Our Favourite Christmas Movies

The month of December in our house is filled with Christmas movies.  We refuse to watch our Christmas movies at any other time of year, saving them up for this one month where we sit down as a family and enjoy the movies we’ve wanted to see all year that fill us with that Christmas spirit.  Along the way we’ve found some movies that we love watching yearly and love looking forward to that have a bit of a Christmas theme or element to them, but don’t typically qualify as “Christmas” movies.  Here I want to share our favourites with the knowledge that not all of them would be on every Christmas list (and there will be some notable absences because that’s just us).

Our Favourite Family Christmas Movie: Elf.  Let’s be clear: I don’t believe you can have kids and not watch this movie yearly with them.  This is the one movie that led to our “no Christmas movies during the year” rule because we started going crazy with how often my stepson wanted to watch it when he was younger.  In order to preserve our sanity and our love of this movie, we started the rule (and frankly, we love it now as the movies seem so much more special with it).  If you haven’t answered the phone saying, “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favourite colour?” just to hear the reactions, you’re missing out.

Runner Ups: Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Santa Clause, Miracle on 34th Street

Our Favourite Scary Christmas Movie:  Gremlins.  Although the sequel doesn’t really hold up, the original definitely does, especially watching with kids (though not too young if they’re the more fearful type).  And really, nothing says Christmas like a bunch of crazed monsters running around town, wreaking havoc, right?

Runner Ups:  Sorry, although there are cult classics, none quite make the cut in our house.

Our Favourite Grown-Up (Not That Kind of Grown-Up) Christmas Movie: Die Hard.  “Now I have a machine gun... Ho Ho Ho” Need I actually say anything else?

Runner Ups: Rocky IV, It’s a Wonderful Life (I want to put it as family, but it’s just a little too dark, though older kids can definitely enjoy), Joyeux Noel

Our Favourite Book-Based Christmas Movie: How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  No, it’s not A Christmas Carol.  For whatever reason, that one just doesn’t do it for our family.  Dr. Seuss, however?  Sign us up anytime.  My daughter is particularly fond of the newer Jim Carrey version, but really either will do.  After all, how can you argue with a movie who decries the commercialism of Christmas in favour of the Christmas spirit of love and being there for one another?  Add in some hilarious adult jokes in the newer version, and it’s a movie we can watch over and over.

Runner Ups: The Polar Express, Miracle on 34th Street

Our Favourite Animated Christmas Movie: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  It’s amazing to me how classic this movie is.  I remember loving it as a child and despite all the advances in technology in all the other movies they have seen, my kids love it as much as I did.  I suppose there’s something about that coming from behind and everyone learning a lesson that we all matter, no matter what, that will continue to stand the test of time.

Runner Ups:  Arthur Christmas, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Polar Express, and now I’m just waiting for an Olaf the Snowman Christmas as Frosty doesn’t hold a candle to Olaf!

That's it for us.  The movies that make the Christmas season that much more enjoyable and that we look forward to the remaining 11 months of the year.

What are the favourite Christmas movies in your house?

By Tracy Cassels

December 22, 2014