18 Must-see holiday movies

These oldie, but goodie holiday flicks will put you and the rest of your household into the holiday spirit.

WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954)

Nothing says Christmas like Bing Crosby crooning in front of a fire. The singing, dancing and comedic talent in this movie is second to none (Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney). Take time this holiday season to introduce your kids to this oldie, but goodie.

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)

Shame on you if you haven’t seen this holiday classic! It’s impossible to watch this film and not walk away with a warm, fuzzy feeling. There are colour versions out there, but stick with the classic black and white. Merry Christmas, you wonderful ol’ Building and Loan!

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER (1964)

Clay-mation at its best! Enjoy the story of a group of misfits trying to find their place in the world. Santa isn’t the nicest guy in this movie, but Yukon Cornelius, a crazy and lovable prospector, more than makes up for it.

EIGHT CRAZY NIGHTS (2002)

Adam Sandler’s animated comedy about an alcoholic during Hanukkah isn’t the most kid-friendly holiday movie, but teens and parents looking for some laughs won’t be disappointed. "Instead of one day of presents, we get eight crazy nights!"

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (ANIMATED, 1966)

Dr. Seuss outdid himself when he introduced the Grinch to the world. This film shows that even the most bitter and cynical person can be overcome by the spirit of Christmas. If you have a Grinchy person in your life, watch this film together. Maybe their heart will grow three sizes, too.

SHREK THE HALLS (2007)

This 30-minute TV special focuses on Shrek’s trying to read an adaptation of “The Night Before Christmas” to his kids. Gingy, Donkey and Puss step in with their own versions, creating three very funny stories within the story.

A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983)

Ask anyone about their favourite holiday movies and this is sure to be on the list. The film revolves around Ralphie and his desperate want for a Red Ryder BB Gun, which he’s told will “shoot his eye out.” Look for 24-hour marathons of this movie during the Christmas season.

CHRISTMAS VACATION (1989)

We’ve all be there; crazy relatives move in over the holidays, the Christmas lights won’t turn on, the turkey dinner is ruined and there is trouble at work. The Griswold family takes it all in stride though and offers plenty of laughs.

ELF (2003)

This film is probably most loved when it comes to recent holiday films. Will Ferrell plays a human raised by Santa’s elves. He heads to NYC to search out his real father and realizes the big city is definitely not like the North Pole. Bonus: Zooey Deschanel gets a chance to show off her unique singing talent.

POLAR EXPRESS (2004)

The pages from one of the greatest children’s books of all time is brought to the screen with an abundance of imagination and whimsy. Tom Hanks stars (as five different characters) in a story about a little boy who boards a magical train to the North Pole.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951)

There are many versions of this Charles Dickens classic, but there is no Scrooge like Alastair Sim. Watching his heart of stone turn into one of gold is pure Christmas magic.

MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (1992)

If you’re skipping Alastair Sim’s version of A Christmas Carol, then this should be the one you see. The serious tone of the story is lightened with musical numbers and comedic genius from the Muppets. Michael Caine is great as Ebenezer.

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947 OR 1994)

Either version of this film will make believers of the non-believers. A little girl that questions her belief in Santa Claus learns that, “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.”

HOME ALONE (1990)

After wishing his family would disappear, an eight-year-old boy is left behind when his family goes on vacation. He must then defend his home against two bumbling burglars. Best line: “Keep the change, you filthy animal.”

ONE MAGIC CHRISTMAS (1985)

This one starts out as a bit of a downer, with a depressed, penny-pinching mom who is void of all Christmas spirit. It takes an angel and some very serious life lessons for her to discover the true meaning of the season.

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS

A family living in St. Louis tries to make the best of things when they find out they are moving. It isn’t exactly a holiday movie, but Judy Garland belting out “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is a holiday must.

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (1965)

Charlie Brown tries to get past the commercialism of the holiday season and find the true meaning of Christmas. Spoiler alert: With the help of a sad-looking Christmas tree and his best buddy Linus, Charlie Brown accomplishes his mission.

GREMLINS (1984)

Too much holiday cheer getting to you? Change things up with a horror movie. Watch as adorable, loveable Christmas gifts become terrorizing creatures. Perhaps not a typical, fuzzy holiday flick, but a nice change for older movie watchers.
WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954)
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER (1964)
EIGHT CRAZY NIGHTS (2002)
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (ANIMATED, 1966)
SHREK THE HALLS (2007)
A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983)
CHRISTMAS VACATION (1989)
ELF (2003)
POLAR EXPRESS (2004)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951)
MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (1992)
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947 OR 1994)
HOME ALONE (1990)
ONE MAGIC CHRISTMAS (1985)
MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (1965)
GREMLINS (1984)

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