For many, watching holiday movies is a treasured tradition. Christmas Day just cannot come without getting most of these favorites checked off the list. When watching a movie, you have the chance to snuggle with loved ones, sit by the fire, and drink hot chocolate. What could be better? With all of the hustle and stress that usually goes along with a busy December, most of us are more than ready for a relaxing respite.
Hollywood realized a long time ago that even though we probably won’t watch Christmas movies in July (although some of us do!), we will almost certainly recreate this tradition year after year. We will pass on these favorites to our children, generation after generation. At Thriveworks, these are some of our family favorites, that we cherish and would like to share with you. Perhaps they may become a new part of your family holiday tradition!
1. Jingle All The Way
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson may be Hollywood’s current go-to actor for kid-friendly adventure movies, but Arnold Schwarzenegger was the king of this genre in this 90’s classic. The movie is about a dad who routinely picks work over spending time with his young son. After a particularly hurtful incident, he promises to buy his son an action figure that he unwittingly realizes is sold out everywhere in the city. He must then embark on a city-wide chase for the doll, combating fellow Christmas consumers and even 90’s star Sinbad. In this movie, we are reminded about how different the retail landscape was before eBay and Amazon.
2. Die Hard
Although not considered a Christmas movie in the traditional sense, the setting is indeed during the holiday season. It includes a father trying to make it home by Christmas Eve, holiday music, it snows in LA, and there is lots of fighting and gunfire. What more could the viewer want for Christmas?
3. Miracle on 34th Street
This cinematic classic actually has two versions: the original 1947 film and a remake in 1994. Both films have the same storytelling charm about a man in NYC who dresses up as Santa Claus. After an unfortunate incident, the man is determined by the court as “insane,” so a lawyer rises to the challenge and tries to prove that this man actually is Santa Claus. Call us cheesy, but we favor the newer version with all of it’s 90’s fashion.
4. Love Actually
Taking place in London England, this “ultimate romantic comedy” chronicles the lives of several different couples during the weeks before Christmas. Each couple faces a unique problem or challenge ahead of them. The theme of the movie is that love ends as often as it begins, but like the holiday in the backdrop of this movie, there’s hope for any love story. This classic includes a school Christmas play, overly emotional scenes, and Christmas gala here and there. Be forewarned though; do not watch the unedited version with the kids!
5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
As far as disaster movies go, this one is probably the funniest. The movie is about the loveable Griswold family and their notoriously bad luck. Clark must contend with overbearing family members, holiday hijinks, and a string of catastrophes as he anticipates the arrival of his Christmas bonus.
6. Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppets do the holidays as well as any other furry puppet. This remake of the Dickens classic can inform youngsters about the original, while letting them enjoy the shenanigans of Gonzo and Rizzo as the narrators of the tale. Tiny Tim, Miss Piggy, Kermit, and Michael Caine as Scrooge round out a delightful cast in this musical.
7. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Why not celebrate Christmas in New York City? This 90s classic about a boy left alone (again) during Christmas has something for every member of the family to enjoy. Getting the chance to vicariously experience New York City, with all of its holiday glory, is as close as most of get to the Big Apple during this special time of the year. It’s a sequel that is worth the time and has earned it’s place on this list.
8. It’s a Wonderful Life
Frank Capra’s 1946 film about a man who has an out-of-body experience on Christmas Eve is still one of the most celebrated movies of all time. Brought to the point of wanting to commit suicide, George Bailey has sacrificed his life to helping others, yet he doesn’t believe he has made any real difference in the world. Before he makes a terrible decision, however, George learns about the real purpose of a well-lived, simple life.
Considered by many to be Will Ferrell’s funniest performance, “Elf” is the holiday classic about a man who was raised by elves in the North Pole. Upon adulthood, Buddy the Elf learns that he is actually human, and his father is still alive, living in New York City. Buddy embarks on a new quest to find his father, make new friends and even save Christmas. This light-hearted classic appeals to both young and old, with jokes that appeal to all.
10. Home Alone
The “Home Alone” that began a string of sequels, this movie is about a boy who tries to make it on his own while his family accidentally leaves him on their way to Europe for vacation. Classic lines, crazy stunts, and an amazing soundtrack, no holiday season is complete without it.
Did we miss any of your favorites? Try a new one of ours from the list and let us know in the comments section what favorites of yours we should try next year! Happy Holidays!