Arthur is an avid television and movie fan with horror being his favored genre. If you can name it, he has probably seen it. Twice.
Christmas time is really the most wonderful time of the year and that shows in the sheer amount of Christmas themed movies, music, and literature. Being that Christmas has been around for, oh, about 2016 years now there have been plenty of Christmas stories shared over the years. This particular article is about the Christmas movies that are so good that it should be criminal not to watch them. These are listed in no particular order because; honestly, how could you rank them?
It's a Wonderful Life
I am not going to lie, I was late to the game on this one. I knew that this movie existed, but always thought that it would be way too boring to waste my precious time on; boy was I wrong. I think that this movie is strangely contemporary for a film that came out in 1946. There is a reason why it remains a pop culture staple when referencing Christmas movies and it would be criminal to leave it off of this list. Please don't be like me, find this movie and watch it as soon as you can.
Next to baseball and apple pie, Home Alone may be the most American thing ever. There is not a person in this country who doesn't love this movie and if they don't I would keep a close eye on them. This John Hughes film defined a generation, made us all want to set booby traps, and genuinely entertained without the use of crude or insinuating humor. This is the kind of movie that you can watch a few times this holiday season along with smatterings of views throughout the year.
A Christmas Story
Honestly, this movie is not my cup of tea, but it is a pretty popular movie so it would be arrogant not to include it on the list. It does have some pretty iconic phrases like, "I triple dog dare you," and "You'll shoot your eye out, kid." It also spawned an entire retail market for that stupid lamp. Anyway, here you go, A Christmas Story made the list.
This movie is fairly polarizing, mostly because of its star Will Ferrell. I honestly think it is one of his best movies and an instant Christmas classic. It is the movie that introduced "Baby, it's Cold Outside," to a new generation and spawned pop culture references like, "You're an angry elf," and, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." The Grinch himself would find it hard not to laugh at this movie.
The original Santa Clause movie is one of those once in a generation kind of movies. It is a perfect combination of writing and acting which results in a solid family movie. As long as we ignore the sequels this film belongs toward the top of everyone's must watch Christmas films.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
This movie is over 20 years old and possibly more popular than it was when it first came out. Though Tim Burton has made many classics, The Nightmare Before Christmas may be his crowning achievement. This movie is probably the highest grossing on the list considering that there are licensed Nightmare products everywhere you look.
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
No matter how you feel about Chevy Chase or National Lampoon you must admit that this is a fantastic movie. There are not very many quotable lines, but it is what is not said in this movie that makes it so funny. There is a sequel starring the insufferable Cousin Eddie, but you are better off just watching this one twice.
The Family Stone
This may be the most controversial movie on the list, but I contest that it belongs among movies to watch every year. Without giving anything away this movie plays like a crappy rom-com that we have seen a million times before. It is the ending that is kind of personal and hits me right in the feels every single time. It doesn't hurt that this film is packed to the brim with stars and Luke Wilson delivers one of his best performances ever.
On principle I usually dislike Christmas Carol rehashes because it has been done to death and they never stray far enough away from the source material to deliver a compelling story. Scrooged walks that line, but it gets a pass because it stars the infallible Bill Murray. Even though this film has cheesy '80s movie written all over it (complete with Bobcat Goldthwait) I can't help but watch it at least once a season.
A Miracle on 34th Street 1947
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the remake, but when you are talking Christmas classics you have to go with the original. Cynicism puts Christmas on trial and it takes the spirit of the season to save the day. This is a great movie to watch to remind us what Christmas is all about and it is just a great family film which leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
Which of your favorites did I miss? I purposely left out cartoons for another list, but there are plenty of live action films that people find near and dear to the hearts this time of year. Let me know which movies you think would be criminal to skip this Christmas.
Arthur Thares (author) from Burnsville, MN, United States on December 10, 2016:
MST3K did a great episode with Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!
Pat Mills from East Chicago, Indiana on December 10, 2016:
I have fond memories of both A Christmas Story and Santa Claus Conquers The Martians.
roniferi on December 09, 2016:
nice I like to look at this picture interesting