Do you love Christmas movies and watch them over and over? I was recently challenged to make a list of my top ten favorite classic films, a task I find close to impossible. But it became clear that Christmas movies are at the top of the list. Every year I watch the same films over again, with the same enjoyment. I hope you will enjoy reading my 28 Christmas movies list and will try out some you haven’t seen.
Classic holiday films
White Christmas (1954): Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye honor their WWII general, Dean Jaggar, with a show starring Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.
Christmas in Connecticut (1945): Barbara Stanwyck is a famous homemaking columnist who can’t cook. She falls in love with Dennis Morgan with excellent support from Sydney Greenstreet, Reginald Gardiner, and S.Z. Sakall.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946): Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Lionel Barrymore star in Frank Capra’s perennial holiday favorite.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947): Natalie Wood steals the show as a little girl who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. With Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, and John Payne.
The Bishop’s Wife (1947): Cary Grant is an angel trying to help bishop David Niven get what he really wants. With gorgeous Loretta Young and Monty Wooley.
Remember the Night (1940): Barbara Stanwyck is a thief with a sad family background. She hitches a ride to a Christmas in Indiana with Fred MacMurray.
A Christmas Carol (1999): Patrick Stewart and a script straight from the book make a beautiful film.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992): Michael Caine in a musical version with support from Gonzo, Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Rizzo. Unforgettable songs by Paul Williams!
A Diva’s Christmas Carol (2000): Vanessa Williams is Ebony Scrooge, a mean and selfish pop star. I love that her Ghost of Christmas Future moment is watching VH1’s Behind the Music. Great music!
If You Believe (1999): Ally Walker embraces her inner child Hayden Panetierre to love herself and find love with Tom Amandes.
Call Me Mrs. Miracle (2010): Doris Roberts is so loveable as Mrs. Miracle, a stranger who helps a little boy find joy at Christmas.
A Boyfriend for Christmas (2004): Kelli Williams has been waiting since middle school for Santa to grant her wish, Patrick Muldoon. Charles Durning is a great Santa!
Eve’s Christmas (2004): Elisa Donovan gets the help of a guardian angel to go back in time to rethink some important decisions. Cheryl Ladd is her totally sweet mom.
Snowglobe (2007): Christina Milian covets the life in the village inside her snowglobe. She finds a way to visit the perfect Christmas in the village. Lorraine Braco is her mom in her real life.
Snow (2004): Tom Cavanaugh and Ashley Williams fall in love while dealing with a missing reindeer.
Last Holiday (2006): I love Queen Latifah movies and this is probably my number 2 most viewed movie after White Christmas. Queen Latifah believes she has a fatal condition and decides to blow her life savings visiting her favorite chef, Gerard Depardieu, at the Hotel Pupp in the Czech Republic. LL Cool J ends up with her in the happy ending.
The Santa Clause (1994): Tim Allen becomes the next Santa after a mishap at his house Christmas Eve. David Krumholtz is a great head elf and Eric Lloyd is Tim’s adorable son Charlie.
Elf (2003): This is a very sweet movie with Will Ferrell as a human raised by elves. Also starring Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, and Bob Newhart.
The Polar Express (2004): I don’t think the movie is as great as the Chris Van Allsburg book, but it still has the first gift of Christmas. If you get a chance, see the short Polar Express 4D Experience shown in museums with 3D, motion seats, and scents.
Prancer (1989): A little girl has a hard country life but her independence saves the day for Santa’s reindeer, Prancer.
A Christmas Story (1983): A classic 1940s story, beloved by all the men around here. Peter Billingsley wants a Red Ryder BB gun and dad Darren McGavin wins the ultimate major award.
Nightmare before Christmas (1993): Jack Skellington, a jack-o-lantern, takes on Christmas in a beautiful Tim Burton animated film. With Danny Elfman music.
Santa Claus (1985), One Magic Christmas (1985), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Mrs. Santa Claus (1996)
Nutcracker The Motion Picture (1986): Pacific Northwest Ballet, designed by Maurice Sendak
The Nutcracker (2008): Mariinsky Theatre ballet, designed by Mikhail Shemiakin
Here’s another favorites list for you: 11 Christmas TV specials.
Rankin/Bass: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, The Little Drummer Boy, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Nestor, the Long-eared Christmas Donkey
- Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
- The Christmas Messenger
- The Wish that Changed Christmas (The Story of Holly & Ivy)
- Claymation Christmas Celebration
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
Of course, I’ve left off a whole host of Christmas movies that could be on the list: Holiday Inn, Scrooged, Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas, National Lampoon Christmas Vacation, Window Wonderland, A Town Without Christmas and more.
Resource links for 28 Christmas movies
- IMDb’s most popular Christmas family titles
- The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass
- The sad story behind “White Christmas”, America’s favorite Christmas carol
- TV Christmas movie reviews
What are your favorite Christmas movies? I’d love to know!
Affiliate links: if you make a purchase using these links, I’ll receive a small compensation towards maintaining this blog, at no extra cost to you.
You’ve included all of our family favorites with some new suggestions we’ll have to watch! Last Christmas sounds like a fun one! Thanks for sharing. Have a great week Lisa!
Hey Marielle, Thanks for checking in. My Christmas movie and shows lists gets longer and longer!
These are some really great ones!
Thanks, Joanne! It’s always fun to watch ones everybody likes, and then some that are a little off-beat!