There is absolutely no need to wait for Christmas Eve or December 25 to get into a Christmas-y mood. You can start celebrating right now by treating yourself to a binge-watch of the best Christmas movies ever made.
And by “best,” we’re not referring to those formulaic romantic movies made for Hallmark or Netflix. They’re not really our cup of tea, but we get why people love them, and there is no judgment—you watch what you want to watch!
As we were saying, we’re focusing on the timeless classics of Christmas cinema. Some may be a bit unconventional, but they remain our top picks for getting into the holiday spirit.
So, snuggle up in your coziest PJs, whip up some eggnog (if that’s your preference, but we may judge you on that part), and enjoy one or two—or all—of the best of the best Christmas movies!
While this could be an exhaustive list, we whittled it down to our top 10–see them all below!
1983 was an exceptional year, marking the release of the iconic film A Christmas Story. This movie has become a holiday staple for its blend of sweet nostalgia and dark humor. It’s famous for the memorable phrase, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” The legacy continued, as Peter Billingsley filmed a sequel titled A Christmas Story Christmas featuring a grown-up Ralphie in 2022.
This one’s for the fans of thrillers – get ready for a wildly twisted journey on Santa’s sleigh. Better Watch Out goes against the grain as a charmingly creepy Christmas horror-thriller, brought to life by the dynamic chemistry of its young leading actors.
While You Were Sleeping whips up its storyline from classic ingredients, but it’s Sandra Bullock’s adorably charming performance that truly makes this formulaic movie a holiday cutie classic.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas honors a beloved holiday tale and has rightfully earned its place as a holiday classic, thanks to its outstanding cast.
If you love Jim Henson’s work, you’ll want to add Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas to your viewing list, especially if you’ve yet to discover this charming Muppet holiday escapade.
This stop-motion animagic rendition of the timeless Christmas story features Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and an encounter with Bumbles, an abominable snowman, and my personal favorite character. There is so much more to it, but it’s one of the many wonderful plot points and messages in this much-loved holiday movie.
While National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation may not be the highest-quality comedy, its humor and holiday spirit make it an entertaining and hilarious choice for the festive season.
Questionable parenting aside, Home Alone remains a mainstay Christmas favorite film to rewatch over and over again.
The Family Stone, with its engaging ensemble cast, manages to be a compelling Christmas movie despite its shortcomings. It illustrates the coexistence of very real family love and strife surrounding family dynamics during the super stressful holiday period.
Putting Toys on this list might be seen as nuts, as it seems I’m the one and only fan of this movie. This over-the-top, fantastical film starring Robin Williams inexplicably makes me cry every time. It could have something to do with the beautiful theme song, ’The Closing of the Year’ by Wendy and Lisa with Seal–complete with haunting bells and a children’s choir.
We hope you enjoyed our picks for the best Christmas movies, and from us to you, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!