It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Six years into this blog and I’ve finally got the time to make this list for all our readers to see. Ridiculous isn’t it that it took so long? But I suppose I also needed the time to gather some films that aren’t the classics we know and love in order to add a bit of variety onto this post. If there’s one thing most of our readers know about me, it’s that I’m generally an emotional wreck while writing about TV shows, but there’s absolutely nothing like Christmas movies and the extent to which my emotions rise. And as someone who makes it her absolute goal to watch as many Christmas movies as possible during the month of December, I can sincerely say that I’ve succeeded in at least reaching 100 (I haven’t actually counted, but I’m almost positive.) From old Hollywood classics to Hallmark originals, here’s some of the ones I can always watch over and over again. And a fair warning, this list was extremely hard to choose, especially because it was so easy for all the classics to instantly fill the 10 to which I had to then choose which to substitute.
No movie in the history of movies could ever compare to the gift of It’s A Wonderful Life. As far as Christmas traditions go, one of the constants in my life has always been ending the night with the Baileys. The idea that a human is able to see the profound impact they’ve made on those around them is otherworldly. It doesn’t matter how many times I watch this movie because I’ll cry my eyes out every single time. “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.” And in that moment when the camera pans away allowing us to read the note from Clarence, all is right in the world with the potent reminder that failure is nearly impossible in a world where love surrounds a person. There are chances, and there are always more moments that’ll remind us of the fact that it will always get better.
No this movie isn’t the typical Christmas themed movie, but because Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) meet on Christmas eve, it’s always been one of my favorites to watch during the holidays. It’s even in my top 10 films of all time, actually. There are a number of things to appreciate this movie, but personally, it’s the idea of signs — Sara Thomas is a firm believer of the fact that fortunate accidents guide our lives while giving us the signs we need to make the decisions that’ll make us the happiest. And through the course of the film we see both characters, Sara and Jonathan fervently search for one another only to continuously miss the chances by moments. There’s a happy ending and it’s gonna make you cry while making you believe in the fact that each moment in our life matters significantly. And when something is meant to be, it’ll always find a way.
I remember the first time I ever watched this movie and how quickly I fell in love with it. It’s also one of the reasons I’ve always wanted to visit Boston. (A place that is now one of my all time favorites in the United States.) When two childhood pen pals finally find the opportunity to meet, it’s revealed that they’re more alike than they ever thought because all along the way Seth (Patrick J. Adams) and Gina (Marla Sokoloff) had sent each other pictures of their best friends instead. But that doesn’t stop the two from meeting one another prior to one of them learning who the other is. And the friendship naturally blossoms into a gorgeous relationship that showcases the beautiful aspect of best friends turning into lovers. And Gina is just as big of a Christmas sap as I am. It’s perfect. #ChristmasSoulTwin
Judy Garland is a living, breathing doll as Esther Smith in Meet Me in St. Louis and her version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is easily my favorite one. Is there ever a dry eye when Esther sings it? It’s an absolute masterpiece of a classic — one of the most beautiful renditions of the hardships being behind us. An absolute masterpiece of a film that reminds us of the fact that wherever we are, Christmas can still be the most beautiful time of year. Wherever troubles appear, they’ll soon be behind us.
Is there a single soul in the world that hasn’t seen the Home Alone films? I’m fairly certain the answer to the question is a no. I’m also fairly certain that I don’t have to convince anyone to even watch this film, which is fascinating all on its own. Home Alone is a tradition for my entire family. There’s not a person that doesn’t laugh until their stomach hurts and we all have such different taste in films/TV series. But thankfully the adventures of Kevin McCallister bring us together in that area. Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animals!
Elf — easily the most quotable Christmas film, and the last modern-day comedy that actually managed to become a classic. Will Ferrell is genius in his depiction of Buddy the Elf and the screenplay is a masterpiece. There’s not a single comedy that authenticates the spirit of Christmas as adorably and as hysterically as Elf, and I’ll never ever stop quoting it. “OH MY GOD! SANTA’S COMING! I KNOW HIM! I KNOW HIM!” “I just love to smile, smiling is my favorite!” “COTTON HEADED NINNY MUGGIN!” And the amount of times I’ve said “you sit on a throne of lies” all throughout the year is ridiculous.
Everyone has a favorite version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and the Muppets happens to be mine. And this is a bit of an odd revelation for me considering I’m not the biggest fan of the Muppets. But there’s something about this film that’s always stood out to me. Perhaps its Michael Caine’s remarkable portrayal of Scrooge, perhaps it’s the Muppets, perhaps it’s the childhood memories, but nevertheless, it’s one I watch and cry to every single year.
My absolute favorite movie Hallmark has done so far. I cannot believe I hadn’t seen the film until just last year, but the second I learned Sarah Lancaster and Brendan Penny were the stars, I knew I’d love it; I just didn’t think I’d love it to the extent to which I do. It’s an absolute marvel of a tale with two old friends reuniting during a time where they both needed one another most. A film that reminds us of the fact that sometimes, the things we never imagined turn out to be the best stories. A film that reminds of the fact that sometimes, the things that are right in front of us tend to make for the most magical miracles. And to be perfectly honest, one of my favorite things about this movie is the plot’s simplicity — there’s no over the top dramatic fight or storyline, but rather a simple sweet story of two people realizing the other’s happiness means the world to them.
A friend recommended this movie to me last year and then I somehow became a yearly advocate for it convincing anyone and everyone to watch it. It’s pure “tropey” garbage in the best way possible. There’s a gorgeous inn. A ridiculously dashing hero with superb vocabulary and an excellent fashion sense. Oh, and he’s a ghost so naturally, there’s mystery. In its sweet, eerie form of storytelling two people realize that the miracle of Christmas and a 95-year-old curse was meant to bring them together all along. It’s so good, guys. Trust me. If I don’t stop myself from talking now, I’ll end up spoiling way too much. (P.S. for those who are chickens like me and don’t like suspence or supernatural tales, trust me when I say this one is far from scary!)
Two films I most certainly didn’t expect to love as much as I did, but they’ve now landed themselves on my list of films I’ll make sure to watch every year. Finding Father Christmas follows Miranda (Erin Krakow) on an adventure to small town with the hopes of finding out who her father is based solely on a photograph found in her mother’s belongings. And on her adventure in discovering where she belongs she finds love in the small town that her mother, too had once upon a time discovered romance in. It’s one of the loveliest stories Hallmark has done and it isn’t too cookie cutter sweet. I cried about 15 times — no exaggeration.
Every year I make a new list of movies to check out and fall in love with — it’s become one of my favorite traditions. Who doesn’t like being cozied up on the couch with a cup of coffee, hot coco, or tea watching the kind of movies that aren’t going to make them sad. I’m sure there are a number actually, but I’m not one of them. Give me all the sappy stuff — once a year, they’re everything to me. The TV year can be exhausting with all the dramatic sometimes heartbreaking plotlines so when it comes to Christmas, I don’t usually criticize, I just let myself fall in love with the stories because the ridiculousness is what makes it absolutely perfect. And I’m hoping we can now finally make Christmas a tradition on this blog, too.
What are some of your favorite movies you’ve watched this year or in the past? I’m always looking to expand my list. And if you’d like updates as I watch more of them throughout the season, follow me on Twitter to see which ones I’m loving.