14 Must-Watch Christmas Movies
It’s a membership to the Jelly of the Month Club!
Christmas movies are a great way to get into the swing of the season.
I’ve included some of my faves below – some of which are absolutely predictable (and delightful in their predictability) and some are the kind you can forget are even holiday movies due to the distracting side content.
The best holiday movies (in this chick’s humble opinion) are the ones that are totally quotable and have sweet soundtracks. Personally, I can’t do Jimmy Stewart (except in Philadelphia Story. Why is he sexy in that?). I’m not huge on a Miracle on 34th and I don’t love Meet Me In St Louis (though I do love the song). I thought I’d put together my slightly unorthodox list in case you were looking for some pre-holiday inspiratin.
If you mainline two a day, there’s still time to watch them all before Christmas!!
– Home Alone (So good that someone decided to go so far as making a fifth installment Did you know there’s a 5???)
“I wish my grandparents did that. They always send me clothes. Last year I got a sweater with a big bird knitted on it.”
– Die Hard (In which John McLane has a bad day and wishes he’d stayed in New York where it’s safe)
I got invited to the Christmas party by mistake. Who knew.
– Holiday Inn (One of our family’s Christmas movie traditions. The first televised appearance of the song White Christmas. So quotable.)
For that kinda of money you oughta be able to go by way o’ Medicine Hat!
– The Family Stone (Rachel McAdams + SJP + Diane Keaton. So much girl sh*t. So much family sh*t. Love.)
You were just a little girl in a flannel night gown. And you were shovelling snow from the walk in front of our house. And I was the snow, I was the snow. And everywhere it landed and everywhere it covered. You scoop me up with a big red shovel. You scoop me up.
–Little Women (Before Winona went cray cray. I love this book and I love the film interpretation. I was Jo. I want to always be Jo.)
Oh, Jo. Jo, you have so many extraordinary gifts; how can you expect to lead an ordinary life?
–Elf. Duh. (It’s directed by Jon Favreau, stars Will Ferrell and has regular play in our house from November, on).
Actually, I’m a human, but I was raised by elves.
–White Christmas (Another of our family traditions – to the point where we’ve watched it in August. I love the music. I love the theatrics. I love Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen. I love Danny Kaye. The dialogue is snappy. It’s hilarious and heart-warming. Love. Love.)
I want you to get married. I want you to have nine children. And if you only spend five minutes a day with each kid, that’s forty-five minutes, and I’d at least have time to go out and get a massage or something.
–Muppet Christmas Carol (The most wonderful interpretation of the Dickens classic that I’ve ever seen. The music is so thoughtful. The characterization couldn’t be less cartoon. Hilarious and poignant. Michael Caine is a wonderful Scrooge.)
Gonzo: My name is Charles Dickens.
Rizzo the Rat: And my name is Rizzo the Rat
–The Santa Clause (my favourite is how the head elf is super Jewish.)
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! When I wake up, I’m getting a CT Scan!!
–Scrooged (Bill Murray is Christmas every day.)
I never liked a girl well enough to give her twelve sharp knives.
–Bad Santa (this film is hideous. It’s anti-Christmas. It’s delightful. Highly politically incorrect. Somewhere, Bing Crosby is rolling over in his grave.)
No, I’m not talking about that. I beat the shit out of some kids today. But it was for a purpose. It made me feel good about myself. It was like I did something constructive with my life or something, I dunno, like I accomplished something.
– Love Actually (Every time I watch this, I fall in love with a different storyline. But…always Billy Mack. Always. And Emma Thompson. And Alan Rickman. Liam Neeson. Why are you not watching this riiiiiiight now???)
Karen: So what’s this big news, then?
Daisy: [excited] We’ve been given our parts in the nativity play. And I’m the lobster.
Karen: The lobster?
Karen: In the nativity play?
Daisy: [beaming] Yeah, *first* lobster.
Karen: There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?
–Go (This is how we did Christmas in the 90’s. Sarah Polley and Katie Holmes before she became Robo Bride. Also not super Christmasy. But it takes place at Christmas, so it counts. There’s even a Christmas rave.)
Uhh, wait. Wait. You want us to sell Amway?
–Rocky IV (Epic battle between good and evil. In Russia. On Christmas Day. Apollo!! Nooooo!!)
***Disclosure*** Christmas movies are not notorious for their feminist ideals.
In fact, I would argue that Little Women carries some of the most feminist of all principles in this whole list and the book itself was written pre-suffrage…
Yes, it pisses me off that SJP’s character in The Family Stone is so maligned by her boyfriend’s family for being an ambitious and passionate woman.
Yes, I think that what the best friend does to Kiera Knightly in Love, Actually is super c*nty and sociopathic.
In fact, I would argue that some of the worst anti-feminist gestures in Christmas movies (and films in general) have been created within my lifetime. That’s pretty fucked…
I suppose part of the requirement of these holiday movies is that we suspend our inner critics for a little while? (although, I have to admit that once I discovered that certain aspects of some of the more modern films on this list were more creepy than romantic, I haven’t had them in as heavy a rotation as I used to. I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue.)
So, what’s the way to go about it? Have you axed the classics in favour of newer holiday faves with better messaging? Comment below and let us know.
Merry Christmas, you filthy animal