Before we discuss the best Christmas movies we need to set some criteria. To make The Best Christmas Movies list the movie…

  • Must have been released after 1980
  • Must be about Christmas or the holidays, simply taking place during Christmas time is not enough ( Die Hard, Gremlins ect.)
  • Must have been released in theaters
  • Isn’t a horror flick

With that covered… let’s get to it!

10. Trapped in Paradise (1994)

trapped in paradise

Trapped in Paradise stars John Lovitz, Dana Carvey, and one of my favorite actors Nicholas Cage. This story tells the tale of the Firpo brothers and their efforts to rob a bank.  Soon after the robbery they learn that a huge storm is forecast to hit the town of Paradise.  This leaves them in a situation where they must uncover a way to leave town with the money before they are trapped by the huge storm. This movie is packed with laughs, delivers a great message, and is full of dramatic Nicolas Cage faces.

9. The Ref (1994)

the ref

Dennis Leary stars along side Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey in this hostage situation gone funny. The acting and chemistry between these three is outstanding. This is a must see Christmas movie that often flies under the radar.

8. Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

mickeys christmas carol

Mickey’s Christmas Carol is an animated version of the Charles Dickens’s novella A Christmas Carol. Walt Disney uses his characters to tell his version of this epic tale. Even though this movie is very short (26 minutes), it is more than worthy of the number 8 spot on this list.

7. Bad Santa (2003)

bad santa

This rude and crude movie puts a dirty and dangerous spin on the holiday season. Billy Bob Thorton plays a miserable conman named Willie who is planning to rob the local mall on Christmas Eve. To accomplish this task, Willie and his short friend Marcus (Tony Cox) acquire the job of Santa and Santa’s little helper. Fool proof right? Well… you will have to watch it to find out! If you enjoy vulgar comedy with a light-hearted underlying message, Bad Santa is for you.

6. Scrooged (1988)


Scrooged is a dark, twisted version of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. This version of the classic tale stars Bill Murray as Frank Cross. Frank is a cynical and selfish TV executive who needs to be taught a lesson. Three spirits take Frank on mysterious and comical journeys to help him see the errors in his ways.

5. Jingle All the Way (1996)

jingle all the way

Like a typical meathead husband, Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) forgets to listen to his wife. It’s his job to pick up his son’s Turbo Man action figure, but unfortunately Howard completely forgot. Turbo Man is the hottest new toy out this Christmas and is nearly impossible to find.  Howard is met with many different challenges and obsticles as he goes to great lengths to acquire this scarce toy for his son.  His main adversary is Myron (Sinbad), another Turbo Man hungry Dad. This movie is great for slapstick, action packed humor. Plus, It’s Arnold!

4. Home Alone (1990)

home alone

Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is the ungrateful, little brat of the family. He has a very difficult time fitting in with his family and states multiple times that he wants to live alone. His wishes come true! Kevin wakes up and everyone is gone. Where did everyone go?  Well, the family over slept on the day of their departure for vacation. In the mad rush to get out of the house they simply forgot their son! Who does that?!?! Where is DYFS when you need them? This movie is filled with action packed laughs and is a riot from beginning to the end.

3. Elf (2003)


If you haven’t seen Elf you are truly a cotton headed ninny muggins. When Buddy (Will Ferrell) was a baby he crawled into Santa’s bag.  An unaware Santa brings Buddy back to the North Pole where he is raised by elves and Mr. and Mrs. Clause. Buddy is unaware that he is human and believes he is an Elf until he is an adult. Once Buddy becomes aware that he is actually a human he sets off to New York to be reunited with his long lost father. I literally am in tears with laughter as I watch this movie. “Santa? I know him.”

2. Christmas Vacation (1989)

christmas vacation

The Griswold family is at it again. This installment in the Vacation Series is nothing short of hilarious. Obnoxious Christmas lights, awkward family small talk, and ridiculous fantasies of hot babes in your imaginary swimming pool are just the tip of the iceberg. Do yourself a favor and watch this movie today!

1. A Christmas Story (1983)

a christmas story

Every Christmas day TBS plays this movie 24 hours straight.  Because of this, it quickly became a tradition in the Glenn household.  My parents, my two sisters and I would watch the movie over and over again.  It was on as we opened gifts in the morning.  It was on while we ate lunch.  The movie could also be heard at night behind the sweet screeches of my Mom yelling at me to give my new video games a break.  Even if I was not sitting down and focusing on watching the movie, you could always hear it playing in the background.    This movie was not only my favorite Christmas movie, but it was also my father’s favorite.  Even though he is no longer here to enjoy this movie with me, it reminds me of him every time I see it.  For that reason, it holds a special place in my heart and it simply is not Christmas without A Christmas Story.