Christmas is the best time of the year to sit around a warm fireplace and watch a great Christmas movie classic with your family. There are seemingly fifty great choices or more to put on every holiday season, but these five picks will keep every member of your family happy.
Here are the five best Christmas family movies for the upcoming holiday season…
5. Home Alone (1990)
This modern classic proved to be a sensation during the holiday season of 1990, and while its sequels haven’t held up all these years later, the original stays as fresh, funny, and hugely entertaining as it did nearly thirty years ago. The concept for the film — a young kid getting left home alone at Christmas — is genius, and the cast, which includes Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara, and John Candy, is totally winning. You can’t go wrong playing this one.
4. A Christmas Story (1983)
You don’t have to go far to watch A Christmas Story. Just turn on any one of the thirty-seven channels it’s playing on during Christmas Day and witness one of those timeless holiday movies that feels as necessary to fill your day as the presents fill your house and the glazed ham fills your belly. Packed with iconic moments like the rifle presents, the Santa meet-and-greet, and the frozen tongue, this movie makes you want Christmas to last a whole lot longer than just one day a year.
3. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Of all the old black-and-white movies to watch around the holidays, there’s really two musts, the 1938 or 1951 versions of A Christmas Carol. But if you can’t make up your mind which version to choose, just relax and put on Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life instead. Known as the favorite film for both director Capra and star James Stewart, It’s a Wonderful Life is a magical film that shows its main character a world in which he never existed. A darker tale, to be sure, but with an uplifting ending that will never fails to satisfy.
2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
It’s not a perfect movie, but there’s something just so effortless about this late ‘80s comedy, written by the great John Hughes and featuring Chevy Chase in his last great movie before slipping away into oblivion. It was criticized back in the day because the Griswolds don’t actually go on vacation anywhere, but I feel that’s part of the charm of the film, watching Clark try to give his expanded family a worthwhile, meaningful Christmas. He succeeds.
1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
Another hundred years will pass, and no Christmas movie will ever come close to the perfection of the twenty-five minutes of the 1966 animated TV classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This is a lovingly realized, enchantingly drawn animated gem that features the great Boris Karloff as the voice of the Narrator and the Grinch. The score and songs are simply magical, and the ending, which had the potential to be maudlin, marks one of the great lessons for young and old during the holiday season. No Christmas is complete without How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It’s one of the few perfect movies ever made!