Top 10 Favorite Christmas Films

I have to say, I am not in the Christmas spirit at all. I have bought gifts for exactly one person, and even that was only because I won't see them on Christmas Day and have to give it to them earlier. The thing is I do still have time to get people's gifts, even though that window is closing, and I already know what I'm getting for just about everybody that I still have to shop for. It's just a matter of physically getting the gifts, which is arguably the easiest part of gift giving. So to get into the Christmas spirit, I organized my Top 10 favorite Christmas movies list and am presenting it to you all! Hit the jump for the list.

Top 10 Christmas Films

Films that will NEVER make my list:

-Bad Santa
I hated this movie. Hated it. I'm all for dark comedy takes on Christmas and everything, but there was absolutely nothing redeemable and I couldn't stand watching it at all. Wait, John Ritter and Bernie Mac were the only good and enjoyable part of this movie, and if it was just their two characters running around than it would have been a much, much better film.

-A Christmas Story
I have never liked this film. I don't hate it, I just do not understand the appeal and even though I've seen it several, several times I don't understand why people think it's the best Christmas movie ever. This film is just flat out no for me.

Honorable Mentions for the list:

-Love Actually (2003)
-Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

While these are both good movies, and in fact probably better than some of the other films that made the list, the list is about what are the best Christmas films. I don't consider either of these Christmas films since Nightmare is more of a Halloween film and Love Actually is just a romantic comedy set at Christmas time. I consider them Christmas movies if the film won't change drastically setting it at a different time of year, and under that rule Nightmare would be closest to a Christmas film whereas Love Actually wouldn't be as affected. Either way, they're not on the list.

#10 - The Santa Clause (1994)

I'm putting this in at 10 because, despite the fact I loved it as a kid, it is not a good movie. It relies too much on slapstick comedy and lame jokes, but the sentiment behind the film and the redemptive arc of Tim Allen's character make this an incredibly sweet Christmas film. So for those reasons, it made the list. Plus, I really do enjoy the legal pun of the "Santa Clause".

#9 - The Ref (1994)

In this movie, Dennis Leary is a cat burglar hiding out from the police by kidnapping a seriously dysfunctional married couple (Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis) and hiding out in their house on Christmas Eve. When the couple's family comes over for Christmas dinner, Leary pretends to be their marriage counselor and even more hilarity and shennanigans ensue. Probably THE best dark comedy Christmas film, I can't stop laughing when I watch this movie, and is far and away a better Christmas movie than Bad Santa. If you liked Bad Santa then you should watch this film because you will see just how much better this movie is.

#8 - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Every Christmas convention from animation that you can think of came from this movie. It's as simple as that, plus it is a goofy and fun movie to watch even now as an adult. Plus, all the claymations creatures have lived on in various pop culture refrences for decades and even make an appearance in another Christmas movie that is going to show up later on this list.

#7 - Home Alone (1990)

Seriously one of my favorite movies as a kid. I probably still know this film by heart from watching it hundreds of times. Plus, it's an enjoyable Christmas film, even if at it's heart it is an incredibly depressing movie if you think about it, but since the family did everything they could to get home and get Kevin then you see that they do still all love each other.

#6 - How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

I loved this cartoon as a kid, and I still love it now. I never saw the Jim Carrey version, but I honestly don't want to since this is just such a perfect little film all by itself. There's almost nothing else to say about it, except that the ending of this gets me every time. That and the dog, I love that freaking dog.

#5 - Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

A giant advertisement for Macy's and Gimbel's. That's what this movie is basically. But aside from the first abundant use of product placement within a film, this is at it's heart one of the most endearing takes on a child's belief in Santa to ever come along. The courtroom scene is just one of those moments in films that might never be topped, and it's something that even people who have never seen the movie know. That's a powerful scene right there.

#4 - The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Come on, outside of Nick Simon, everyone has to love the Muppets. And this version of Christmas Carol was just flat out awesome, with Michael Caine as Scrooge and lots of memorable and fun songs. While I do love the Christmas Carol, as you'll see later in this count-down, I really enjoy what they did with the story in this awesome version.

#3 - Elf (2003)

The most recent film on this list by 8 years and that's the reason why I included the dates next to all the titles, as a way of showing how special it is that this movie ranks up there with some of the most classic Christmas movies of all-time, and honestly it blows the films behind it out of the water. I really like all the Christmas films that have come earlier on this list, but #s 3 through 1 I absolutely love. And this movie is really the best Christmas movie to come out in the last fifty eight years, which is one hell of an accomplishment from Jon Favreau and Will Ferrell.

#2 - It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Every single time this film is on television, it doesn't matter what I am doing because I will stop and watch this masterpiece from Frank Capra. Every single time, and even though I do not own nor have ever owned a copy of this film I've seen it over 20 times and know every scene. I already summed my feelings up nicely in my write-up of it for my Top 5 Films All-Time, and I'm sure you'll notice that the film ahead of it here on the list didn't even make my Top 100.

#1 - A Christmas Carol (1951)

The Alastair Sim classic. Here's the reason why it is number one: Every year, literally every single year that I have been congnizant of my surroundings, my family and I sit down and watch this film on VHS on Christmas Eve and we eat cookies. Without fail, every Christmas Eve. And that is the reason this movie is number one for me. I expect whoever out there that reads this has a different number one, but I can only hope and assume that it is because of a similar family tradition that you share with your family. And that is what's so truly special and wonderful about Christmas is the chance to be with your family and enjoy the exact same film about ghosts for 25 years, and not only does it never get old but it becomes more and more special as the years go on. That's the magic of Christmas everybody. It's as simple as that.

Merry Christmas everybody.

1 comment:

  1. Good list, sir. As much as I hate going against the grain, I gotta argue that there is at least ONE more redeeming quality about Bad Santa aside from Mr. Mac and Ritter. The scene where Billy Bob wakes up from a drunken stupor to see/hear the little fat boy running down the stairs, hands covered in blood, screaming insanely. Classic scene....granted, I think I was the only person in the theater at the time that was laughing at it, but that's cause everyone else was just patiently waiting to hear Santa say another F word, because clearly THAT'S comedy.