The Best Christmas Movies

by Dylan - first posted December 12, 2011

Well, it’s that time of the year when there’s nothing sadder than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. The time of year where the family gets together on a cold winters night to swap elegantly wrapped presents underneath the Christmas Tree. A time when all you ever want to do is watch the best Christmas movies in bed or on the couch next to a warm Christmas fire.

Before we begin, as always, please remember that the following list is based purely off of my own experience and personal taste. If I forget one of the best Christmas movies, please don’t hesitate to mention it in the comments.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)


I admit that this is more of a Halloween movie, and I even included it in my list of The Best Halloween Movies, but I don’t care! This is one of my favorite movies and it has Christmas right in the title!

Why It’s The Best

The Nightmare Before Christmas is just so different than most any other Christmas movie, and there does seem to be something genuine in Jack Skellington’s wondrous joy at discovering Christmas Town.

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

This 1964 TV Movie classic tells the story of Santa’s misfit reindeer with the glowing nose. When Rudolf runs away from home, he meets a fellow kindred misfit in Hermey the elf. Together they go on a journey to the Island of Misfits and meet many fun and interesting characters.

Why It’s The Best

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer is good ‘ol family fun and chalk full of great songs and messages of nonconformity and being yourself.

Jingle All The Way (1996)

This Arnold Schwarzenegger Christmas film is about a father who goes through a day in shopping hell to get his son the perfect toy for Christmas. Not the strongest movie, but I have good memories of this movie as a child.

Why It’s The Best

Simply put, I think we can all relate to Arnold’s character, Howard, as he navigates the war zone that is the mall near Christmastime.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)


A Christmas Carol is a novella by the great Charles Dickens which tells the tale of greedy old Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by the ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet To Come.

Why It’s The Best

It’s a Muppet rendition of Christmas classic. ‘Nuff said.

Bad Santa (2003)

Bad Santa stars Billy Bob Thornton as a miserable conman. He and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve, but run into problems when he befriends a troubled kid.

Why It’s The Best

Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, and Lauren Graham are fantastic in this film.

Elf (2003)

Will Ferrell is a grown man who was raised in the North Pole by Santa’s elves and must now head to America to learn of his true identity.

Why It’s The Best

I’m not a Will Ferrel fan at all, but even I have to admit that he was hilarious in this. Elf perfectly compliments his wacky comedy style. Plus, this is one of Zooey Deschanel first big breaks (I first saw her in The Offspring’s She’s Got Issues video. Seriously, that’s her in it!).

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

George Bailey, a man whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers). Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and the contributions he has made to his community.

Why It’s The Best

If you are a sucker for sad movies then make sure to have a box of tissues with you. Also, I had to put this on here in case my Mom reads this article – this is probably her all time favorite movie and I don’t want her calling me to tell me that this is the worst list she’s ever seen and I’m a terrible son.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas

Why It’s The Best

This made the list simply because it is such a Christmas classic. Like I really hope I don’t need to justify Peanuts!

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

This is the Jim Carrey version and it is wackily (is wackily even a word? Who cares it’s a Dr. Seuss movie, I can make up words.) amazing and a great tribute to the original.

Why It’s The Best

It really is a good movie and a little underrated I think. Also, see that adorably cute girl in the above photo? That’s Taylor Momsen, who looks like this now, and is the frontman of the rock/metal band The Pretty Reckless.

Muppets Family Christmas (1987)

Kermit and his friends spend Christmas staging a surprise visit to Fozzie Bear’s mother’s farm. With visits from Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock, I just remember loving this movie as a kid.

Why It’s The Best

They do a great job at adding in Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock characters without the ensemble becoming bloated and confusing. Some great songs and comedic sketches (Ralph and Swedish Chef come to mind), and a relatively small runtime (just under an hour) make this a great filler movie.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

The Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.

Why It’s The Best

This is just such an incredibly well-written movie with material that we can all relate and learn from. Arguably the best of the Griswold Family movies, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is my favourite Pierce Hawthrone Chevy Chase movie.

Prancer (1984)

A little girl Jessica, in a rough family situation, comes across an injured reindeer that she believes to be one of Santa’s eight – Prancer to be exact.

Why It’s The Best

I’ll simply ask you to just trust me. I can almost guarantee that you haven’t seen this movie before, and that’s a true Christmas shame.

The Santa Clause (1994)

Starring Tim Allen and filmed in Oakville, Ontario (My home town!), this movie is about a cynical father who becomes Santa after the original falls off his roof on Christmas.

“This is the greatest Christmas movie ever”
– Dylan, December of 2011.

So did I butcher this list? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!


  • Mar

    awwww I <3 xmas!

  • Jess

    It’s a wonderful life always makes me cry 🙁

  • James Smith

    You say Oakville is your home town, where the Santa Clause was filmed. Could you tell me the location of where they filmed the scenes at Scott Calvin’s townhouse, where they caused Santa to fall off the roof?

    • Hello James,
      Oakville wasn’t the only filming location but it was the primary. I was unable to trackdown Scott Calvin’s house location, but I was able to find this interesting article that shows many of the locations filmed in Oakville, including Charlies Mom’s house.

  • Jamie

    Why not have the santa clause sequels?

    • FOrTheLulz

      Lol the sequels sucked

  • Tgirl

    Some good movies here I’ve never heard of. Why not a Will Farel fan tho? I love him!


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