Favorite Christmas Movies

My all-time favorite Animated Christmas Movie is Charlie Brown Christmas. That movie is my childhood, including the Hostess commercials in between, but here’s a list of are my favorite non-animated Christmas movies. I love watching one of these movies, while wrapping Christmas presents, thus multi-tasking through the holiday season.

shallow focus photography of red bauble
Photo by Todd Trapani on Pexels.com
  1. It’s A Wonderful Life It’s a classic for a reason. Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed star in this 1946 movie directed by Frank Capra. It’s the story of George Bailey, a boy determined to see the world but an unfortunate series of events force him to stay in his hometown. He gets to see what life would have turned out like if he hadn’t been there and he discovers, he did actually have a wonderful life. I never fail to cry at this movie!

Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.


2. A Christmas Story

This movie used to show 24/7 on TBS on Christmas Day (maybe it still does), which is how I first watched it with my kids, who fell in love with the story of Ralphie, a little boy who wants a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas. Set in the 40’s, it’s nostalgic without being syrupy and, anyone with a family can relate to this family’s struggles and triumphs. It’s also a reminder of those special toys at Christmas we coveted as children and the joy of actually receiving them.

You’ll shoot your eye out!

Ralphie’s mother, teacher and even Santa about the Red Rider BB gun.

3. White Christmas

I’ve loved this movie since I was in High School, especially the scene where Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye perform “Sisters”. Their romantic interests are Rosemary Clooney and the ultra-skinny Vera-Ellen and it was directed by Michael Curtiz, of Casablanca fame. I love the ambience of the Vermont Inn, World War II theme, the costumes, musical numbers and Irving Berlin music. The ending scene, where all the old soldiers come to honor their general at his Inn, always makes me cry. And then, for the finale, it snows, making it a White Christmas at last.

Snow! Snow! Snow! Snow! It won’t be long before we’ll be there with snow.

White Christmas

4. Elf

This is my sister Elise’s favorite Christmas movie, without fail. She even had a party revolving around it one Christmas with a huge cutout of Will Ferrell in full Elf mode. Made in 2003 by Jon Favreau, it’s the story of a human, raised by elves, who travels to New York City to try and find his biological father (played by James Caan). Will Ferrell plays Buddy the elf, with Bob Newhart playing his elf father and Ed Asner playing Santa. This is a heartwarming movie that is also hysterically funny. Every time we watch it, Zeke asks me “Is that Zooey Deschanel?” It is, but she has blonde hair in the movie. She plays Jovie, an elf at Macy’s. As added Christmas treats, the actor who played Ralphie in a Christmas Story, plays elf Ming Ming & there are a ton of references to Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.

You sit on a throne of lies!

Buddy to the fake Santa at Macys.

5. Love Actually

I actually love this movie, set at Christmas time, which has nine interwoven plot lines. Emma Thompson and the late Alan Richman are marvelous, and, as complicated as it seems, it all works so well. The cast is a Who’s Who of actors, with Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant each nailing their respective parts. While Hugh Grant hated it, I love the scene where he dances through 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister to Van Halen’s Jump. It starts and ends at Heathrow airport, with people greeting loved ones with hugs and kisses.

If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love, actually, is all around.

Narrator of Love Actually

Honorable Mention goes to Home Alone and Miracle on 34th Street (Zeke’s favorite). What’s your favorite Christmas movie? I’d love to know.

Up Next: A Clean Sweep

Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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