THE Top Xmas Movies

The Daily Mail  has weighed in with their (predictably modern) list:

Die Hard
Home Alone
It’s A Wonderful Life
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Love, Actually

…but mine (probably to no one’s surprise) leans towards the more traditional, in that I’ve applied the Christmas test:  Could the events in the movie have taken place at any other time than Christmas?  and Did the movie not make you cry?

If the answer is “yes” to either or both, then it’s not necessarily a Christmas movie.  So my list (and sorry, but I could not keep it to only five), and in no specific order:

Remember The Night
It’s A Wonderful Life 
The Polar Express
The Bishop’s Wife
The Shop Around The Corner
White Christmas
Christmas in Connecticut 

…and special (“modern”) mentions because they make me laugh, not cry:
Scrooged (Carol Kane, with a toaster, in the face — classic)
National Lampoon’s Vacation

I love Home Alone, by the way, but for its comedy and not for its Christmas message, such as it is.

Feel free to add your favorites in Comments.


  1. Bad Santa. SWMBO and I try to watch it every year. The first one, when the kid is young. Doesn’t hurt that the film includes Lauren Graham.

  2. Miracle on 34th Street – the old black and white version. As a retired postal guy I’m always happy to see that Santa was rescued by the post office.

  3. This has been an epic bah humbug Christmas season for us. Outside of the Die Hard series, I have zero interest in any Christmas movie. I did suffer through the Chevy Chase vacation one, but it really didn’t start to get funny until I was half-way thru a fifth of bourbon. Grandkids watch the Grinch movie over and over on continual repeat. Can’t wait for December to be over.

  4. Glad to see The Shop Around The Corner on someone else’s list. It’s my favorite Jimmy Stewart Christmas movie of the 3 he made.

    I would add the Bogart version of We’re No Angels, and a new favorite, It Happened On 5th Avenue.

  5. “The Thin Man”, the first of the series with William Powell and the incomparable Myrna Loy.

    Best scene for the Christmas spirit is the morning when he’s playing with his new toy (break-action pellet gun) and breaks a window.

    It’s also a New Year’s Eve movie, so we always watch it at least once at this time of year.

    1. I haven’t seen this one.
      In a similar idea I’d nominate “A Christmas Story”.
      My older brothers are the reason I didn’t get that “Red Ryder range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.”
      Maybe it was for the best…

    2. Was that the Thin Man movie in which Nick was shooting the ornaments off the Christmas tree?

      1. Yup, he was doing trick shots at ornaments and balloons between his legs, over his shoulder, and with a mirror…and then missed.

  6. I prefer Home Alone II…. A great prepper movie: Unprotected by society a child must eke out a living while the dregs government allows to run wild prey on him.

  7. Not much of a movie buff. I’ve not seen a majority of the movies on either list, beyond surfing thru some of the vintage black & white titles on tv. I’m just grateful A Christmas Story didn’t make either list. A cheesy, poorly acted, paint-by-numbers ripoff of the Christmas chapter from Jean Shepherd’s wonderful novel In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash.

  8. I would add the somewhat irreverent and highly enjoyable “Mixed Nuts” with Steve Martin, Madeline Kahn and other notables.

        1. The one joke Mel Brooks cut out of Blazing Saddles (I think he should have left it in):

          The joke occurred when Sheriff Bart, played by Cleavon Little, goes to visit Lili von Shtupp, played by Madeline Kahn, in her dressing room, and she puts the moves on the duly appointed sheriff of Rock Ridge.

          Brooks lays it out: “She blows out the candles, and she says in her German accent, ‘Is it true what they say about you people?’ And Cleavon says, ‘I hate to disillusion you, ma’am, but you’re sucking on my arm.’”

  9. Darlin’ Daughter and I have started our annual Christmas Movie film fest (1 a week on our Friday night Pizza and Movie night):

    Donovan’s Reef
    Miracle on 34th Street (original with Maureen O’Hara natch)
    Die Hard (It’s not Christmas until Hans Gruber fall from the Nakatomi Tower)

    They might not meet Kim’s criteria, but they work for us.

  10. Barbara Stanwyck.. just delightful.

    I second the motion for “The Lion in winter”.

    Also, no Joyeux Noel?

  11. Never a great fan of Christmas movies.
    But ” Die Hard ” why not.
    And you probably never heard of it but ” Le Père Noel est une ordure ” as alway ben great fun.

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