So what if you’ve already seen these movies a ba-jillion times – it’s Christmas, so it doesn’t matter! These timeless holiday classics are sure to bring a smile to your face or a tear to your eye as you’re putting up the decorations, the lights, and the tree, and they’ll probably be on TV a LOT over the next few weeks, including the one you know will be played over and over for 24 hours straight on Christmas Day …
Christmas comedy classics:
1) A Christmas Story (1983) — All poor Ralphie wants for Christmas is a BB Gun. Problem is, everyone thinks he’ll shoot his eye out.
2) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) — Whenever your relatives are stressing you out, just remember how bad they could be if they were the Griswolds.
3) The Santa Clause (1994) — Tim Allen magically changes from corporate meanie to Santa.
4) Elf (2003) — It doesn’t get much better than Will Ferrell walking around New York City in a pair of yellow tights.
Christmas drama classics:
5) A Christmas Carol (1938) — The quintessential film version of Charles Dickens’ tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge, starring Reginald Owen in the role originally meant for screen legend Lionel Barrymore, who had played Scrooge for years prior on radio.
6) It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) — Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey gets a new lease on life on Christmas Eve thanks to his guardian angel giving him a look at all the lives he’s touched. Donna Reed co-stars.
7) Miracle on 34th Street (1947, 1994) — You’ll never look at a department store Santa the same way again after watching this annual favorite. Still don’t know why Macy’s wouldn’t allow filmmakers to use their name in the ’90s remake, though.
Christmas Children’s classics:
8) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) — This stop-motion classic has aired on CBS every year since ’64, making it the longest-running Christmas-themed TV special in television history.
9) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) — Believe it or not, this was the very first prime-time TV special featuring Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” characters – it’s success spurred the creation of “Charlie Brown’s All-Stars” (1966), “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (1966), “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973), and many more.
10) The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) — Released shortly after the sudden passing of Muppets creator Jim Henson, this take on the Dickens tale was buried at the box office thanks to competition from “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” and Disney’s “Aladdin”, but it’s still a fun watch all these years later thanks to the Muppets and Michael Caine in the role of Scrooge.
Christmas movies for when the kids have gone to bed …
11) Scrooged (1988) — Bill Murray, Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark), Bobcat Goldthwait, Alfre Woodward, and the late John Forsythe star in this hilariously wicked modernization of the Dickens’ story. Watch for all the great cameos, including the Solid Gold Dancers!
12) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) — Jim Carrey’s portrayal of the Grinch earned him a Golden Globe nomination, the movie dominated the box office for four weeks in 2000, and it stands as the second-highest grossing Christmas film of all time, behind only “Home Alone”, but for some reason this movie doesn’t get a lot of airplay on TV during the holidays, perhaps because it’s tone is a bit darker than what people expect from Dr. Seuss.
13) Bad Santa (2003) — Billy Bob Thornton is as naughty a Santa as you’ll ever see on-screen in this film, and if you want him even naughtier, get the unrated version, “Badder Santa”, on DVD!