Christmas is finally here, and with the stress of buying last minute gifts, wrapping, and baking now over, it is the perfect time to relax with loved ones and take the time to enjoy the holiday season with a festive film. There are many Christmas movies available, but the following ten are your best options for bringing both laughter and the Christmas spirit to you and your family. Choosing the rankings for these top ten Christmas movies was difficult, which means that watching any of these should bring some holiday cheer into the most special day of the season. Merry Christmas!


  1. A Christmas Story (1983)


*Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

A Christmas Story is set in the 1940s and revolves around 9-year-old Ralphie and his mission to convince both his parents and Santa to get him a Red Ryder B.B. Gun for Christmas. Watching this beloved classic is a holiday tradition for many, but its popularity may be beginning to wane even though generations of fans continue to heed the warning “you’ll shoot your eye out” to anyone who even mentions a B.B. gun. It seems that the newer holiday hits are ranking higher on people’s Christmas watch-lists, but, for as long as leg lamps are available for purchase, this seasonal favorite will have a place in America’s heart.  


  1. The Polar Express (2004)


*Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

The Polar Express is an animated film about a boy who boards the magical Polar Express train on its way to the North Pole on Christmas Eve night. An adventure unfolds as this doubting boy makes his way to see Santa Claus and discover the spirit of Christmas. This more recent installment to the Christmas movie must-watch list is a childhood favorite amongst millennials, but this is really a film for all ages, as it is a story about finding the child in all of us that believes in the magic of Christmas. With “America’s Dad” Tom Hanks portraying six of the characters and a soundtrack consisting of instant-classic songs like Josh Groban’s “Believe” and Stephen Tyler’s “Rockin’ On Top of The World,” The Polar Express is sure to be a yuletide favorite for years to come.


  1. The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

*Photo Credit: Disney

Audiences are skeptical of sequels in general, but this follow-up film to The Santa Clause (1994) is another family-friendly hit from Disney that is perfect for the holidays. In this movie, just as Scott Calvin has settled into his role as Santa Claus, he finds out that he must marry to keep the job. While he searches for his Mrs. Claus, Scott is able to spend time with his troubled son Charlie, realizing that his demanding job as Santa has strained their relationship. This hilarious and heartwarming story about finding love and reconnecting with family is a perfect addition to your holiday must-watch list.


  1. Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

*Photo Credit: Sony Pictures

Tim Allen strikes again with this hilarious holiday hit. Luther and Nora Krank, played by Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, are going to be spending their Christmas without their daughter Blair for the first time due to her Peace Corps assignment in Peru. Carrying on with their holiday traditions without Blair is just not the same, so Luther decides to plan a cruise so that he and Nora can avoid Christmas altogether. Hilarity ensues as the festive community riots against the Kranks’ lack of Christmas spirit. Once you get passed Jamie Lee Curtis’s hairstyle, this twist on the holiday season is filled with a Botox mishap, a tanning booth accident, and a plot twist that is sure to bring laughs to your Christmas celebrations.


  1. Home Alone (1990)


*Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

No matter how old Macaulay Culkin gets, he will always be known as 8-year-old Kevin McCallister, who was left home alone by his family after they frantically rushed to make it to their flight for their Christmas vacation in Paris. After fulfilling everyone’s dreams about being home alone as a child by jumping on the bed and eating boxes of pizza and mounds of ice cream, Kevin finds himself having to defend his house from burglars Harry and Marv with homemade booby traps like icy front steps, fire-hot door handles, and swinging paint buckets. This cult-classic is a timeless Christmas favorite that is sure to brighten up your holidays.


  1. The Santa Clause (1994)


*Photo Credit: Disney

At this point, Tim Allen should be crowned the “King of Christmas Classics” with The Santa Clause being his third movie making it onto this list of holiday must-sees. After Scott Calvin, played by Allen, kills Santa Claus by startling him off of his roof, only Santa’s suit is left in the snow where Scott finds a card instructing the finder to put the suit on. Once Scott complies, he is obligated to become St. Nick as stated under the Santa Clause in the card’s fine print. Despite Scott’s initial denial of the happenings, and his fight against his magical and physical transformation into Santa Claus, he grows to finally accept his new job. This is another seasonal favorite with a clever twist on a classic Christmas figure and plenty of laughs for everyone to enjoy this holiday season.


  1. Elf (2003)


*Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

It is hard to believe that it has been 14 years already since Will Ferrell’s character Buddy blessed us with phrases like “You sit on a throne of lies” and “Son of a nutcracker!” Elf revolves around Buddy, a human who was raised by elves in the North Pole, who travels to New York City to find his birth father, Walter Hobbs. Walter, who has been on Santa’s naughty list for years, never even knew of Buddy’s existence. The majority of the film is about Buddy and Walter trying to establish a relationship, while Buddy learns about human culture in innocent and hysterical ways and, most importantly, spreads Christmas cheer in the best way possible, by singing loud for all to hear.


  1. A Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)


*Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

In this classic Christmas animation, Mrs. Claus narrates the story of the year Santa decided to stay home on Christmas Eve due to not only a cold, but the lack of belief in him. Two elves, Jingle and Jangle Bells, take baby reindeer Vixen down to Southtown, USA to find some Christmas spirit to convince Santa that his job is still appreciated. This long-standing holiday favorite has a soundtrack featuring Heat Miser and Cold Misers’ catchy theme songs that everyone will be singing along to for many years to come. This is a holiday staple that should definitely be included in your Christmas traditions if it has not been already.


  1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

*Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Nothing is ever easy for the Griswold family, as, in this classic National Lampoon’s installment, patriarch Clark tries to make it through a disastrous Christmas with the hope of a holiday bonus from work coming his way. This relatable yuletide hit is a hilarious portrayal of the challenges that everyone faces in dealing with their relatives for the holidays. Clark, his wife Ellen, and their two children Audrey and Rusty strike gold once again with this Christmas classic, and it is a must-see for your holiday viewing pleasure.


  1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)


*Photo Credit: IMDB

This remake of the classic cartoon, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is one of the best remakes ever made. Jim Carrey brings the Grinch to life in a way that no other person could, with almost scary realism yet hysterical physical comedy, as well as a hilarious script that transforms this time-honored story into a modern holiday hit. It is hard to believe that this movie is 17 years old already, as many feel that it is a newer addition to holiday must-watch lists, but this seasonal spectacular is holding on to its spot as a fan-favorite Christmas movie with ease. This movie is amusing and appropriate for children, yet has plenty of more mature humor to keep the adults entertained, making this the perfect Christmas movie to watch while gathered around the tree after a holiday feast.