It’s almost that time of year again. December might mean that we’re missing the warm sun and days by the beach, but it also means that we’re at the beginning of the Christmas season in all its glory! Many Christmas movies, which either center around a Christmasy kind of plot or are set at Christmastime, never get old. There are few other movies that we could sit through year after year, but come December, we’re always more than happy to watch the same festive films we’ve seen a zillion times. It must be something to do with that holiday spirit! The following 15 movies, in particular, are titles we could watch over and over again, even though we can speak all the lines with all the characters and know exactly when everything’s going to happen. A lot of them came from our childhoods, so they hold a super special place in our hearts.
15 'Christmas With The Kranks'
This comedy starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis never gets old! If you do not know it, the plot follows Luther and Nora Krank, who decide that they are not going to celebrate Christmas like normal because their daughter won’t be at home for the holiday. They book a Caribbean cruise instead, but basically everyone they know has a huge issue with this because the Kranks are known for the expensive decorations and it’s just a very Christmas-orientated neighborhood. Their daughter declares she’s coming home with a hot Peruvian fiancé for Christmas, and they have under 24 hours to quickly plan their annual party and get all the decorations ready. You can imagine how rowdy it gets! The story itself might be a little predictable, but in the end, it gets you to think about the true meaning of the Christmas spirit, which is why it’s one of our faves.
14 'Bad Santa'
Okay, this definitely isn't one that came from our childhoods! Bad Santa is about a woman addicted, alcoholic criminal and his assistant who pose as a department store Santa and elf for the Christmas period so they can pull off a heist. Along the way, they meet a selection of characters who will either help them or make things a lot more difficult and have to deal with quite a few challenges. We don’t want to spoil too much if you haven’t seen it, but you can expect lots of swearing, crude humor, and messed-up characters. Far from the traditional Christmas movies that we grew up watching with our families, this black comedy has much less magic and much more Hollywood. It does still bring up a thing or two about what Christmas is all about, and it’s good for a few laughs, so we can handle watching it once every year.
13 'The Santa Clause'
Tim Allen gets around the Christmas movies, doesn’t he?! In this one, he stars as Scott Calvin who unknowingly enters into a binding contractual agreement to become Santa Clause after putting on his suit and getting in his sleigh. This sounds like a dream come true for us Christmas nuts. Imagine a whole life dedicated to Christmas! But it’s actually a nightmare when Scott’s hair starts turning white and no matter how much he shaves, his beard grows anyway. Plus, he starts ballooning into a Santa-sized man and develops food addictions. So we’d definitely like to live in the North Pole with the elves (provided we had thermals and unlimited amounts of hot cocoa), but we wouldn’t do so well with the continuous weight gain and having white body hair that doesn’t come off. Even though we’re adults now, this fantasy story always takes us right back to the beginning.
Who doesn’t love Will Ferrell?! Just in case you haven’t seen this, it’s about a man called Buddy who grows up in the North Pole believing he’s an elf. When he discovers he’s actually a human, he wants to go and find his biological father who is remarried in New York City. The movie documents poor Buddy’s attempts to fit in with the cold and cynical human world and is hilarious the whole way through. If you aren’t a Christmas person, Elf will make you feel good. There’s something about those Christmas movies that are set or partially set in the North Pole -- they’re just addictive! We don’t want to sit around watching fantasy movies all the time, but once a year at Christmas time especially, a little magic does not go astray. Zooey Deschanel and Will Ferrell also make a super cute couple, just putting it out there.
11 'National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation'
The National Lampoon Vacation series is still hilarious all these years later, and the Christmas installment is no different. This one stars Chevy Chase and follows a character named Clark Griswold, who has his heart set on having a traditional family-orientated Christmas, but unfortunately, comes face-to-face with quite a few obstacles! There’s dysfunctional family members and greedy bosses withholding Christmas bonuses and explosions, and pretty much everything we want to see in a good Christmas comedy. It reminds us that our Christmas could always be worse. Again, the message about the true meaning of Christmas is prevalent through the movie, and we’re happy to watch it over and over again. In fact, we could probably watch all the National Lampoon Vacation movies more than once. Yes, we know what’s going to happen and the exact moment when it will be happening, but we still like to go through the motions.
You might not count this classic as a Christmas movie, but it’s set at Christmastime so that qualifies it for our list! There aren’t too many Christmas horror-comedy films, but the juxtaposition totally works. Billy Peltzer gets a strange creature called a mogwai for Christmas, and is given three rules that he must obey when caring for the creature: he must never let the mogwai get wet, he must never expose it to direct light, and he must never feed it after midnight. As you can imagine, that doesn’t work out so well, and his mogwai (who is ridiculously cute and is called Gizmo) ends up creating more mogwais who are evil and become reptilian Gremlins. So it’s up to Billy to sort out the mess he created. This movie isn’t about Christmas per se, but we still never get tired of seeing that gorgeous little Gizmo and his creepy clones.
9 'The Muppets Christmas Carol'
No matter how old we get, we will never grow out of the Muppets. They’re just everything. So of course, when you combine the Muppets with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, you’re obviously going to get a freaking classic! Michael Caine stars as Ebenezer Scrooge, the grouchy dude whose name is now synonymous with hating Christmas. After a visit from some Christmas Ghosts, Scrooge has to make some big decisions about how he wants to live his life. While we love the Charles Dickens story, the Muppets make it so much better. Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy star in the movie, with the rest of the gang. When you think about it, it might be strange that a bunch of adults are still excited by the thought of puppets, but to hell with that. We’re going to be in our 80s and still watching these children’s Christmas movies. We’ve accepted it.
8 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'
Goodness! The only thing better than the combination of Christmas and Muppets is the combination of Christmas and Tim Burton. Did we mention we’re still kiddies at heart? So this movie is about a character called Jack Skellington who happens to be a skeleton and lives in a place called Halloween Town. That sounds exciting because we do love Halloween too, but it definitely doesn’t have the same feel as Christmas Town. Anyways, Jack discovers Christmas Town one day and decides he wants to emulate the holiday in his home (who wouldn’t?). Unfortunately, this is a little bit challenging considering the residents of Halloween Town have never even heard of Christmas before. The story is entertaining and teaches us to open our minds. Plus, there’s a killer soundtrack and a cute little romance thrown in there for good measure. This is definitely another one we can do every single year.
7 'The Polar Express'
This has pretty much everything we could ever want in a Christmas film. Fantasy? Check. Animated? Check. Hot chocolate? Check. Tom Hanks? Check! A young boy hops aboard a train called the Polar Express which is headed for the North Pole on Christmas Eve and has a wild adventure that teaches him all about self-discovery, friendship and of course, the importance of believing. Look, we do love our Christmas animated movies, but it’s about 20 years too late for us to start believing in Santa Clause again! But the beautiful thing about Christmas is that it means so many different things to different people. This movie explores what happens when you do believe. For little children, that might be Christmas legends like Santa Clause. But it also might mean figuring out what Christmas means to us as individuals and choosing to trust that message. Deep stuff, guys. Where are the tissues?
6 'Love Actually'
We do love the kiddie stuff, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do more adult Christmas movies too! The plethora of amazing actors and actresses in Love Actually is enough to make us watch it year after year. We have the likes of Alan Rickman, Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant (would it be a romantic comedy set in London if Hugh weren’t in it?!) Colin Firth and Emma Thompson. This might be one of the first examples we have of the ensemble-cast type of movies that are so popular now, with a bunch of different stories that are later revealed to somehow be linked. We don’t want to give anything away if you haven’t seen it, but all you need to know is that this movie is all about love! Many different kinds of love. The Christmastime setting is just a bonus because as we know, everything is better when it’s December.
5 'The Grinch'
There are quite a few reasons why we have to see this film every year. First and foremost, it stars a teeny tiny Jenny Humphrey (who is actually gorgeous as a singing Who!). We seriously find ourselves watching it continuously because the difference between child Taylor Momsen and Gossip Girl Taylor Momsen is astounding! Second of all, Jim Carrey, who plays the Grinch, is a hilarious character and his makeup/body suit is nothing short of amazing. Third of all, the story comes from Dr. Seuss and is narrated by Sir Anthony Hopkins—need we say more? It’s basically about the Whos of Whoville (human-like characters with funny noses and intense AF hair), who are obsessed with Christmas but totally shun their neighbor the Grinch who lives just outside the town and hates it. This story is all about respecting differences and how Christmas is still Christmas without tons of presents.
4 'Edward Scissorhands'
Yup! This is a Christmas movie! Well, it's set at Christmastime, anyway. Don’t you remember how nobody showed up to the Boggs’ Christmas party? Edward Scissorhands tells the story of, well, Edward Scissorhands who was created by an inventor but is left unfinished after the inventor dies prematurely. The inventor didn’t get the chance to give poor Edward proper hands, so he hides up in the castle at the edge of town until Peg Boggs finds him and brings him into the wacky and gossiping community. This is one of those movies that is acceptable to watch at any time of the year, because although it’s set in the Festive Season, its main points of interest include fabulous direction from Tim Burton, quirky characters and costumes, and a young, handsome Johnny Depp. The chemistry between Johnny and Winona Ryder is also something worth checking out! The end always has us in tears…
3 'Miracle on 34th Street'
The original might be better than the remake, but we’re millennials and we live for ‘90s movies. Christmas in New York might be one of the prettiest things ever, and Miracle on 34th Street delivers such impressive scenery that we could watch it over and over again purely for the aesthetics. A man named Kris Kringle is hired to be the main Santa for Cole’s, and eventually, all his charm gets people to believe that he is the real Santa. Everyone suspects him of being Santa except Susan, played by Mara Wilson, whose mom works for Cole’s. She makes a few Christmas wishes, namely to have a dad, to have a new house, and to have a baby brother, and states that she will believe in Santa if she gets her wishes after disclosing them to Kris. This is another magical one that does not get old, even though we unfortunately do!
Scrooged is one of the ultimate Christmas movies that everybody has to see at least once. Even if you don’t feel like watching it year after year, do yourself a favor and see it one time. Another story inspired by Charles Dickens, Bill Murray plays the Scrooge-like Frank Cross who is basically a busy jerk who makes no time for anybody in his life and has all his priorities round the wrong way. Just like in A Christmas Carol, Frank is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas who help him to open his eyes a bit and reconsider his approach to life. A good character change of heart is what we like to see all throughout the year, and there’s nothing better than when you throw a Christmas tale into the mix! A Christmas Carol might just be the best Christmas story ever, purely because it’s inspired so many after it.
1 'Home Alone'
This is a movie that we will be watching literally until our very last Christmas. This classic tells the story of Kevin McCallister, who accidentally gets left at home when his huge, busy family embark on a Christmas trip to France. They do realize that they left him, but can’t get a flight back to Chicago for a while, so he has to stick it out alone. While he is home alone, two thieves try to break into the family house, and it’s up to Kevin to protect himself and make sure they don’t get in. All about the importance of family (even when they aggravate you), Home Alone also tackles the true meaning of Christmas in between hilarious slapstick comedy. When we were kids, this movie made us all think we could totally handle been broken into while we were home alone, but we’re glad that theory was never tested!