Christmas Movies 

I’m starting to dislike the commercialism of the holiday season, but I love Christmas movies. And as long as I still own these DVDs and a DVD player, my family and I will watch at least five of them each year. The film has to have one of three criteria, though: (1) It has to be funny; (2) It has to be authentic; or (3) It has to be inspirational.

Funny Christmas movies are the best. My favorites are probably similar to other people’s. A Christmas Story and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation are two that I will not only watch each year, but also laugh at as if it’s the first time I’ve seen either one. Humor is subjective though. While Clark Griswold’s antics are both absurd and comical, Billy Bob Thornton’s role in Bad Santa is not. I mean I laughed, but I don’t want to see Santa cussing kids out and acting crazy. It’s just not aligned with the holiday spirit.

Authentic Christmas movies are relatable. Who doesn’t have a crazy family member who has predictable and perhaps dreaded behavior? Also, each film seems to accurately portray the stress encompassed during the holidays. Coming home to family that doesn’t really know you because they haven’t seen you all year, or hanging out with family that treat you as if you’re a perpetual 12 year-old are common and real experiences. That’s why I always kick-off my holiday season with Home for the Holidays. Okay. I know I said Christmas movies, but the Thanksgiving theme is perfect to begin the following five weeks because it’s such a real portrayal of awkward family interactions. Four Christmases is another great one because it depicts two people who have avoided going home, but eventually have to. The experiences they have are priceless.

Inspirational Christmas movies probably speak for themselves. They always make me feel warm and fuzzy at the end. These movies perpetuate an idea of hope. A Christmas Carol, the Jim Carrey version is my absolute favorite. That’s what the world wants, right? Hope. Most of us want to believe that people are capable of transitioning from old and crochety characters to free-spirited and giving human beings. The Santa concept is similar. Although I know Santa is not real, I enjoy watching Polar Express, especially the part where they all gather in the town’s center and sing “Santa Clause is Coming to Town.” The inspiring part is the act of believing in something greater than oneself, which I also tend to believe is a common human experience. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were some jolly old guy who made everyone’s wishes come true?

I’m not sure about the other 47 weeks of the year, but if you happen to stop by any weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas, then you’re bound to join me in watching one of these films. What’s your favorite Christmas movie? I’d love to ooh and aah about it with you in the comments.

60 thoughts on “Christmas Movies 

  1. I am a bit late posting! National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is such a laugh. I am really into classic movies, so I also love Christmas in Connecticut, Miracle on 34th Street, and so on. My mother absolutely LOVES Hallmark Christmas movies and she watches them year round haha.

    I wrote on my blog about a movie aired each Christmas which is my favourite, It’s A Wonderful Life. It is not a quintessential Christmas movie but it is quite inspirational methinks.

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    1. I like all of those movies you mentioned. In fact, I just watched part of Christmas in Connecticut right before Christmas. Missed the ending…but I suspect she turns things around and falls in love unexpectedly 😉

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  2. Um, one of my favorite moments of every Christmas is watching my husband- a stoic guy- laugh so hard he tears up as Elf eats cotton balls at the pediatricians office. Elf, National Lampoons, and Santa Clause are our funny movies. Mr. Afthead LOVES Christmas Story, but my daughter and I just don’t get it. She hates the kid’s tongue getting stuck to the pole and I hate…well most of it. We have never watched Polar Express, but I’m a sucker for the animated Grinch and Charlie Brown Christmas. (Can you tell I got behind on blog reading this holiday season?!?)

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    1. Johanna, you’re waaaaay behind because I actually posted this last year and then re-blogged this year! But, it’s okay. I’m just happy you’re here reading and commenting away 🙂 You HAVE to watch Polar Express! I guarantee you and your kiddo will love it. I think it’s always funny to watch someone who typically doesn’t laugh, laugh, especially at something as Christmas-silly as Elf lol

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      1. Whoa… so, so behind… I’ve heard that Polar Express can be creepy and my kiddo has a low tolerance for being scared. That’s why I’ve always avoided it. Off to go find posts you made in the early 2000s and comment on those now. Ha!

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  3. I like the criteria you lay out here. In order for a Christmas movie to be enjoyable to me, it has to be funny. The humor takes me mind off how commercial it is! Home Alone 1 may have been the last great Christmas movie I saw.

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  4. I’m not really into re-watching most movies. I do love the new ones on Hallmark and Lifetime this year, and try to catch each new one. I especially have enjoyed this year the Christmas List, My Christmas Love, A Nutcracker Christmas, and A December Bride. As for other movies, it’s been a while since I’ve seen something. I was watching the end of Polar Express the other day though and thought what a sweet movie it is and with an inspiring ending.

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      1. Thank you! I hope you have a Merry Christmas as well!
        I wanted to add that the Holiday is a wonderful movie too. I watched it quite a bit while recovering from surgery back in 2009 and it kind of has a special place for me for that reason.

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  5. I am not into Christmas movies at all…Although wait…I don’t know if an English version exists, but Sissi, watch that every year since I was a little girl…So by now, I think I saw the movies about her at least 40 times…
    Christmas music on the other had….Bing Crosby, my all time favorite 🙂

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      1. Make sure you watch the original, I think it was with Romy Schneider as Sissi.
        That would be great! Curious about people’s guilty pleasures hihi Like Last Christmas of George Michael 🙂

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  6. “Although I know Santa is not real…”

    No seriously, I loved this! You actually gave me a couple of new ideas.

    BTW, this is random, but my mom nicknamed my dad “Clark W. Griswold” because he is the goofiest black man on Earth!

    As for “A Christmas Carol,” I have a obsession with watching every variation of that movie! The message is so freaking relevant! Even after all this time!
    I love the Jim Carrey version as well as the traditional ones but I also love the one Vanessa Williams did and the one with Cicely Tyson.

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      1. LOL!!!
        As for Daddy, he is corny at home but most people see him as a cool dude–kinda like his nephew Ron.
        Vanessa Williams’ (She was “Scrooge-esque) did a VH-1 special called a Diva’s Carol or Christmas…something like that.
        I’ll bet you’ve seen it 🙂
        Did you see the TV movie version that Cicely Tyson did several years back 🙂

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      1. The Santa Clause is a good one, but I’ve never been fond of movies that are partially real/partially fake. Like, I need the movie to be totally unbelievable or all the way believable. Just discovered that about myself as I was typing this to you.


      1. Haha. I want more! dgarlandjr should comment on EVERY post. On topic though- i don’t do christmas.period. BUT – i realise next year when my baby will be 3.5years old this time of year there’ll need to be some acknowledgement of the whoohaa. I draw the line at Santa though- not going to perpetuate the lies haha. i was 1 part mushy and 1 part horrified when he started singing jingle bells the other day. He only knows those two words so it was jingle bells, jingle bells ad infinitum- but in tune with his cute little singing voice. Bah humbug 😩

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      2. Lol oh. Ow we’re going to have FaceTime or Skype so o can teach him the rest of the words and also the song Santa Clause is coming to town 🎅🏾🎅🏾🎅🏾😂😂😂


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