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!
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