Christmas movies are a time honored tradition. There’s nothing quite like sitting down with some hot cocoa, your cookie of choice, and enjoying the magic of a holiday film. There is perhaps no better evidence of the importance of Christmas movies in our culture than the over-saturation that has riddled the genre with abominations masquerading as holiday classics.
Sure, the Christmas films produced by many streaming platforms in recent years may have missed the mark, but that shouldn’t ruin your favorite movies from your childhood. Maybe these Netflix original Christmas movies aren’t so bad after all. Who knows? Maybe some little 2010s baby will grow up to fondly remember that Vanessa Hudgens princess Christmas movie or that other Vanessa Hudgens princess Christmas movie… Nevertheless, we don’t have anyone young enough on the staff to weigh in on such matters.
Christmas movies aren’t supposed to be good. None of these films are winning Best Picture at the Oscars. They’re supposed to be heartwarming. Sure, most end up failing quite disastrously, but the ones that succeed will stick with you forever. Our team of mostly millennial and Gen Z-ers were able to pick movies ranging from 2018 all the way back to 1954. Without further ado, here are our staff picks for the best Christmas movies.
Andrew Nason: Die Hard
No explanation needed.
Anastasios Kilimos: Die Hard
Let’s get this out of the way: Die Hard is absolutely a Christmas movie. At its core, it’s a movie about a man trying to reconnect with his estranged wife around Christmas. Bruce Willis does also happen to kill a bunch of terrorists and give out badass one liners along the way, but that’s besides the point. The movie is not only a Christmas classic, but arguably the best action movie of all-time, so a double win. It’s been a tradition since I was 10 years old that I always watch Die Hard on Christmas Eve. What better way to bring in the holiday than with John McClane’s “Yippie Ki Yay ************”
Brandon Farrell: A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
Ever since it came out, my family and I would watch this every Christmas. It’s not the most common or popular Christmas movie, but still gives out that mix of comedy, excitement, and Christmas magic.
Reneé Smith: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Yes, it’s a Christmas movie. No, I won’t stand for slander. First the visuals are outstanding for stop-motion. Visual effects are unique and literally hand crafted. Second, the music still slaps. You’re telling me you don’t bob your head to “This is Halloween” or “What’s This?”, or even “Oogie Boogie’s Song”? Third, what’s not to love about a skeleton finding the true meaning of Christmas by kidnapping Santa Claus? Iconic.
Nick Galle: The Polar Express
It’s been at the center of a lot of debates, but c’mon, it’s a good movie. Creepy? Yeah. Like, I can’t deny that. The people sorta look real, sorta don’t, there’s ghosts, creepy elves, some eerie scenes, Tom Hanks plays like nine characters, the list goes on – I get it. But the music reminds me of Christmas and of drinking hot chocolate a few days before the holiday back in elementary school. I like the movie, but I think the memories the movie brings back are what I’m really attached to more.
Danielle DuBois: Christmas Vacation
My favorite Christmas movie is Christmas Vacation because of the craziness. When the Griswold’s have Christmas dinner and everything happens to go wrong, it just reminds me of my family. We watch this film every year and we all laugh at how much we relate to the movie. No matter how dysfunctional the Christmas season is, we still love every minute of being together.
Nirav Barman: Home Alone
I don’t think I’ve gone a single year without watching it. I got the box set with the first three movies for Christmas pretty early on which makes them even more special for me, but they already have everything you want from a holiday movie. They’ve got the bright lights, the comedy, the amazing music, and the feel good ending. Honestly, you could watch them year round if you wanted to. It’s so wacky and zany and it never gets old
Shawn Palmer: Home Alone
I’ll have to go with Home Alone . It’s definitely a timeless movie and I enjoy it more and more each time I watch it. My brother and I both looked like Macaulay Culkin when we were young, so it was like I was the star of movie when I watched it as a kid. Nothing better than a young menace violently taking down a few intruders on Christmas.
Freddie Popken: Dr. Suess’ The Grinch (2018)
This may be recency bias, but I loved the animated version so much more than the Jim Carrey version I grew up on. The animation is fantastic, the soundtrack is incredible, and it was a great time. I think Elf is the easy answer, but you can never go wrong with The Grinch. Also, Keenan Thompson needs more voice acting gigs
Editor’s Note: As a Jim Carrey Grinch lover, I must express my disapproval of this pick, but as a Freddie Popken fan, I suppose I’ll allow it. Only because it’s Christmas.
Eric Fritts: The Simpsons (S1;E1)
Mine isn’t a movie but it us a piece of film. Apart from it establishing the greatest cartoon of all-time, it hit all the Christmas movie requirements. It has the mean the old miser; it has a mall Santa gag; it has the conflict that is ultimately overcome through family togetherness; it has the Christmas light rivalry with the neighbor; it has a little bit of everything you would want out if a Christmas movie and a Simpsons episode and it was only the beginning of something really special.
Brandon Daniels: White Christmas (1954)
A timeless classic and a staple in my house every single year. I’m an old soul, so listening to the voices of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney belt out some incredible musical numbers gets me going every single time I watch it. Is it cheesy? Of course it is. What do you expect? But it’s hilarious in that “dad joke” kind of way and heartwarming all the same.
KJ Doyle: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
I realize my selection being the only one with a colon in the title made the heading awkward for my choice and the awkwardness was only heightened by the pick itself, but hear me out. The Santa Clause 3 has everything that Christmas is all about. That includes Santa, who you might’ve noticed, is only the star of ONE OF THESE MOVIES SELECTED HERE TODAY! Also, awkward family drama! Having to deal with your in-laws, pregnancy, balancing work and home life. Isn’t that what Christmas is really all about? You even have the very uncomfortable Christmas political drama brought on by Tim Allen. Not to mention the overarching theme of consumerism! There’s really nothing missing. However, the real reason this movie is my pick and the absolute MVP of this artful piece of cinema is Martin Short. His performance of Jack Frost is nothing short (no pun intended) of the best acting performance in any Christmas movie in the history of Christmas movies. I will settle for nothing less than the best performance by a true-to-form villain. The singing, the theatrics, the bitterness, it’s all so perfect. Truly the role Martin Short was born to play.
We hope you enjoyed our picks! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all from your friends at Guy Boston Sports.