Our Family’s Top 10 Holiday Movies

December 11, 2017

One of my favorite parts of this season are all the fun holiday movies to watch. Many of these are movies I grew up watching so it’s nostalgic to introduce them to my husband and stepdaughter who are relatively new to the whole Christmas movie thing. Our toddler isn’t much of a movie watcher yet (unless it’s Moana), so I’m sure we’ll be changing up this list in the future.

Nothing beats cuddling up on the cough with my family, with snacks of fresh out of the oven cookies or popcorn and enjoying a movie together to celebrate the holidays. I love seeing their faces light up with the sight of Santa and singing along to the songs.

Home Alone

By far one of my all-time favorite movies. My brother and I LOVED this movie growing up. Kevin McCallister’s adventure of taking down home burglars while being left home alone while his family goes overseas is hilarious. I know this entire movie by heart, word for word and often quote from it in my everyday life. Sorry, not sorry.


I love Will Ferrell and this movie is one of his best. Buddy the Elf’s journey to NYC to meet his dad and drum up some Christmas spirit is adorable, hilarious and fun for the whole family. Again, you will find me quoting this movie on the regular, it’s just so freaking funny.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

It’s a beaut Clark! Hahahaha, just thinking of this movie makes me giggle. Clark W Griswold wants nothing more than a good ole fashioned family Christmas. However, he gets much more than he bargained for when Cousin Eddie shows up unexpectedly and chaos ensues. Definitely a must-see if you haven’t already.


The Santa Clause

My stepdaughter really took to this movie last year. It was her first Christmas ever and she was obsessed with the notion of Santa, so this movie about a ‘scrooge-like’ dad who becomes Santa and all the magic it entails really got her going. Even this year when she asks how does Santa go to homes without a chimney I remind her of this movie how he magically makes a fireplace appear. The sequels aren’t too bad either.



This was one of my favorites as a kid and inevitably gave me the desire to want a reindeer to call my own. Jessica finds an injured reindeer and inevitably believes it’s one of Santa’s and hides him in their barn to help him get better before Christmas. This movie could also be where my love of Sam Elliott started, even if he’s kind of a grump in this movie.


Frosty The Snowman

This movie always brings back memories of sitting in my grandma’s living room with my cousins watching it before dinner and presents on Christmas Eve. It’s the older animated classic, and so dear to my heart. We’ve already watched it twice this year, and I imagine we’ll be watching it again very soon.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

I love the original animated version because it was a movie I grew up watching and absolutely loved. The newer live-action movie starring Jim Carey is great too — he’s an awesome Grinch. Both bring home the message of what really matters in the holiday season.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Another oldie, but goodie. I actually enjoy all the Rankin Bass Classics like this that come on during the holidays: Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, A Year Without Santa Claus, Rudolph & Frosty’s Christmas in July and more. All the regular holiday classics that are great for kids.

Charlie Brown Christmas

And yet another childhood classic. I love all the Charlie Brown holiday movies, but the Christmas special is definitely my favorite. I remember watching this at school when I was younger as well as at home all the time during the holiday season. It’s another movie that showcases what Christmas and the holidays should really be about and even though the original debuted in the 60s — it’s messages and lesson are still relevant today.

Love Actually

Another more adult movie, but still nothing the kids will be traumatized about — this star-studded casts intertwines the lives of several relationships and families during the month leading up to Christmas.


Honorable Mentions

These movies are all staples in our holiday movie watching marathon, but not particularly my favorites.

Miracle on 34th Street

The Holiday

A Christmas Story

It’s a Wonderful Life

Home Alone 2

Jack Frost

Christmas with the Kranks

I love starting new traditions with my family and bringing back memories from my own childhood. Holiday movies were always a big part of my holiday season growing up and I love sharing that with my kids. I hope they enjoy it as much as I do.

What are some  your family’s favorite holiday movies to watch?


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  • Reply Andy December 11, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I had forgotten about Prancer! That was my daughter’s favorite movie when she was growing up. We had to watch it every single year. Great list!

    • Reply Marie December 11, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks! It’s one of my favorites and I’m hoping my stepdaughter will enjoy it this year.

  • Reply Lauren December 11, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    I love the claymation Rudolph – such a classic!

    • Reply Marie December 11, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      Me too! All of those kinds of movies are so cute.

  • Reply Lisa December 11, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Gosh, I absolutely forgot about Prancer! I’m going to try and find it now! Great list, I love Christmas movies!
    We watch the Polar Express every year!

    • Reply Marie December 11, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      I just saw it on the Holiday movie list on Comcast OnDemand.

  • Reply Lia December 11, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    I could watch the “Baby it’s Cold Outside” shower scene from Elf on repeat! I laugh every time! 🙂

    • Reply Marie December 11, 2017 at 3:33 pm


  • Reply Lisa Keifer December 11, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    I’ve neveractually heard of Prancer. It’s a Wonderful Life was always a staple in my house when I was a kid because it’s my mom’s favorite. I still like it to this day. Personally, though, my favorites are Love Actually and White Cheistmas.

  • Reply Sara @ Magical Mama Blog December 11, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    We’ve already watched every single one of these other than Prancer! That may be a fun new one to add to our list! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Carolin December 11, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    “Love Actually” just never goes out of style 😉 It’s one of my favorites!

  • Reply ShootingStarsMag December 11, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Oh, I love Jim Carrey’s the Grinch. That’s a favorite of mine. I also love Love Actually and The Holiday and Charlie Brown!!

  • Reply Jocelyn December 12, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Yes! I love Christmas movies! Great list! And I had forgotten all about Prancer, but loved it as a kid. It is now back on my list of movies to watch this year! And have you ever watched White Christmas? I highly recommend it!

    • Reply Marie December 12, 2017 at 10:36 am

      I’m not sure if I have, I’m definitely going to look into it.

  • Reply Lori December 12, 2017 at 10:13 am

    I love ELF! I sit there and laugh out loud! I also love Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life!

    • Reply Marie December 12, 2017 at 11:50 am

      I do too! I could watch that movie every day and still love it.

  • Reply Eliza December 12, 2017 at 11:23 am

    This is a great list. With all the snow this week, we all need great holiday movies :). Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Marie December 12, 2017 at 11:44 am

      Yes! The kids had a snow day here today and I was really tempted to call out of work and stay home to watch movies all day!

  • Reply Kai December 12, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I have never seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, I will have to give it a try. Hope they have it on Netflix!

    • Reply Marie December 12, 2017 at 11:47 am

      I haven’t seen it on Netflix, but I think it’s on amazon prime? It’s hilarious!

  • Reply Christa December 12, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    You listed all of our favorites. I need to get out Prancer again though. I’m not sure my younger two have seen that one.

  • Reply Shayne December 12, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    These are all great suggestions! National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is hilarious! My husband and I don’t have kids so we stay up late and watch all of the Hallmark Christmas movies for fun. 🙂

    • Reply Marie December 12, 2017 at 6:38 pm

      I watch Hallmark when I’m at my mom’s, they’re cheesy but such feel-good movies, I love em!

  • Reply Karie December 12, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Great suggestion! I have most of these on our families list too. However, most my kids are growing up and moved out except my two youngest teen boys and this year they think Christmas movies are uncool. What’s with that. lol

    • Reply Marie December 13, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Ugh, I dread the day my tweenager pulls that, but I still got the toddler to get lost in holiday movie bliss with 🙂

  • Reply Heidi December 12, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    I’ve never seen Prancer before…I grew up watching A Christmas Story. It’s funny, though, that I don’t think I’ve seen it in at least three years now! Christmas Vacation is a staple for me; I always watch it while we’re wrapping presents every year.

  • Reply Regan December 13, 2017 at 12:26 am

    Great list!! We love Christmas Vacation…seems like it’s funnier each time you watch it. I just said to my husband yesterday how I wanted to watch Jack Frost again this year…Another one of our favorites. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Reply Marie December 13, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      It’s so funny. And just this past weekend when traveling to my dad’s for a visit we saw a house that had a big camper in the yard and it had ‘Cousin Eddie’ on the front of it and we both lost it. Never gets old!

  • Reply Angellina December 14, 2017 at 1:59 am

    I think we watch each of these every year! It is part of our December routine.

  • Reply Kristi December 14, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    I love, love, love holiday movies! Rudolph is probably my all-time favorite! And would you believe I never watched Love Actually until last year?! I also have to confess that I loved Bad Santa! LOL! Very distasteful but I loved the little boy in it. He was hilarious! Happy Holidays to you and yours 🙂

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