5 Essential Christmas Movies

Sophisticated Visuals on Grand Scale for Die Hard - The American Society of  Cinematographers

credit: Die Hard

It’s that time of year again, and while some folks have likely been watching Christmas movies since Thanksgiving or even a little before, a lot of people have turned their attention to the cinematic and streaming efforts that have been made in response to the season. There are more than enough Christmas movies out there to fill a library or more, but there are plenty of people who would agree that there are essential movies that most people should watch during this season. These are the classics, the comedies, and the types of movies that have left an indelible mark on our lives since we’ve watched them continually since we were young, or we were turned onto them at one point and could put them down. Some folks might argue whether some of the classics deserve their designation, but the fact is that a lot of folks will gladly quote lines from their favorite movies and defend every one of them simply because of nostalgia or because they’re genuinely good movies. 

With that said, here are five of the most essential Christmas movies. 

5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Where And When To Watch 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas' This December

credit: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

There might be those that still enjoy the old animated version, and some might even prefer the newer animated version. But the movie with Jim Carrey, and narrated by Anthony Hopkins, is still one of the most loved movies of the season, especially since Carrey brought his own style of humor to the titular character, which was greatly appreciated. There was no doubt that he was going to add a bit of crude humor here and there, but much of it was directed in a way that made sense for the movie and even elevated the feature to the point that it could entertain adults as well as kids, which was fun to see. It wasn’t too cute, but it wasn’t on the same level as Ace Ventura either. 

4. Die Hard

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Remember, it’s not Christmas until Hans Gruber falls from Nakatomi Plaza. This has been a saying for a while, as it stands out just as much as the debate as to whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie. The fun part of this is that the movie does take place during Christmas, and there are even a couple of references to the holiday in the movie apart from the visuals. But anyone who wants to keep arguing against the idea that this is a Christmas movie needs to be well-versed in the movie as well as the ideas that it belongs to this list since there are legions of Die Hard fans just waiting to defend the movie and reaffirm that it has earned the distinction it’s been given. 

3. A Christmas Story

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One of the great things about this movie is that a lot of people can relate to the Parker household since we’ve all had at least one or more experiences like Ralphie’s over the years. But apart from that, this movie is just a lot of fun since it’s not too old-fashioned, but it’s not a part of the technological era either, which makes it a nice callback to what a lot of us still remember of Christmas when we were younger. The sequel that just came out on Netflix isn’t too bad since it’s a modern return to the old neighborhood and features several of the original actors in their old roles. And yes, a triple-dog-dare is still a thing. 

2. The Santa Clause

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credit: The Santa Clause

When this movie first came out, it was great since Tim Allen was still popular and his casting in the role of Scott Calvin/Santa Claus was a nice take on the old legend. Plus, the idea that the role of Santa is something that is contractual and requires the bearer of the suit and the card to uphold the strictures of the contract is even funnier since it means that once you put on the coat, you’re the big guy until someone else comes along. Considering how long Santa can live, apparently it’s a good guess that such a position might be kind of lonely until one has to contend with the second clause, which is to get married. 

1. Home Alone

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credit: Home Alone

Even after watching this movie as a kid, it’s fair to say that Kevin was a spoiled little jerk. But the fact that he learned how to take care of himself and even fended off two inept crooks was a lot of fun. Despite being a bit nonsensical (it’s a kid’s movie, so of course, it is), the plot and premise were great enough that a lot of us remember this movie fondly to this day. The rumor of a reboot does sound a little troubling, but that’s something to think of at a later date. 

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