CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Christmas is around the corner! This special day always seems to evoke feelings of nostalgia as we decorate our homes, prepare dinners, and settle in for the holidays. One of the best ways to nestle into the nostalgic Christmas traditions is to watch a Christmas film! There’s just something about a Christmas film that brings out the best in people and makes quality time with the family much more special.
It could be the excitement we feel as Jack discovered Christmas or the giggles we share when the Grinch goes on a mission to steal it. Maybe it’s the warmth and love shared at the end of every Christmas movie that keeps us all merry and bright. Whatever it is comes with the undeniable truth that Christmas films are essential for the holidays.
Join in on the fun to figure out the best Christmas movie by voting in the first round of our tournament for the best Christmas movie of all time – or comment and tell us your favorite that didn’t make the cut.
From comedy to romance, animation, and horror, here’s a list of 40 of the best Christmas films of all time.
Meet Me In St.Louis (1944)
A lovely story about how young love and childish fears highlight a year in the life of a turn-of-the-century family.
Crotchety Victorian businessman Ebenezer Scrooge is swept into a nightmare for his lack of festivity and kindness. The ghost of his late partner appears, warning that Ebenezer will be visited by three more spirits who will show the coldhearted man the error of his parsimonious behavior.
Rudolph the Res-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
Young Rudolph lives at the North Pole. As the son of one of Santa’s reindeer, it is expected that Rudolph will eventually be one too. However, he has a feature that is a setback and causes him to be outcasted: his red nose.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
Depressed at the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries desperately to find a deeper meaning to Christmas.
Black Christmas ( 1974)
During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger.
A Christmas Story ( 1983)
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
The Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.
Die Hard (1988)
A New York City police officer tries to save his estranged wife and several others taken hostage by terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.
A selfish, cynical television executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.
Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
Ernest helps Santa Claus as he searches for his successor.
Home Alone (1990)
An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.
The muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser’s redemption on Christmas Eve.
Jingle All The Way (1996)
A father vows to get his son a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas. However, every store is sold out, and he must travel all over town and compete with everybody else in order to find one.
The Santa Cause (1994)
When a man inadvertently makes Santa fall off his roof on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place.
The Night Before Christmas (1993)
Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.
Jack Frost ( 1998)
A father who can’t keep his promises is killed in a car accident. One year later, he returns as a snowman who has the final chance to put things right with his son before he is gone forever.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas ( 2000)
On the outskirts of Whoville lives a green, revenge-seeking Grinch who plans to ruin Christmas for all of the citizens of the town.
Dr. Suess’s The Grinch (2000)
A grumpy Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.
Love Actually (2003)
Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.
Bad Santa (2003)
A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid.
Elf ( 2003)
Raised as an oversized elf, Buddy travels from the North Pole to New York City to meet his biological father, Walter Hobbs, who doesn’t know he exists and is in desperate need of some Christmas spirit.
The Polar Express (2004)
A young boy, whose faith in Santa Claus is waivering, awakes on Christmas Eve to the sounds of The Polar Express, a magic steam train, in his front yard. The conductor, urges the boy to take the ride to the North Pole.
Christmas With the Kranks ( 2004)
With their daughter, Blair, away in Peru, Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip Christmas all together until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate it at the last minute.
The Family Stone (2005)
An uptight, conservative businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family’s annual Christmas celebration and finds that she’s a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.
Deck the halls (2006)
Two neighbors have it out after one of them decorates his house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space.
The Christmas (2007)
A Christmastime drama centered around the Whitfield family’s first holiday together in four years.
Disney’s A Christmas Carol 2009
An animated retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.
Rare Exports ( 2010)
A very Harold and Kumar Christmas (2011)
Six years after their Guantanamo Bay adventure, stoner buds Harold Lee and Kumar Patel cause a holiday fracas by inadvertently burning down Harold’s father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree.
In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 meters deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas. The time has come to dig it up. This Christmas everyone will believe in Santa Claus.
The Best Man Holiday (2013)
When college friends reunite after 15 years over the Christmas holidays, they discover just how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and romances to be reignited.
Last Holiday ( 2014)
Upon learning of a terminal illness, a shy woman decides to sell all her possessions and live it up at a posh Central European hotel.
The night Before ( 2015)
On Christmas Eve, three lifelong friends spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.
Krumpus ( 2015)
A boy who has a bad Christmas accidentally summons a festive demon to his family home.
Almost Christmas (2016)
A dysfunctional family gathers together for their first Christmas since their mom died.
Bad mom Christmas ( 2017)
As their own mothers drop in unexpectedly, our three under-appreciated and over-burdened moms rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for mothers: Christmas.
The Princess Switch ( 2018)
Competing in a Christmas baking competition in Belgravia, a Chicago baker bumps into the prince’s fiancée–who looks just like her. They switch lives for two days.
The Christmas Chronicle ( 2018)
The story of sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about.
Let it snow (2019)
In a small town on Christmas Eve, a snowstorm brings together a group of young people.
Christmas With A Crown (2020)
When a successful woman returns to her hometown to revive her family’s Christmas festival, she meets a dashing stranger who’s volunteered to help organize the event. Sparks begin to fly between them, but little does she know that he’s really a prince in disguise, longing to find the true spirit of the holidays. It will take a Christmas miracle of royal proportions for their hearts to meet as one.
A boy Called Christmas (2021)
In this origin story of Father Christmas, an ordinary boy (with a loyal pet mouse and a reindeer at his side) sets out on an extraordinary adventure to find his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of Elfhelm.
Love Hard (2021)
An LA girl, unlucky in love, falls for an East Coast guy on a dating app and decides to surprise him for the holidays, only to discover that she’s been catfished. This lighthearted romantic comedy chronicles her attempt to reel in love.