I've seen the Santa Clause, but I can't remember any of it! I love A Christmas Story, but the 24 hour marathon has almost ruined it for me :-(

  4. Beverly says

    I've only seen half the movies on this list. Never seen A Christmas Story and don't plan to. Thank you for not putting Elf on this list!

  5. says

    This is a great list! My wife and I were on vacation at Christmas so we decided to have a Christmas day today. I was looking for some good movie ideas and this is perfect. Home Alone is such an awesome movie, reminds me of being a kid! Thanks for sharing

  6. Sarah L says

    Miracle on 34th Street (the original)is my favorite. I’ve never seen Home Alone or a couple of the others. May have to get them from the library.

  7. Marie says

    That is a cliche I think worthy of being embraced! That is not onyl my favorite Christmas movie, it’s my favorite movie of all time!

  8. Annmarie W. says

    Your #1 is MY #1, too! It’s a Wonderful LIfe is one of the best movies ever made & I never get tired of watching it!

  9. Kathleen says

    I ABSOLUTELY agree with your #1 choice!! My family has a tradition of watching it EVERY Christmas Eve. And although we can all recite the movie word for word, we all still cry at the end. LOL What a sappy family….

  10. librarypat says

    I think my all time favorite is WHITE CHRISTMAS. I like PRANCER, the SANTA CLAUSE MOVIES, SANTA CLAUSE THE MOVIE, MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, and IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. I know there are a few more out there we enjoy.

  11. Heather! says

    I watch *It’s a Wonderful Life* every single Christmas Eve. I never plan it, but I always, no matter how carefully I’ve prepared and planned, have a few odd gifts to wrap the night before Christmas, and it is always on tv that night, so I watch it. These days, I own it, but I still love to watch the ‘accidentally on purpose’ way!

  12. Kay C says

    I think after watching It’s A Wonderful Life so many times when I was little (it was my Dad’s favorite) it’s hard to watch each year. I love Love Actually and my daughter and I love watching Polar Express over and over.

  13. Michelle Fidler says

    Jingle All the Way and A Christmas Carol (80’s or 90’s versions) are my favorite ones. I also like Home Alone, even the made for T.V. sequels.

  14. Nicole Strunk says

    I love A Christmas Story! It is my #1! For some reason I love cheesy, funny, corny Christmas movies. I love Elf and most of the Christmas movies on the lifetime channel that are so predictable. It is out of character for me for the rest of the year.

  15. Bill Elliott says

    Great movie list, My number one is Miracle on 34th Street. I agree the last courtroom scene fills you with the magic of Christmas. Very well done, thank you.

  16. rebeka deleon says

    love home alone. just watched it the other day. it always makes me want to go to new york though, i have never been.

  17. Laurel L. says

    My most favorite out of ALL of these is the original Miracle on 34th Street! Home Alone is a good one, makes me tear up a bit at the end!

  18. Amy Green says

    Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, and Scrooged areall among my favorites-I’m also quite fond of the remake of The Bishop’s Wife, The Preacher’s Wife starring Whitney Houaton and Denzel Washington.

  19. MRWriter says

    My favorites are Edward Scissorhands and Trains, Planes & Automobiles (more of a Thanksgiving film but still a goodie!).

  20. Katy M says

    Gosh, I love all of these. I’m the kind of girl who loves watching Christmas movies all year long.

    I especially love Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story- the comedies!

  21. Jennifer Hiles says

    All favorites of mine also! Except for The Bishop’s Wife, I have not heard of that one. I’ll try to find it on cable this week. Can’t believe there is a Christmas movie I haven’t seen!

  22. Tammy S says

    I love The Bell’s of St. Mary’s. It’s an old Bing Crosby movie that my mom used to watch with us as kids and I now watch it with mine.

  23. Kayleen Considine says

    I agree with your first 3 choices. I also really love Charlie Brown and have to watch him every year. I don’t think I’ve missed a year since they started showing it!!

  24. says

    My family watches National Lampoons every year.We love it!! I saw a t shirt that has Chevy Chase’s rant on it,when he’s counting on his fat bonus and gets a membership to the jelly of the month club:( LOL!!

  25. Carol L says

    I love It’s A Wonderful Life and The Bishop’s Wife. They are two of my all time favorites. Thanks for listing them.
    Carol L

  26. Susan Johnson says

    Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story are definitely my favorites, they capture the Christmastime dysfunction all of us experience at one time or another! Home Alone is a good one too!

  27. Jo-Ann Brightman says

    My 4 favorites are It’s A wonderful Life, The Bishop’s Wife, also the original Miracle on 34th Street and A christmas story.

  28. Aimee C. says

    Was I the only one who was stoked with Gremlins every Christmas???? And what about Ernest Does Christmas, classic!

  29. Lanie says

    Great movie list. I love Home alone! I have probably seen it more times than I want to admit. I haven’t seen a few of these, maybe I should check them out. lol

  30. Charlene says

    I agree with your list, only I’d put A Christmas Story higher on the list. I was 9 when the movie originally came out & at that time I thought it was the funniest thing ever :)

  31. says

    Only two of the ones on your list are among my favorites, Miracle on 34th Street and The Bishop’s Wife (Cary Grant, yay!). I love Christmas in Connecticut, White Christmas, The Holiday, and Nativity (the original with Martin Freeman). Elf is fun too!

  32. Stephanie Thompson says

    All these are good movies that really get me into Christmas if I get to watch them. Have certain ones that I have to see, otherwise it just doesn’t feel like Christmas.

  33. Crystal Irvin says

    me and my family have always felt like our christmas’s are just like national lampoons christmas, love it!!! Now even my husband agrees

  34. Pamela Halligan says

    The only movie I havent’s heard of is the Bishop’s Wife. I enjoy all of the movies you picked. My family also enjoys Rudolph, the Little Drummer Boy, classic Scrooge, and Charlie Brown’s Christmas.

  35. Kelly Tanner ( says

    My VERY favorite is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! I’m glad to see it on your list! Every year we watch it several times and not just on Christmas. We joke that my husband is like Clark Griswald. 😀

  36. Jessica Fortner says

    We have a lot of the same favs! My favorite is still A Christmas Story…”You’ll shoot your eye out!” We watch it each year. =)

  37. Tracy Allen says

    My favorite don’t miss movie every Christmas is “Meet Me in St Louis” although I know it’s debatable how much is really Christmas

  38. Jennifer Hedden says

    These are all great movies! I love Christmas movies and it just isn’t Christmas without watching my favorites. My favorite Christmas movie is A Christmas Story followed by National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Home Alone.

  39. June Isbel says

    I Love your choices! I love all Christmas movies My favorites are National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Home Alone Thanks for Sharing.
    Happy Holidays,

  40. krista grandstaff says

    I like all of these… but my fave has to be White Christmas.. I used to watch it with my grandparents…and even though they are gone, I feel like I am spending time with them when I watch it :)

  41. Cindy B says

    Love all your choices! We got to see It’s A Wonderful Life on the big screen this year, it was amazing. I think I saw The Bishop’s Wife a long time ago, but don’t really remember it. I’ll have to look for it!

  42. ANN*H says

    All of the best Christmas movies . I like to watch A Christmas Story every year. My grandson is about that age now so we can watch it together. Some thing you just like to watch over and over and never get tired of them.

  43. Tracy Juliano says

    Without a doubt, It’s a Wonderful Life is also my number one pick. As for more contemporary choices, I loved Elf!

  44. katklaw777 says

    Glad to see some on the oldies on your list… A Miracle on 34th Street is my all time favorite!!!
    I also like some of the cartoon classics like a Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch stole Christmas.

  45. Sylvia Ortiz says

    My favorite Christmas movie is ELF with Will Ferrell ~ it is absolutely hilarious. Also, this year was the first time I ever watched A Miracle on 34th Street and I fell in love with it.

  46. Geoff K says

    One of my favorites is the little-known UK film “Millions” from a few years back — it was directed by Danny Boyle before he went on to do “Slumdog Millionaire,” and it tells the incredibly moving story of two brothers who find a bag of money that sets off a holiday adventure. Incredibly moving film that’s well worth a look!

  47. Susan Smith says

    I have never heard of Prancer and I’m probably the only person who hasn’t seen It’s A Wonderful Life. I like funny family Christmas movies so I agree with you on those type of movies on your list. I also like Elf.

  48. Sunnymay says

    I like White Christmas, Frosty the Snowman and Polar Express. One that has winter scenes in it is Meet Me is St. Louis.

  49. Mona says

    My favorite Christmas movies are :
    It’s a Wonderful Life
    The Santa Clause
    A Christmas Story

    I have yet to see :
    Home Alone

  50. April Skidgel says

    My favorite of all time is “A Christmas Carol” I have most versions of it, from Alastair Sims to Patrick Stewart. Gives me a warm feeling to think its not to late for anyone to get the spirit of kindness….

  51. Susan Johnson says

    I’ve definitely seen all of them except for The Bishop’s Wife, so I’ll definitely look out for it on cable over the next month. My three favorites though, are National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, and Home Alone.

  52. Debi H. says

    I agree with most of the movies that you have chosen! I have never heard of The Bishop’s Wife though…going to check it out now…maybe I can get it on Amazon or Netflix.

  53. says

    You were right about #2. That one threw me – never heard of it, but will have to find it since you recommend it! My husband LOVES National Lampoon’s movies. I have to suffer through it EVERY Christmas. =(

  54. Karen Glatt says

    I agree with you on so many of these Christmas movies. My favorite is its a Wonderful life and I bought this movie and I watch it every year. I also like Miracle on 34th Street! And of course, Christmas vacation is one of my favorites that I must see every year!

  55. Mary Mudd says

    I have to say, there are several that I love to watch but A Christmas Story is my favorite! It doesnt matter how many times we watch it, we crack up every time!!! MyUncle even has a lamp just like the one in the movie!!! He got it from his Boyscout Troop. But, my Aunt had to throw a fit to get it out of the picture window hahahahaha

  56. janet says

    I like frosty the snowman and Rudolf movies :) I’ve Been watching lots of Christmas movies on the hallmark channel lately :)

  57. says

    There are a LOT of Christmas movies I love but my favorite is A Christmas Story followed by National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Those 2 are must see every year…and with A Christmas Story I can watch it anytime I want and as many times as I want on Christmas Eve and Christmas. I just love that movie so much…it never gets old.

  58. Steven Pounds says

    I like the Grinch. But my all-time favorite is Annabell’s Wish. It is so cute and sad and really embraces the spirit of christmas and giving.

  59. Gale McCarron says

    Does it get any funnier than Christmas Vacation? And of course the Classic It’s a Wonderful Life. A big favorite for me and my Son. I could watch them a million times!

  60. Julia Cosgrove says

    Most of these are on my list also but #1 is How The Grinch Stole Christmas (with Jim Carrey). My kids and I have watched it about 7 times in the last 3 days.

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