There are almost more Christmas movies at this point than there have been Christmases. They sweep nearly every genre — from tear jerking drama to romantic comedy — and tons for the kids. Here are 12 of the best Christmas films of all time.
1. White Christmas: Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star in this classic story about two WWII veterans giving their former beloved general a Christmas he’ll never forget. Great singing. Amazing dancing. Definitely a classic that should never die.
2. Christmas Vacation: Chevy Chase stars in what is arguably the best in the National Lampoon’s Vacation series. Clark Griswald does everything he can to give his family the best Christmas ever, despite unexpected guests, a giant Christmas tree and a psychotic squirrel. Hilarious.
3. The Grinch: Jim Carrey’s remake of the classic Dr. Seuss book and cartoon. The bitter and angry Grinch decides to rain terror down on the poor citizens of Who-Ville and little Cindy Lou is there to help show him the true meaning of Christmas. Carrey was born to play a large green mutant thing.
4. A Christmas Carol: The 1951 version is one of the first Christmas Carol’s ever released. It’s one of the best acted and holds truest to the book than any other. It has at the time top of the line special effects, including Marley walking through the door of Scrooge’s chamber. Another great classic.
5. Muppets Christmas Carol: The story has been told a thousand times, but the Muppets version definitely has the best music. Michael Caine plays Scrooge, opposite to Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchet, Miss Piggy as Mrs. Cratchet, and The Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens. It’s zany fun with songs that get stuck in your head faster than the true meaning of Christmas.
6. Scrooged: This is the third film based on the Charles Dickens classic to hit the list, but is the most far-fetched. Bill Murray plays the heartless head of a TV station, which is putting on a live broadcast of “Scrooge.” Before the cameras turn on, three ghosts of his own visit him. A must-see — if only to see Murray get hit in the face with a toaster.
7. The Santa Clause: This is a straightforward comedy starring Tim Allen, who accidentally watches Santa die on his front lawn. He then puts on his suit and by the magic of Christmas and convenient plot becomes the new Santa. It’s cute for the family and is really fun to watch Allen become fat with grey hair.
8. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Tim Burton’s great claymation gothic tale of Jack Skellington, the ruler of Halloweentown, as he discovers Christmastown and tries to bring Christmas to Halloween.
9. Miracle on 34th Street: The original and the newer version of this film are equal in value, a rarity in the film industry –so watch whichever. It’s about a man who is institutionalized for claming to be Santa and is then defended by a lawyer who shows that he really is Santa. So sweet it’ll give you a cavity.
10. It’s a Wonderful Life: Jimmy Stewart brilliantly portrays George Bailey, a man who doesn’t seem to ever be able to make his own dreams come true, but is shown what the world would be like without him in it. This is the movie that defines Christmas movies to this day.
11. Elf: Will Ferrell plays a lost and frightened elf from the North Pole as he searches for his real father in cold and heartless New York. Don’t worry — it’s a Will Ferrell comedy so there is no semblance of restraint or order. It’s a pretty zany comedy full of holiday fun.
12. A Christmas Story: This has been a cult classic for years. Ralphie tells everyone he can that he needs a Roy Rogers BB gun for Christmas, while trying to deal with a zany family and being young at Christmas. A kooky family comedy — great to watch after the guests leave.