Classic Holiday Movies

The holidays are a time for tradition. We have traditions for holiday foods, decorations, music, and movies. If you are like me, there are certain movies you have to watch during the season; otherwise, it wouldn’t be the holidays.

These movies can take people back to their childhood or back to a special place. Whatever the meaning, there are certain holiday movies that become classics, including the ones below.

White Christmas: In 1942, musician Irving Berlin wrote the classic holiday tune “White Christmas.” To date, the version by singer Bing Crosby is known for being the best-selling of all time. Put these two together, and we get the 1954 film White Christmas. Crosby, along with Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen portray entertainers who help save a Vermont inn operated by the boys’ World War II general. On Christmas Eve, all things become merry and bright.

Home Alone: 8-year-old Kevin McCallister is a troublemaker and causes a scene the night before his family leaves for Paris. As a consequence, his mother makes him sleep in the attic, which causes them to accidently leave him behind. As Kevin awakes to an empty house, his wish of having no family comes true. Everything is fine until two con men plan to rob the McCallister’s home. Kevin is then handed the task to protect his family’s home while they are away.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: There are always a few moments during the holidays where your family’s celebrations can resemble the Griswolds’ in this holiday film from the National Lampoon’s Vacation saga. All Clark Griswold wants is the perfect family Christmas. However, things go quickly downhill as family arrives and Clark doesn’t get his much-awaited holiday bonus. If you want some laughs during the season, this is your go-to movie.

A Christmas Story: It has its own 24-hour marathon on Christmas Day, so you know this movie is a classic. During Christmas in the 1940s, young Ralphie Parker dreams of getting a Red Ryder Carbine Action Air Rifle. He attempts to persuade his parents, Santa Claus, and even his teacher that this is the ideal Christmas gift. However, many don’t see it as a practical gift, because “he’ll shoot his eye out.” Eventually, Ralphie does receive his B.B. gun, but also manages to “shoot his eye out,” as well as break his glasses the first time he uses the rifle. And let’s not forget his father’s prize from a contest—the infamous leg lamp.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Leave it to Dr. Seuss to tell a heartwarming story about a Grinch who stole Christmas. First written as a book and then later adapted into a film by Ron Howard, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas explains how “the Whos down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did not.” However, after the Grinch steals all the Christmas decorations from the town, the Who’s continue with the celebrations and the Grinch soon learns that maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe it means a little bit more.

Miracle on 34th Street: Young Susan Walker’s belief in Santa Claus is beginning to fade, until an old man named Kris Kringle fills in for Macy’s Santa in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Quickly, Kris is offered a job with the department store and surprises everyone when he claims to be the real Santa Claus. The mental ability of Kris is then questioned, and it takes a court, a young lawyer, and Susan to prove that Kris Kringle is the real Santa.

A Charlie Brown Christmas: There is something special about the Peanuts gang and their timeless holiday tales. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown complains about the materialism that has taken over Christmas. In an attempt to find the real meaning of the holiday, Charlie Brown becomes the director of the Christmas pageant. Things go awry, and he soon finds himself nurturing a little fir Christmas tree, while the gang discovers just what Christmas really means.

It’s a Wonderful Life: There isn’t just one all-time, hands down, classic holiday movie, but this one comes really close. In 1946, George Bailey, played by the lovable James Stewart, wishes he hadn’t been born after he faces financial ruin and realizes all of his big dreams never happened. With the help of an angel, his wish is granted, and he sees how the lives he has impacted would be different if he was never there. George realizes his life has been wonderful and that his dreams really did come true. After all, it’s “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

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