12 days of Holiday Movies

Operation Full Pantry
December 13, 2018
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December 13, 2018

With the holiday season upon us, let’s go through some classics to the not-so-sure Christmas movies to watch this season. 

The Classics

“A Christmas Story” (1983) – During the 1940 Holidays, 9-year-old Ralphie Parker wants a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. 

A Christmas Story is one of the most watched and shown holiday movies each year, with networks, such as TNT,  playing the movie for 24-hours-straight from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day. What makes this film a must-watch during the holidays is its humor, nostalgia, memorable quotes and iconic scenes. I “triple dog dare” you to watch this movie this holiday season.    

“It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) – One Christmas Eve night, George Bailey wishes he had never been born, but fortunately a guardian angel appears to show George the positive impact he has had on the people of Bedford Falls, New York. 

One of the oldest Christmas movies that has stood the test of time, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is loved by audiences and critics alike with an audience and critics score at about 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s funny, uplifting and teaches us all about the most important gift we have this holiday season—life.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965) – Charlie Brown, feeling depressed, tries to discover what the true meaning of Christmas is. 

Like the previously mentioned classics, there is no denying that “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is timeless, being that it is one of the oldest television specials still being played today. The jazzy soundtrack and banter between the Peanuts kids aren’t the only reasons this special is loved. Like many other holiday classics, nostalgia plays a big factor as many current adults have vivid memories of  watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with their families as a child.  

A 90’s Christmas

“Home Alone” (1990) – Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister is accidentally left home while his family is away on holiday vacation. Kevin discovers burglars who are trying to loot his house, but he sets booby traps for the would-be invaders. 

If you say the words “Home Alone” to anyone they will probably instantly think of Macaulay Culkin with his palms on his cheeks as he yells in pain from using aftershave. Culkin definitely makes this 90’s treasure so great with his hialrious, awards-nominated performance. 

“Jingle All the Way” (1996) – Howard Langston and Myron Larabee are shopping rivals on Christmas Eve as they both try to purchase the Turbo-man action figure for their respective sons. 

There can’t be a more 90’s holiday movie than one starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad. In this slapstick, sometimes outrageous comedy, the pair complement each other well during this silly thrill ride on Christmas Eve. 

“The Santa Clause” (1994) – On Christmas Eve, Scott Calvin incidentally causes Santa Claus to fall off his roof and is forced to take the reins for Father Christmas that night. 

Tim Allen, one of America’s favorite television dads in the 90s, helped launch this over $470 million franchise with his outstanding comedic performance in this first installment of the Santa Clause Trilogy. His performance returns home-viewers to this 90’s original every year. 

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993) – “The Pumpkin King” and leader of Halloween town, Jack Skellington, stumbles across a portal to Christmas town. While there, he experiences the joy of the holiday and goes back to tell his citizens they should take over Christmas this year. 

The creative mind of Tim Burton wonderfully displays this musical through stop-motion animation. Its songs, characters, animation and story are referenced in pop culture not just during Christmas time but also throughout the entire year. 

Newer Classics

“Elf” (2003) – Buddy, a human raised to be an elf at the North Pole, learns of his birth and goes to New York City to meet his biological father. 

Another holiday movie driven by a strong comedic performance, Elf is made to stand out from other Christmas films by the hysterically over-the-top Will Ferrell. His quotes and actions during his performance as the childlike Buddy are shared through gifs and memes on the internet every holiday season. 

“Love Actually” (2003) – Ten stories intertwine during the holiday season in this romantic-comedy. 

Featuring an ensemble cast that includes: Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson and Keira Knightley, just to name a few, this movie is appreciated not only for its acting performances but also for its writing and directing by Richard Curtis. Also, where else can you see Rick from The Walking Dead (Andrew Lincoln) silently hold up note cards for the woman he loves, outside in the cold?

“The Polar Express” (2004) – One again, taking place on Christmas Eve, a young boy travels on the magical Polar Express train as he starts a journey to the North Pole. 

The Polar Express is vividly shown with astonishing motion capture animation. Accompanied with voice acting by Tom Hanks, this musical fantasy is fun, adventurous and a holiday must-see. 

Are those Christmas Movies?

The “Harry Potter” Franchise ( 2001-2011) – The orphan Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, learns of his wizardly powers and attends the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There, he must harness his abilities and face the imminent danger from those who wish to do harm to him and his friends. 

I personally wouldn’t call these films Christmas movies, but many out there will. They could maybe be considered holiday must-sees because of the many winter theatrical release dates in the series, marathons that play during the holiday season or memorable Christmas scenes— like when Harry receives the invisibility cloak. 

“Die Hard 1 & 2” (1988, 1990) – John McClane must stop bad guys who use terrorist-like means to take over facilities he just so happens to be located at as well. 

Now these movies’ Christmas authentications have been widely debated on the internet. They both have almost entirely nothing to do with Christmas, but they take place on Christmas Eve. And like others we have seen on this list, that’s a trend with holiday movies. So they count, right?