Christmas Entertainment Holidays Movies

Movies and Specials: What Not to Miss This Christmas Season!

Feeling the COVID blues this Christmas? Check out our list of feel-good Christmas movies that might be just what the doctor ordered!

Once upon a Christmas, in a state not too far away, there sat a couple of writers that loved the holiday movies so much that we decided to make a list of all of our favorite Christmas movies! This is the best time of year to curl up with a blanket and a nice warm mug of hot chocolate (and maybe a plate of sugar cookies – go ahead, we won’t judge… but we would like to formally put in a request for the adorable reindeer-shaped ones πŸ˜„). Take a look at our list (made by Vera Allen and co-founder, NJ Sims) and let us know if your favorites aren’t on it!

~ πŸ’—Vera Allen

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (2000)

It wouldn’t be Christmas without watching one of the many adaptations of Dr.Seuss’s The Grinch. My personal favorite is the 2000 adaption staring Jim Carey. It’s hilarious and has a perfect amount of Christmas charm and heart in it. While the original 1960s cartoon will always be a classic, this adaptation has a sense of nostalgia in my heart as I grew up watching it and also find it outright hilarious to watch during the Holiday season. ~NJ

White Christmas

Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen (she’s my favorite, bet you know why πŸ˜‰), need I say more? Oh, you’ve never seen it before… WELL: Bing Crosby is Bob Wallace and Danny is his friend and other part of their song-and-dance duo, Phil Davis. Wallace is really into his work and Davis wants a break, so in trying to convince his pal to take a rest, they meet Betty and Judy (Clooney and Ellen). Due to circumstances that I won’t list because it’d take too long, all four find themselves in Vermont, where Bob and Betty find themselves falling in love… This movie has everything: a cute plotline, musical numbers, Bing’s buttery vocals, and the ever-handsome Danny Kaye (yeah… I may or may not have a crush on a deceased celebrity, but… just look at those eyes!!!). Anyhow, celebrity crushes aside, this is a great Christmas movie I’d recommend for all ages! (πŸ’™V.A.) [Run Time: 2hr].

The Knight Before Christmas

Tired of the time old generic Hallmark movies or B rated Lifetime Holiday movies. The Knight Before Christmas on Netflix blows both those networks out of the park. This movie is pretty cringe at times but at the same time it’s festive, ridiculous, and also kind of hilarious at times. I mean it’s a movie about a 1800s knight who is transported into present day, how could this not be entertaining? ~NJ

Noelle

I know that I posted an article a while back short of trashing this movie but I still feel like it’s “worthy” enough of being featured on this list. Noelle, tells the story of Santa’s daughter, Noelle, rushing to find her brother Nick who has runaway from home. Together they must somehow save Christmas although spoiler alert: her brother is kind of a dud and she ends up basically doing the heavy lifting by saving the day. I think Anna Kendrick has alot of charm in this movie and is what makes it somewhat enjoyable. Has a classic 90s/early 2000s Christmas movie vibe to it and is a good movie night in with the family. ~NJ

Lego Star Wars Holiday Special

The Rise Of Skywalker might’ve sucked….but on the bright side Disney has somewhat managed to redeem the franchise with this exclusive Star Wars Lego Holiday special. This is perfect for your movie night for various reasons. A) It’s both Star Wars and Lego and B) It’s short so this can be a quick little movie night with the kids before bed time. Personally, I found this to be surprisingly enjoyable and 10x better than whatever we got with both The Last Jedi and The Rise Of Skywalker. Who would’ve thought a Holiday Lego special would be more watchable than the sequels themselves? ~NJ

Home Alone

It would obviously be a crime to not feature this classic on the list and that is Home Alone. Easily one of my all time favorite movies growing up and a Christmas classic, I literally watch every year. I will say that Home Alone 2 is a worthy follow up but it still can’t top the charm of the original. (Fun Fact: Home Alone broke multiple box office records upon it’s release and grossed over $476.7M in 1990). ~NJ

The Santa Clause

Technically, this is a series, one I truly enjoy (the third one’s my favorite if I’m completely honest). Starring Tim Allen, this movie centers around the character of Scott Calvin, a divorcΓ© who becomes Santa Claus. How did he do this? Well, he accidentally scared Santa Claus as he was climbing down the chimney, then he decided to put on Santa’s suit and fell victim to… the Santa Clause. Because apparently being Santa is a contractual obligation. Well, from then on the rest of the movie is about him adjusting to all the changes (weight gain, beard growth, an intense new craving for milk and cookies – hmm… sounds like 2020) of his new role. Not to mention the two movies following it that were just mindless fun to watch – as I say, the third one is my favorite (I mean really, Martin Short, Aisha Tyler, AND Art LaFleur???) Anyways… this is definitely a fun movie that is totally family friendly! ( 🀍V.A.)

It’s A Wonderful Life

This movie is kind of a huge deal in Upstate New York. I mean, it’s a pretty big deal everywhere, given the fact that it stars Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and many other acting legends. Be that as it may, it’s even more popular the closer and closer you get to Seneca Falls area. Often considered the town that inspired Bedford Falls, New Yorkers consider it to be a VIP among Christmas movies. And I cannot say I disagree. I mean, for one… Jimmy Stewart… I don’t think I need to explain much more on that point. For another, Clarence… once again… pretty self explanatory <3. But finally, I find there’s nothing better for getting the kiddos to sleep on Christmas Eve than settling down on the sofa with a cozy blanket and a nice black-and-white movie where we discover that each of us have our purpose whether or not we fully see what that purpose is. (πŸ’œ V.A.) [Run Time: 2h, 10 min]

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Now this is my absolute favorite version of the Christmas classic. The silly cartoons, Thurl Ravenscroft’s singing voice, Max’s awesomeness, Thurl Ravenscroft’s singing voice, Boris Karloff, Thurl Ravenscroft’s singing voice… okay, I think we all can see exactly which part I like the most. BUT STILL!! This is 26 minutes of pure fun and shenanigans galore. Curmudgeon-y old Grinch hates Christmas and thinks that in order to put a stop to all the cheer, then he just needed to steal all the presents, decorations, food, and candy, put it on a sled and take it away. Yet, the real Christmas spirit comes in and shows him that no matter what, it’s love and friendship that is most important of all – with the totally Seussical flair that could only be brought about with a canine with a piece of elk antler on his head😊 Timeless and wonderful, this version ages like fine wine! (πŸ’š V.A.)

Frosty the Snowman (1969)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Come on, you had to know I was going to say it. How could I not? I mean it’s pretty much the iconic line from this movie… well, aside from the belly whopping comment, but only Jimmy Durante sounds good saying that one. We all know the story, after all, the title song of the movie is sung in Christmas concerts all over the nation. Frosty is a snowman made by a group of kids at recess, a magic hat is placed on his head and he comes to life, but then, Oh no! The sun comes out and the temperature increases, and Frosty needs to get to the North Pole so he leads the kids off the playground and to the train station, being stopped by a traffic officer. Eventually Frosty needs to say goodbye, but don’t you cry – I’m not crying, you are! – he’ll be back again, same bat time, same bat channel – oops… wrong reference… Oh, yeah! He’ll be back on Christmas Day! That’s it. Thankfully, in this movie, there’s a little bit more fun, with Professor Hinkle, the evil magician (voiced by Billy De Wolfe – and, quite honestly, my favorite character, aside from Jimmy Durante’s narrator character) to provide all sorts of hijinks and, well… bad magic tricks (watch, he can make a mess appear in less than two seconds!). I can guarantee that all the little ones will get absorbed in this family friendly classic! (🧑 V.A.) [Run time: 25 min]

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

You know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen… and all the rest of the reindeer that we can usually list better than our aunts and uncles coming to dinner (or is it just me?), but you will recall the “most famous reindeer of all”. Sing it, Burl! *crickets* alright… so it appears that I forgot to turn on the movie so that dear Burl Ives could help me out. Still, I know you all began singing as soon as I wrote Prancer’s name. That in mind, I’m not going to tell you the plot of this one (if you know Frosty’s story, you’ll know Rudolph’s). From the Island of Misfit Toys (my personal favorite place in the movie) to Christmastown, this movie has numerous beloved characters and fun animations to satisfy the kid inside of everyone. Plus, I mean, there’s a spotted elephant.. who doesn’t like that. Added to all of that is Burl Ives’ fun and wonderful narration… I don’t know about you all, but his voice pretty much makes my Christmas πŸ’• (~V.A.) [Run time: 47 min.]

Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town

You better watch out – on your television schedule for this movie, that is. This is one Christmas classic that I find myself watching more than twice a Christmas season. Following the narrations of Fred Astaire (whom, may I just say, is positively dashing in animated form), this movie takes us through the life of the one and only Santa Claus. Starring the voice of Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle, the film starts when Kris was orphaned on the step of the ill-tempered Burgermeister Meisterburger (voiced by Paul Frees whom, incidentally, voiced not only the traffic cop but Santa Claus in the ’69 movie Frosty the Snowman [mentioned above]). You’ll have a blast watching as the drama that is the life of Santa Claus unfolds (with some super-sweet musical numbers, winter warlocks, and flying reindeer that are obvious Easter eggs to the ’64 movie version of Rudolph) ensuring fun for the kids and the kids at heart! (πŸ’–V.A.) [Run time: 48 min]

The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)

Mickey Rooney comes back to play Santa Claus again in 1974, but this time he’s not so jolly. In fact, dear old Santa’s suffering from a case of Burntoutitis. Not that we can blame him… a lot of hooplah went on in 1974, and Christmas just didn’t seem that joyful (from my secondhand understanding of it). Still, Santa thinks that the world doesn’t need Santa any more and decides to cancel his annual ride around the world. That’s where Mrs. Claus comes in, realizing that now (in this case, 1974) more than ever the world needed Santa Claus. So she recruits Jingle and Jangle (two of Santa’s top elves) to help her find away to get Santa out of his funk and back in the sleigh before it’s too late! Chock full of fun musical numbers (especially the great ‘Heat Miser/Snow Miser’ song that made me fall in love with this movie from the get-go) and a feel-good message that is perfect for this time of year, I dare you not to like this movie! (πŸ’ž V.A.) [Run time: 51 min]

The Polar Express

I have a fan theory on this movie that this was barely scripted one cold December morning when Tom Hanks walked into the recording studio a good hour and a half early (because his assistant accidentally gave him the wrong time), so he decided to begin goofing around with the blank spots and well… next thing we know we have the Christmas version of the dinosaur scene in Mrs. Doubtfire… While I doubt that is the case, there seems to be a bit of a “How many roles can I play in one movie” challenge for Tom Hanks in this movie. But I love it… I mean, it’s feel good, funny, and I always love a movie where I don’t have to remember character names (literally, the main character is called “Hero Boy”, a fact I found out courtesy of imdb.com (my pretty much source for all movie trivia).) And that little, silver bell… well, I have no words – in a good way! (πŸ’“V.A.) [Run time: 1h 40min]

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Christmastime… is here… and, before I begin plagiarizing anyone, I’ll stop type-singing. Seriously though, if there ever was a quintessential Christmas movie, I’m pretty sure that this one would take the cake. Following Charlie Brown to the Psychologist booth, to directing the annual Christmas play, and to the Christmas tree lot, the mixture of self-deprecating humor and Linus’ never-ending wisdom, this movie is one that the whole family loves. And I haven’t even started on my favorite storyline – the one where America’s favorite beagle enters a house-decorating contest! Will he win? Better watch to find out πŸ™‚ (πŸ’žV.A) [Run time: 25 min]

A Muppet Christmas Carol

There are so many renditions of the Charles Dickens classic Christmas story, but I think that this one has to ultimately be my favorite. Maybe it’s the fact that this was the first version I ever saw (even *shudders* before I read the book! 😱) or maybe it’s just because I love the Muppets, but this is the only version I can count on to want to watch. The two older guys that usually are in the box seats are now the ghosts of Ebenezer Scrooge’s late business partners – did they die at the same time too? – and decide that Scrooge should have the chance to change that they didn’t have, so after a silly-funny music number (one that one of my childhood friends’ brothers always sang after hearing that I loved the Muppet version) they send him the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future. Narrated by Gonzo the Great – er, I mean Charles Dickens himself! – and starring everyone’s favorite Muppets (Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie the Bear, and many more), this adaptation balances the funny with the great message that everyone knows and loves! (πŸ’—V.A.) [Run time: 1h 25 min]

A Christmas Kiss

Where are all my Christmas romantics at? I know that I usually am a huge kid at heart, but sometimes I want to curl up in a cozy blanket with a mug of hot chocolate and watch the typical Christmas Lifetime movies. This was how I discovered this movie! Wendy Walton is a set designer that gave up her dream for a more “stable” career in the world of interior decorating, working for her Scrooge-y, but ultimately successful, boss Priscilla. On one of the many times Wendy blows off her girlfriends for her demanding boss, she has a elevator rendezvous with a mysterious stranger where they share a romantic – if unrealistic – kiss. Wendy’s in love, only problem? She never got to learn the mysterious stranger’s name. That’s when things go from rough to worse. It appears that the mysterious stranger is her boss’ boyfriend… Will Wendy get over the elevator kiss enough that she can help decorate the boss’ boyfriend’s immaculate brownstone in time for his Christmas party or will her feelings – or those of Priscilla – spell trouble? Ultimately, I know it’s a clichΓ© trope, one used a thousand times, but when I get in my holiday romance moods, I always turn to this very movie. (πŸ’V.A.) [Run time: 1h 36min]

A Christmas Kiss II

I don’t normally include sequels, but I think I loved this movie even more than the original movie! Okay, so the plot is kind of the same, but… not? Jenna Kingston is working for her icon in fashion design: Mia Montgomery, but she’s still too shy to show her boss her designs that she’s been perfecting for years. That all changes after she shares an impromptu kiss with her boss’ brother, Cooper. Cooper’s the typical ne’erdowell brother, and Jenna is fighting her feelings because she isn’t sure of his intentions, but he’s smitten. Will things work out? Probably, I mean it is a Lifetime movie – BUT with these movies, it’s not “How will it end?” but “What will happen in order to get there?” That’s why I call these movies journey movies for it is not the excitement in the end point, but the trip one takes to get there. Too philosophical? Well, I’ll move on to another tidbit. Remember Priscilla from the first movie? She’s in this one too, but she’s mellowed out and is muuuch cooler for it! (πŸ’•V.A.) [Run time: 1hr 28 min]

A Prince for Christmas

NOTE: Don’t mind the lack of a picture, the link still works – I promise!!! ~ V.A.

First off: I promise the video still works, but apparently there was no cover image for embeds with this trailer. This does not detract from just how good that this movie is. It’s the classic trope, really. Prince from foreign land does not want to get married, so he runs away. While he’s running, in a strange land called America, he meets a lovely young lady and they fall in love, but are torn apart when he reveals he’s been lying to her and is actually a prince set to inherit the throne, yada yada yada… What makes this one special? I don’t really know. Maybe it’s the acting, or the writing, or the male lead vaguely resembling Tom Holland, or the fact that I appreciate the main character being a small-business owner. Whatever that je ne sais quoi (yes, it’s so good that I’m breaking out my French πŸ˜‹) is, it’s good enough that I not only watched it about three times last year, but am recommending it to you. If you just want a cute little modern-day fairy tale trope to sigh at, make sure this one is at the top of your list! (πŸ’œV.A) [Run time: 1h 27 min].

Bug’s Bunny’s 24-Carrot Christmas Special (HBO Max)

Coming to HBO Max this month is the new Bug’s Bunny 24-Carrot Holiday special! Yes, HBO Max is really cranking it up with content this year and I’m here for it. It’s bugs bunny and Christmas so what could possibly go wrong with that? ~NJ

Let It Snow

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of rom-coms as I find them to be predicable and unoriginal and while this movie is both of those things, I still find it to be charming enough to be included on the list. Let It Snow (Based off the John Green book) follows the journey of various characters living in a town during the season of Christmas. It’s the good type of corny that is just surprisingly enjoyable and funny to watch. ~NJ

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

Alright, let’s be real: I will watch any movie if it has two things in it – Christmas and Henry Winkler (which narrows it down the the Happy Days Christmas Special and this movie, but… I like saying it nonetheless). Still, there are so many more appealing qualities to this movie. The eternally unrealistic plot of Henry Winkler’s character bringing his niece a complete stranger on his Christmas visit – not to mention, said niece allowing him to stay in her home (isn’t that the beginning of a horror flick?) with her child. Still, the amount of hijinks packed into this Hallmark movie is to the level I haven’t seen since I watched The Nine Lives of Christmas (which, incidentally is another great Hallmark movie – but if I listed every Hallmark movie I’ve ever loved, we’d be here for hours). While it’s predictable and maybe on the same sweetness level as a sugar cookie with a child’s allotment of icing, it’s one of my favorites to curl up and watch, and be swept away from reality for a bit. (πŸ’ŸV.A.) [Run time: 1hr 28min]

Elf

Coming up with one of my all time favorites is Elf staring Will Ferrell. The film follows human raised elf, Buddy, on his journey outside of the North Pole to uncover of his biological father. This film is on this list for a variety of reasons. It would also be a disgrace to not include this in the list because it’s an actual classic that I look forward to watching every year. Will Ferrell manages to pull out all the stops with humor, heart felt moments, and just the vibe of Christmas that gets you in the Holiday spirit. I also laugh at the scene with the toy store Santa’s interaction with Buddy. Absolutely hilarious. ~NJ

A Christmas Story

Ending out our list is my personal favorite, A Christmas Story that features the well known quote ‘YOU’LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT”. I love this movie and yes, I usually watch the 24 hour Christmas Story marathon on TBS. It wouldn’t be Christmas without that playing on in the background although my family is so sick and tired of it that they just play generic old Christmas instrumentals on in the background. Boring. This movie is a classic for a variety of reasons. My favorite scene being when the dude gets his tongue stuck to the pole. I don’t know why but that scene is just so hilariously funny especially when the fire department shows up. Easily one of my all time favorites for me personally and something I look forward to watching every year. It’s got Christmas vibes and a lot of heart. ~NJ

Ultimately, the most important parts of these movies is not what you end up watching, but how and who you watch with. So, this holiday season when all seems like it’s going down hill, take a few deep breaths, gather up the family (or a blanket and beloved pet) and pop one of these movies in – I almost guarantee it’ll provide at least a half hour of peace! πŸ™‚

Joyeux NoΓ«l!

Vera & NJ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: