13+ Fantastic Christmas Movies

There have been a large number of lists on this blog as of lately, but with Christmas coming and the new year around the corner, I suppose it is inevitable.

Unlike my favorite Christmas tunes, I can almost guarantee you that the following list of movies will not be watched this year. I don't really watch movies often, and Christmas movies are no exception. This list of movies is, however, a selection that does remind me of Christmas whenever it is that I do get around to watching them.
1. Home Alone & Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
(Home Alone)

(Home Alone 2: Lost in New York)
If there are any Christmas movies that stand out from my childhood most vividly, it is this series featuring Macaulay Culkin. The Christmas music is superb, the concept of a child defending himself and getting lost in New York at Christmas time is spectacular, and who can forget the two bad guys – Harry and Marv? If you have never seen this movie, I highly recommend it for Christmas time or any time really! :)
2. The Family Stone
I really can't imagine a more perfect re-enactment of what Christmas is like for a completely dysfunctional family. (Aren't we all part of one?) The large array of well-known actors and actresses may have encouraged you to see this movie, but the comedic aspect will keep you entertained throughout. 
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas Live Action/cartoon
Before Universal put out the live action version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, it was Christmas tradition to watch the cartoon version on television every year. I'm not entirely certain which version of this story that I like the best. Both versions are adorable with Cindy Lou Who and all of the people in Whoville reminding us that perhaps Christmas is more than gifts under the tree.
4. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
While this version of Miracle on 34th Street is not the original, it is the one I grew up watching and thus the one I most associate with Christmas. The story is a beautiful one about the belief of a young girl, her mother, and a lawyer who fight for the rights of a Santa Claus that will inevitably bring a miracle or two into their lives.
5. The Santa Clause
Guess what? Tim Allen killed Santa. Or something like that. What happens when you kill Santa? Your whole world turns upside down. Somewhere between the weight gain, super-fast beard growth, and present delivery, Tim Allen (aka Scott Calvin) and family must figure out how to fit a new career into an already challenging world.
6. A Christmas Story
To be honest, this movie… Ummm… no. I always saw it as incredibly stupid and thus hated it. I can't say my feelings have changed over the years, but, as circumstance would have it, A Christmas Story is a movie that my husband's family loves to enjoy every Christmas. As soon as I figure out why, I'll come back and share. Until then…
7. The Polar Express
This was an amazing book from my childhood, so I was very excited when I discovered it was being made into a movie. The movie was made very well with beautiful music and incredible visuals; however, despite how well made this movie was, I encourage you to check out the children's Caldecott award winning book of the same title by Chris Van Allsburg. A movie can only do so much for a well-illustrated children's book.
8. Prancer
Apparently there are a lot of Christmas movies with little girls as the main characters; Prancer is no exception. When a young girl stumbles across a reindeer, it takes a lot of belief (and patience from her family, friends, and neighbors) to get the reindeer back to health and back to Santa.
9. The Holiday/Sleepless in Seattle/While You Were Sleeping

(The Holiday)

(Sleepless In Seattle)

(While You Were Sleeping)
When I was trying to pick out my favorite Christmas movies and looking at google lists, all of the above movies were mentioned. While they didn't come to my mind initially as Christmas movies, after seeing the titles listed, I couldn't think of them as anything but Christmas movies. All are romantic comedies that take place around Christmas time and just make you feel good even if they don't offer the most surprising of endings.
10. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town/Frosty the Snowman/Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
(end scene of movie)
I truly cannot imagine a Christmas without this series of cartoons being shown on tv. They are the staple characters of Christmas that every child knows and loves. Plus, the movies are short enough to distract without encouraging tons of tv time. Would it really be Christmas without these delightful characters and stories in our memories?
11. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Following the above cartoons on my list is the Peanuts in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Charlie Brown and friends feel that Christmas is over-commercialized. Everything Charlie Brown does is wrong including picking out the Christmas tree. It all works out though when Linus shares the true meaning of Christmas with Charlie Brown, and everyone comes together to make Christmas special.
12. A Mom For Christmas
(first part of movie)
A Disney original made-for-tv movie featuring Olivia Newton John, Doris Roberts, and Juliet Sorci, the story is about a young girl who wants a mom during the Christmas season. It is yet another Christmas miracle story. Now that I am a bit older, the movie seems a bit scary with mannequins coming to life; what were they thinking when they made this movie?! How many kids has this story freaked out?
13. The Night They Saved Christmas
ad from 1983
Starring Jaclyn Smith, June Lockhart, and Art Carney (big stars in the '80s?), this Christmas movie is my mother's favorite Christmas movie, and thus we watched it every year. When the Baldwins move up North, so that Michael Baldwin can dynamite looking for oil near the north pole, he is unaware that he could be endangering Santa Claus. Chief elf, Ed, comes to take Michael's wife and children to meet Santa Claus and prove to them all that Santa is indeed real and that the dynamiting needs to stop before any more damage is done. Trouble strikes when the kids go out on their own to visit Santa and warn him of pending danger; the kids get stuck in a thick arctic fog keeping them from returning home prior to Christmas eve, the exact day Michael's team is set to dynamite North Pole city where they are. If Michael allows the dynamiting to continue before his children are found, it is quite possible that he will kill those he holds dear (his children) and ruin Christmas forever.
What movies come to mind when you think of Christmas? What are your favorites to watch at this time of year? Have you seen any of the ones I have included on this list? Are there any you think I should have included? Share in the comments! :)

** Check out 31 Days of December Blogging prompts here!

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