When you think of the holiday season, Christmas movies often come to mind. Whether you enjoy traditional films such as Miracle on 34th Street or a childhood favorite like Polar Express, these movies hold a sentimental place in your heart. Here is a list of the 30 best holiday films to watch this season.
30. Bad Santa. Released in 2003 and starring Billy Bob Thorton and Bernie Mac, this film explores Christmas eve with a thief disguised as Santa. This humorous and somewhat dark motion picture provides an interesting alternative to the sappy Christmas stories that often consume the holiday season.
29. Jingle All the Way. Many parents the world over can relate to Arnold Schwartzenegger in this film as a preoccupied father making promises he fails to keep. Determined to make up for past failures he vows to buy his son the hottest toy of the season.
28. Office Christmas Party. Workplace Christmas parties often lead to various levels of debauchery. In this film, released in 2016, siblings played by Jennifer Anniston and T.J Miller throw a Christmas party for their inherited business and hilarity ensues.
27. Jack Frost. If you want a family-friendly movie to enjoy, Jack Frost is ideal. Michael Keaton masterfully plays the ghost of a father who died the previous year. Have your tissues ready and prepare yourself to learn valuable lessons about life and the magic of the holidays.
26. This Christmas. The Whitfield family reunites at the family home for a Christmas to remember. Loretta Divine plays the matriarch of this drama-filled family that you’re sure to love.
25. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This film is Jim Carrey’s take on the Classic by Dr, Seus. The movie takes you back to your childhood memories of Whoville and the efforts of the Grinch to destroy Christmas for everyone.
24. One Magic Christmas. Every now and then a gem of a Christmas movie is created but doesn’t get much recognition. In this classic movie, the matriarch of a working-class family comes to understand the real meaning of the holiday season.
23. Deck the Halls. Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito play neighbors battling over an extravagant Christmas light display created by Devito’s character. Everyone in your household will love this film.
22. Four Christmases. Divorce can be difficult to navigate during the holidays even for adult children. Four Christmases is a hilariously insightful take on how a couple manages to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas day.
21. Prancer. “Prancer’s in the shed near my house” is one of the most memorable lines of this childhood favorite. This tale of an injured reindeer and a child that believes in the magic of Christmas is sure to be a hit with children of all ages.
20. The Best Man Holiday. This surprise box office hit contains valuable lessons about life, loss, and the importance of friendship.
19. The Santa Clause. Tim Allen becomes Santa Clause while teaching his son the real meaning of Christmas.
18. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This wonderfully animated film tells the story of the greatest reindeer in history. John Goodman and Whoopi Golberg join forces to bring this exciting musical film to life.
17. The Nightmare Before Christmas. Released in 1993 as an animated musical, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a dark film in which Halloween and Christmas meet to spin an interesting tale.
16. The Holiday. Two homeowners, Kate Winslet (London) and Cameron Diaz (Los Angeles), decide to trade homes for the holidays. What develops in a beautiful romantic comedy for the ages.
15. Christmas With The Kranks. Empty nesters Luther and Nora Krank have decided not to celebrate Christmas until they get a call from their daughter who’s returning home for the holidays. They work hard to make the holiday one she will remember.
14. Last Holiday. Queen Latifah plays a seemingly terminally ill woman that makes it her mission to enjoy an extravagant last holiday in the Czech Republic. This funny and loving take on the importance of a well-lived life will be a favorite of yours for years to come.
13. Elf. Will Ferrell plays Buddy an orphaned elf who grew up with Santa at the North Pole after being given up for adoption. He is sent to his biological father to teach him the real meaning of Christmas and family.
12. Scrooge (“A Christmas Carol”). Ebenezer Scrooge a wealthy but selfish businessman is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future as he discovers the importance of giving.
11. The Preacher’s Wife. Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston star in this delightful holiday-themed movie with beautiful music and an angelic Christmas story.
10. Love, Actually. Set in London, eight couples navigate their relationships during the holiday season to discover what they mean to one another.
9. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. The sequel to the wildly successful Home Alone, this film joins Kevin McCallister roaming solo through New York City after getting on the wrong plane on the way to a family vacation.
8. The Polar Express. This cinematic wonder is glorious in its presentation and magnificent storytelling. Tom Hanks plays a gregarious train conductor taking a group of children to the North Pole.
7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. If you’re a child of the 80’s you probably know every line of this laugh-inducing Christmas film staring the Griswolds.
6. A Christmas Story. Ralphie will take you on an adventure as he seeks to avoid neighborhood bullies and acquire a Red Ryder BB gun despite the objection of every adult in his life.
5. White Christmas. Nothing says Christmas like Bing Crosby and this romantic holiday movie of yesteryear with lovely music and all the nostalgia of Christmas past.
4. A Charlie Brown Christmas. Children and adults alike enjoy this simple movie featuring the Peanuts gang which seeks to illuminate the real meaning of Christmas.
3. Miracle on 34th Street. Released in 1947, this film takes place in New York City and chronicles the life of a department store Santa who claims to be the real Santa.
2. Home Alone. Macaulay Culkin cemented his place in Christmas movie history with this spunky role of a young boy left to fend for himself while defending his home from would-be burglars.
1. It’s a Wonderful Life. This movie encapsulates the time-honored tradition of the holidays that involves gratitude and the precious precarious nature of life.