Top Christmas Movies Guaranteed to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Cozy up to these top holiday classic Christmas movies.

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A Christmas Story (1983)

A Christmas Story (1983)YouTube
All nine-year-old Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB Gun. Problem is, everyone thinks he’ll shoot his eye out.

Elf (2003)

Elf (2003)YouTube
Mayhem ensues when a lovable, but misguided, elf (Will Ferrell) tracks down his cranky father (James Caan) in New York.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)YouTube
Pushy relatives, manic squirrels, and a very oversized tree—it could only be Christmas at the Griswolds.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)YouTube
Tim Burton’s animated fantasy about what happens when Halloween usurps Christmas is a delightfully spooky treat.

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Scrooged (1988)

Scrooged (1988)YouTube
An egomaniacal TV programmer (Bill Murray) learns the errors of his ways in this funny spin on Dickens’ novella.

Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone (1990)YouTube
Eight-year-old Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is thrilled to spend Christmas away from his family. That is, until two bumbling burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) crash the party.

Holiday Inn (1942)

Holiday Inn (1942)YouTube
Jim (Bing Crosby) flees the city to open a rustic inn with his pal (Fred Astaire). Plot (or lack of) aside, Crosby’s “White Christmas” and Astaire’s fancy footwork are dreamy.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)YouTube
Faced with bankruptcy, George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) laments the day he was born. A guardian angel changes his mind.

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Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)YouTube
Kris Kringle lands the ultimate day job at Macy’s. With the help of a flatmate, he wins over his supervisor (Maureen O’Hara) and her skeptical toddler (Natalie Wood).

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)YouTube
Looking for a more puppet-centric approach to the Scrooge story? Try this version, in which Ebenezer and the gang are acted out by everyone's favorite felt-covered friends.

The Polar Express (2004)

The Polar Express (2004)YouTube
Some people may find the motion-capture animation tipping into uncanny valley, but it's hard to deny the story's appeal. Based on a beloved kids' book, the movie follows the adventures of a boy as he heads to the North Pole to meet Santa.

The Santa Clause (1994)

The Santa Clause (1994)YouTube
Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) morphs from corporate Scrooge to Santa when he accidentally kills Saint Nick.

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The Bishop's Wife (1947)

The Bishop's Wife (1947)YouTube
Cary Grant plays Dudley, an angel summoned to Earth by a cash-strapped bishop, whose gentle charm helps a whole community learn what really matters in life. For a more contemporary take on the tale, check out the Denzel-Washington-and-Whitney-Houston 1996 remake, The Preacher's Wife.

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