24 Best Christmas Movies To Watch This Holiday

Words: Crush

What better way to reel in the festive spirit than gathering around the telly with your loved ones and enjoying some heartwarming Christmas movies? Whether you prefer classic pictures or contemporary gems, these films provide the perfect backdrop for festive family gatherings. Get the popcorn ready and watch these best Christmas movies this holiday.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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In this timeless classic, George Bailey, on the brink of despair, is shown the profound impact he has had on his community by a guardian angel. A journey through a life’s worth of memories unfolds, revealing the extraordinary value of family and friends.

A Christmas Carol (1984)

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George C. Scott brings Ebenezer Scrooge to life in this haunting adaptation of Dickens’ timeless tale. As Scrooge encounters the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, the story explores themes of redemption, compassion and the transformative power of the holiday spirit.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

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In this heartwarming classic, a man named “Kris Kringle” is hired to play Santa Claus at Macy’s department store. When he claims to be the real Santa, a court case ensues, testing the power of belief and the true spirit of Christmas.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

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Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang take the lead in this Christmas classic. As Charlie seeks to overcome the commercialisation of the season, his friends come together to create a heartwarming celebration filled with joy, camaraderie, and the spirit of giving.

White Christmas (1954)

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Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star as a musical duo, who team up with two sisters to save a failing Vermont inn. Filled with memorable song-and-dance numbers, White Christmas is a festive extravaganza that celebrates love, friendship, and the magic of the holiday season.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

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The Griswold family’s attempt at a perfect Christmas takes a comedic turn in this Christmas classic. As Clark Griswold strives for the ideal festive celebration, chaos ensues, resulting in a hilariously relatable tale of family dynamics and the pursuit of holiday happiness.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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Tim Burton’s stop-motion masterpiece takes us to Halloween Town, where Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, discovers Christmas and decides to bring his own spooky twist to the holiday. This darkly enchanting film combines elements of Halloween and Christmas, creating a visually stunning and musically rich experience.

Gremlins (1984)

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When a young man receives a mysterious creature called a “Mogwai” as a Christmas gift, he’s given three crucial rules to follow. However, chaos erupts when the rules are broken, and mischievous creatures wreak havoc on a small town during the holiday season. Gremlins blends horror and humour for a uniquely festive experience.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

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The Muppets bring Dickens’ classic story to life in this Christmas movie; Michael Caine who plays the role of Ebenezer Scrooge puts on a great performance. Filled with Muppet humour, memorable songs and heartfelt moments, this adaptation is a joyful and family-friendly interpretation of the timeless Christmas tale.

The Holiday (2006)

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In this romantic comedy, two women, played by Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, swap homes for the holidays to escape the pressures of their respective lives. As they experience new surroundings and unexpected romances, they start to embrace newfound optimism in navigating the challenges of being single during the holidays. The Holiday explores themes of love, self-discovery, and creating one’s own magic.

Frozen (2013)

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With its wintry landscapes and charming characters, Disney’s animated sensation Frozen has become a holiday favourite for many. The story of two sisters, Elsa and Anna, who discover the power of love, magic and sisterhood, is underscored by a powerful message of embracing one’s true self and the enduring bonds of family. A delightful Christmas movie to watch with the little ones this holiday.

The Santa Clause (1994)

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Tim Allen stars as Scott Calvin, who inadvertently becomes Santa Claus after the real Santa falls off his roof on Christmas Eve. As Scott adjusts to his new responsibilities, he learns about the importance of belief, family, and the true spirit of Christmas in this family comedy.

The Family Stone (2005)

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Starring Hollywood icon, Sarah Jessica Parker, and a handsome Dermot Mulroney, The Family Stone is a tale about meeting one’s partner’s family over the holidays. As the free-spirited Stones welcome their conservative future daughter-in-law (played by SJP) during the Christmas holidays, tensions rise and secrets are revealed.

This heartwarming and poignant film explores the dynamics of family, acceptance and finding love in unexpected ways. With Diane Keaton, Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Clare Danes in the cast, movie lovers can expect a charming watch with a touch of awkward humour from this Christmas rom-com.

Die Hard (1988)

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Bruce Willis redefines the action genre in this Christmas classic. NYPD officer, John McClane, battles terrorists in a Los Angeles skyscraper on Christmas Eve. Die Hard has become an unexpected, but beloved addition to the list of festive favourites, delivering thrills, humour and an unconventional dose of holiday cheer to families.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

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Jim Carrey transforms into the mischievous Grinch in this live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ beloved tale. The Grinch attempts to steal Christmas from the cheerful residents of Whoville, only to discover the true meaning of the season in a touching turn of events. Truly one of the best Christmas movies – the whole family will love this treasured film.

Love Actually (2003)

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Love takes centre stage in this ensemble romantic comedy that weaves together multiple interconnected stories during the Christmas season. With a star-studded cast – featuring favourites like Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, and Kiera Knightley – this Christmas contemporary classic has won the hearts of many. Love Actually captures the complexities of relationships during the holidays, reminding us that love takes on many forms and is actually all around us.

Elf (2003)

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Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, a human raised by elves at the North Pole, who embarks on a hilarious and heartwarming journey to discover his true identity and reconnect with his estranged father in New York City. Packed with humour, charm and an infectious Christmas spirit, Elf is a modern holiday hit.

Scrooged (1988)

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Bill Murray stars in this modern twist on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. As a cynical television executive, Murray’s character is visited by ghosts who guide him toward redemption and a newfound appreciation for the holiday season. Scrooged offers a comedic and moving take on a classic tale.

Home Alone (1990)

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When eight-year-old Kevin McCallister (played by a young Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left behind while his family goes on a holiday vacation to France, he must defend his home from burglars (played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) using clever ‘booby traps’. This beloved family comedy combines humour and heart, delivering a dose of holiday hilarity. The most important takeaway from this film – never make the mistake of leaving your kid home alone.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

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Tim Burton’s whimsical and darkly romantic tale follows Edward (played by Johnny Depp), a man with scissors for hands, as he navigates suburban life and discovers love. Set against a Christmas backdrop, this visually stunning and emotionally resonant film explores themes of love, acceptance and the beauty found in the unconventional. Winona Ryder puts on a great performance in this odd yet charming Christmas classic.

The Polar Express (2004)

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All aboard the magical Polar Express! This animated adventure takes audiences on a breathtaking journey to the North Pole, where a young boy learns about friendship, bravery and the enchanting magic of Christmas. The dazzling animation and heartfelt story make it a holiday favourite for both young and old.

Carol (2015)

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Set against the backdrop of a 1950s Christmas season, Carol is a visually exquisite and emotionally rich love story between two women, played by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. This poignant film explores societal expectations, ‘forbidden love’ and the pursuit of happiness during the holidays.

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

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Renée Zellweger stars as Bridget Jones, a lovable singleton navigating love and life. With a Christmas setting, this romantic comedy follows Bridget’s humorous and heartwarming journey to find happiness, making it a relatable and entertaining addition to the holiday movie lineup.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

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Harry, Ron, and Hermione embark on their magical journey at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. While not a traditional Christmas film, the enchanting world of Harry Potter often features festive moments and is a perfect choice for those who enjoy a touch of magic during the holiday season – a great watch for the whole family.

Know what you’re watching? Try these movie snacks and drinks for the ultimate pairing.  

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