Top Ten Christmas Movies of all-time

chris1Christmas movies can be sappy and slow, but I personally have to watch at least one of them a year just for posterity’s sake.  There are a whole range of Christmas movies, but they are usually character driven and they have something about the Christmas spirit to qualify as a real Christmas movie, like giving or other humanistic qualities.  However, some movies are simply set at Christmas time and are surrounded by the Christmas theme.  Whatever your definition of a Christmas movie, these are some of my favorites:

chris210.  The Santa Clause (1994) – This movie sneaks in there at number ten because it is a little clever and sometimes charming.  This is the only Tim Allen movie I ever remember seeing (and liking), but the rest of the sequels are terrible, terrible movies.  This one is at least passable.

9.  It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – This is a Christmas staple I can’t watch too often because it is just way too sappy for me.  It’s a classic though, there’s no doubt about that.  James Stewart is his usual old-fashioned, moral character, as in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I think families should see this together at least once, but there are others kids enjoy more.

chris38.  Scrooged (1988) – This is the adult Christmas tale and there’s plenty of Bill Murray to go around in this one, although I prefer Groundhog Day over this movie.  When the holidays roll around, I don’t mind this movie and its sappy ending.  Groundhog Day has a sappy ending too, but this one has more gags.  Danny Elfman wrote the music and that’s a highlight. 

7.  Life of Brian (1979) – I consider this Monty Python movie a Christmas movie.  It’s not as funny as Holy Grail, but it’s pretty good.  Brian was born on the same day as Jesus so that qualifies this one, I would think.

6.  The Polar Express (2004) – The kids I know love this movie for some reason.  I think it’s alright.  It’s not a classic or anything, but it’s alright.  In some parts.   The characters are good and the animation is pretty decent.  It’s for the kids.  It’s alright.

5.  A Christmas Story (1983) – This is another Christmas staple I used to really hate.  I think the reason I hated it was because it was on TV all the damn time.  Every year they’d run a marathon of this movie, as if the holidays were all this movie was about.  It goes a lot deeper than that and you’ve got to respect some of the themes.

4.  Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – This is another one for the kids, but I think it’s a little more mature than most.  It has good characters and the animation is just great. It adds Halloween and Christmas together, my two favorite holidays.  Gotta love it for that.

3.  A Charlie Brown Christmas – This is the most classic Christmas cartoon ever made.  It is filled with iconic stuff, from Peanuts characters to wonderful, wonderful music.  I play Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time is Here” on piano to remind myself of the holidays.

2.  White Christmas (1954) – I used to have Bing Crosby on in the background when I wrapped presents, but I almost forgot about this little movie.  The only reason to see it is to hear Crosby sing “White Christmas”, a song arranged by Irving Berlin.  It won an Oscar for best song and I agree.

1.  National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) – This movie is a true classic.  It has all the modern holiday tropes for us to laugh at, like the in-laws coming over, the bad food, and putting up annoying lights.  Chevy Chase has never been funnier, and I even chuckle when he falls down, which used to be a Saturday Night Live staple.

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