My obsession with movies began at an early age, and one of my first film-related memories involves a VCR tape of every single classic holiday cartoon special in existence. I’m talking The Grinch, Rudolph, Frosty, Garfield… the whole gang. I would pop it in the day after Thanksgiving, watch, rewind and repeat until the 25th of December.
There are plenty of Christmas movies out there, some more overplayed than others (ahem, “A Christmas Story”). If you consider “Die Hard” to be a holiday movie, please take a gander at the following and set aside some time to educate yourself.
In no particular order, here are the Essential 8 Christmas Movies of All Time:
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989). The opening tree-cutting scene is reminiscent of my own family tradition, and if you haven’t seen this movie, now’s the time to question what you’re doing with your life.
- Home Alone (1990). Should one be embarrassed if they can accurately quote every line from this movie verbatim? I’m asking for a friend.
- Jingle All the Way (1996). Before he was a philandering Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger played a dedicated father, out to get his son a beloved Turbo Man action figure for Christmas.
- Gremlins (1984). If you think this isn’t a holiday movie, well, your argument is invalid. Black comedy and Christmas go together like Santa and cookies, and Gizmo is just precious.
- Love Actually (2003). I might lose some street cred with this one, but I find it simply delightful. It’s an ensemble rom-com with multiple storylines, and stars one of my favorite actors, Liam Neeson.
- Elf (2003). Why is it that people in their mid-20s post Facebook statuses quoting this movie all throughout December? Because it’s awesome, that’s why.
- The Santa Clause (1994). Another one that brings me back to my youth. No comment on sequels two through four.
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). A classic, feel good movie, starring the one and only Jimmy Stewart. Buy, don’t rent.
Not that you need an excuse for a movie marathon, but when the snow starts to fall, grab a blanket and some hot cocoa and start making your way through the list!