Seasons Screenings: Your Guide to the Best Christmas Movies

By Brenna Kehew Sculley

by Celia Cooksey

There is no shortage of top Christmas movies to enjoy, but everyone has their own favorites to share.

There is nothing better than watching your grandchildren’s eyes light up as they enjoy a movie that made your holiday season and it becomes one of their favorites. From Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to Frosty the Snowman, the nostalgic claymation that sparked imaginations for decades is still as charming as it once was – and somewhat heartening that in a world of HDTV and sophisticated animation. The simple classics can still hold the attention of today’s youths.

A bit more modern, but still iconic, Jim Carrey in How the Grinch Stole Christmas is not one to miss. And, you’ll not hear more laughter from children of any age than by putting on the beloved Elf, which is also the holiday comfort movie of most millennials I know. Will Ferrell embodies the Christmas spirit in a way that can make even the biggest curmudgeon among us smile.

Even when not catering to young people, it is the movies that make a regular cozy night at home feel festive. Families for decades have enjoyed an annual viewing of It’s A Wonderful Life. Interestingly, an error on the part of the film’s copyright holder has allowed the networks to play the movie for free every Christmas season, creating a tradition across the country. An enduring story that stands the test of time, It’s A Wonderful Life reminds us all what it means to support your community and bring the spirit of Christmas to life.

In my house, it was White Christmas that set the tone for the season. In a family of all girls, we had a particular affinity for the sisters numbers, and with a deep appreciation for a good showbiz production, it never misses. The Bob Fosse choreography in the show’s productions are wondrous, and the movie crystallized the raging popularity of the iconic song.

For girls’ nights, the biggest debate is whether to watch Love Actually or The Holiday, two great movies with heated fan bases. Both are charming, flawed, but hit that sweet spot of festive, cozy, and heartwarming that make a Christmas movie shine.

For the lovers of cheese among us, who could forget the entirety of the Hallmark channel’s extensive catalog of sweet and simple holiday movies that give us all the warm and fuzzy feelings?

There are no wrong answers in finding the best movies to enjoy with your friends and family, creating the cozy traditions that put us in the right frame of mind to celebrate.

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