Favorite Holiday Movies ~ It’s Tradition!

Every year on Thanksgiving I watch two things: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Miracle on 34th Street.

For me, watching those two shows is what starts my holiday season. Not shopping on Black Friday (or is it now Grey Thursday?), not eating turkey, not even hearing Christmas music in the shops as early as Halloween.

Nope, it’s Miracle on 34th Street and seeing Santa at the end of the parade.

From that day until Christmas Eve there will be several more movies I watch.


Love, Actually

How the Grinch Stole ChristmasΒ  (the one with Jim Carrey, he’s so amazing)

All of the Rankin Bass cartoons, Rudolph, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, etc.

The Polar Express

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

It’s a Wonderful Life

And if I’m feeling spunky (and haven’t already watched it on Halloween), I’ll pop inΒ The Nightmare Before Christmas

These movies make me happy. They get me in the holiday spirit. Sometimes they make me cry, but in a good way!

What are your favorite holiday traditions? Are there any movies you watch every Christmas? Is there a movie I didn’t mention that you think should be one of my yearly traditions?

Because you’ve been very good, I’m going to leave you with this youtube video of Buddy the Elf’s funniest moments. I’m embarrassed by how many of these quotes I say on a regular basis. “I like smiling, smiling’s my favorite!”


56 thoughts on “Favorite Holiday Movies ~ It’s Tradition!

  1. Every single year we watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (my husband’s favorite) and Friday After Next (we both love this). If we end up having a movie day, we’ll throw in Better off Dead, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and maybe Bad Santa. Who says we don’t have our own brand of humor?

  2. I just posted on Facebook that I am looking for some new movies. I love the ones mentioned and The Holiday with Camron Diaz and Love Actually!
    A Wonderful Life is my all time favorite!

  3. Aw. ELF! πŸ™‚ It’s tough to beat Love Actually. I also have a soft spot for the Little House on the Prairie Christmas special. I tear up when the girls gush over their “very own cups,” every single time.

    • This is the first year we’re going to let Michael watch Love, Actually and I’m so excited we can finally share that movie with him.

      I remember watching that episode of Little House when I was a kid and I totally understood how excited they were to have their own cups. Although, at the time, I kept thinking for me, it would’ve been my own room. A three bedroom house, two adults and four kids. Yeah, I wanted my own cup, too. πŸ˜‰

  4. I have a whole collection I only watch in December. While You Were Sleeping. The Holiday. White Christmas. Elf (my kids make me watch this – not my brand of humor). Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. I watch every Bing Crosby movie that comes on TV during December – Bells of St. Mary’s, etc. Muppet’s Christmas Carol “Heat Wave!” lol

  5. You’ve got a lot of my faves listed. I love the scene in Elf when he is trying to get on the escalator! My daughter and I also love to watch cheesy ABC family/Lifetime holiday movies. One of our faves is Snowglobe. πŸ™‚

    • I DVR’d a few cheesy Lifetime movies just last night. One had the words ‘Princess’ and ‘Christmas’ in it, so I figured it had to be good. I’m a sucker for anything with a happy ending and snow. I need to find Snowglobe, sounds perfect.

    • Me too! A friend gave me a British DVD, so if yours ever burns out, let me know and I’ll send you mine since I can’t play it on US DVD players. I have no idea why she gave me a British one! She’s a goof.

  6. Well, you know me, Girly, if it’s not a hundred years old, I probably haven’t seen it. LOL. I love A Christmas Story, Christmas in Connecticut, Miracle on 34th Street, and two versions of A Christmas Carol – the one with Alastair Sim as Scrooge and the Muppet one. There are a lot more I’ll tune in to watch (The Shop Around the Corner, While You Were Sleeping, The Nightmare Before Christmas – yes, I’m eclectic). I even use the holidays as an excuse to plug in The Thin Man because the crime takes place during the holidays and my favorite scene is on Christmas morning, when Nick Charles is on the couch, shooting balloons off the tree with his dart gun and talking about getting shot the night before. Nora says, “It says you were shot six times in the tabloids,” and he replies, “They never got near my tabloids.” Pretty racy for the forties!

  7. Back home in England, my family’s tradition was to watch Wizard of Oz and the Sound of Music during the day on Christmas day and then after Christmas dinner, there was always the most recent Bond movie on TV so we would watch that while stuffing ourselves with Christmas pudding and mince pies with brandy butter πŸ™‚

    One of my own traditions was to watch Santa Clause the Movie (the one with Dudley Moore) with the kids on Christmas Eve.

    • Mmmm, mince pies with brandy butter and 007. Sounds like an awesome tradition. I’m not familiar with the Dudley Moore movie, how did this happen? I’m going to check it out this year. Thanks, Cheryl!

  8. Elf! Ohmigosh, how did he film all those scenes with the syrup? LOL I have a few different favorites. I love While You Were Sleeping,Scrooged, and Die Hard. Yes, DIe Hard totally is a Christmas movie! πŸ˜€ But Miracle on 34th Street has always been one of my all time favorites.

    • Scrooged! Yes, I forgot about that one, too. Die Hard has a Christmas tree in it, to it totally is a Christmas movie, I agree. I’ll have to add it to the list.

      I bet he can’t even look at spaghetti now without getting nauseous. We actually tried it once and it wasn’t bad, but then when we added the pop tarts and candy, it was pretty horrible.

  9. I love all these movies too. It just makes me happy thinking about them. We always watch Christmas Vacation and because we live in the Midwest, A Christmas Story is a must-see and one of our local channels runs a loop of it ALL darn day. LOL I also love Prancer ( it’s for the little girl in us ) and if you’d like another good Christmas romance along the lines of Love Actually, try The Holiday. Jack Black is actually a romantic lead and he does a very nice job of it.

    • Prancer. That sounds familiar, I’m going to have to find it this year. I love The Holiday! Jack Black is so sweet and cute in that movie. I need to buy it and add it to my list of traditions. Thanks, Kate!

  10. I love all of the above! I was going to say you should add Christmas Vacation, The Muppet Christmas Carol and White Christmas. Now I’ll say add Jack Frost, The Santa Clause and One Magic Christmas! I was just looking for all my movie and I can only find TWO! ACK! If i don’t find them by tomorrow I’m buying them all over again. Can’t have a December without my Christmas movies!
    Have fun Tameri!

      • Oh, The Santa Clause, I love that one, too! I haven’t seen Jack Frost ~ I’ll have to check that one out. Can’t do Christmas Vacation. I now, I’m a spaz for not liking it, but all of those Vacation movies give me a twitch. Probably because they are too close to what I experienced as a kid. I might need therapy. πŸ™‚

        I hope you found your movies!

  11. Elf is a cute movie, but I saw it one too many times in a row while visiting the nephews ;-). Still for me it’s not the holidays until I see Charlie Brown Christmas and Frosty. And Heat Meiser, and the Grinch, and…yeah all of them actually. Happy holidays Tameri! I hope the season is filled with joy and laughter, and smiles! πŸ™‚

    • All of the Rankin/Bass shows are great! Sorry about Elf. I can see how that might put you off the movie. I think the first year I watched it five or six times (in the theater), but it never gets old.

      Happy Holidays to you, too!

  12. Oh wow, I’m a sucker for Christmas movies and tv shows – all of them, lol! My Christmas just isn’t complete without the Grinch though – the original animated one … I just love Whoville, and the little dog gets me every time. Also love White Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street – and the original Scrooge, of course! Oh, and the Charlie Brown Christmas is also a must-see! Actually, all of them, ho ho ho! πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€

  13. So many of those movies are good. My very favorite is, and always will be, It’s a Wonderful Life. After that, in no particular order, White Christmas, Prancer, the original Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, Albert Finney’s A Christmas Carol (it’s a musical version), The Christmas Box, The Christmas Shoes (though that one still makes me cry too much), Holiday in Handcuffs (yes, I know…corny, but I like it). And one I finally found on DVD last year.I saw it a long time ago…A Hobo’s Christmas. I don’t know what I liked about it the first time I saw it, but it still works.

    What’s Christmas without movies, including the ones you grew up with (Charlie Brown, the Grinch, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, etc…)? Oh…I also have grown very fond of Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Cottage. I think it helps that Jared Padalecki is in it. But I also love Kincaid’s art, too. πŸ˜‰

    • Wow, you gave me a bunch of new titles to check out. Thomas Kinkade has a movie? Who knew?! I love his art, too. Holiday in Handcuffs sounds fun. I’m going to search for them today and set up a recording. Hopefully they’ll be playing. Thanks for the new ideas!

  14. Tameri, I want to bring some eggnog and popcorn over to your house and join in the Christmas movie fest! With your list and all the comments, there is enough holiday joy here to keep us watching 24/7. By the time I got to the bottom here, every one I was going to mention has been added. The Adorables are waiting to watch The Grinch with me this week and I can’t wait to kick off the season with that! Happy viewing everyone!

    • I would love that, Patricia! We need to live closer together, it would be a riot. Oh, I hope The Adorables enjoy The Grinch and it isn’t too scary for them. What a fun new tradition you’re starting! I’ve got a few years before I’ll have grandkids, but I’m already thinking ahead to what we can do together. I’ve been taking notes from you!

  15. Tameri…I cannot believe Christmas Vacation is not in your collection. How do you not watch that one? We watch it every single year on Christmas Eve πŸ™‚ I love Christmas traditions, period!

    • I know. First Bradley Cooper and now this. I do hope you can still love me. I just can’t watch any of the Vacation movies. Remember how uncomfortable we were for the first part of the movie? That’s how I feel the entire time. I think because I lived many of those experiences, but my mom wasn’t as funny as Chevy Chase. πŸ™‚

    • Hey Jimmy! I haven’t seen the Muppet movie in a long time, but several people have mentioned it here and I need to get a copy for my collection. I remember we used to watch that, and Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. Ah, those were good times. Now I want to see Emmett again. I’ll have to find that DVD as well. Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us, Jimmy.

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    • Oh, that’s a good one, too. I was at the store yesterday and saw almost all of these movies everyone’s mentioned and it was hard not to buy all of them, but I did pick up Santa Claus, the Movie. It’s a keeper for sure!

      That’s funny about the puzzles. Having dogs and a cat, I can totally understand why it’s gone by the wayside. Their idea of helping really isn’t helpful at all. πŸ™‚

  18. I want my TWO DOLLARS!! Haha, Better Off Dead is one of my all-time favorite movies, so funny that it doesn’t even register in my mind as a Christmas movie, just an awesome comedy! We must be an odd family, as I HATE ‘The Christmas Story’ and my kids and I LOVE Gremlins. I also really like Bad Santa and Trading Places, so maybe my holiday spirit is a bit askew, lol. When my wife asked me to dig up all the old holiday “favorites” (Rudolph, Grinch, Frosty) I was less than enthusiastic. I got the Hopper DVR from DISH though, and with over 2,000 hours of recording space I’ll be able to record everything on TV and not even make a dent in the hard drive. I work long hours at DISH, so the DVR is really important these days, and with the PrimeTime Anytime feature I can automatically record every primetime show from the big four networks. Most of these ‘favorites’ will be aired on the big four, so I saved a lot of time digging, and can keep those movies as long as we (wife) want them. Thanks for the list; I’m glad there are others like me who like the grown-up holiday movies too!

    • Ohmigosh we say that all the time around our house. TWO DOLLARS! Gremlins rocks. I still get creeped out by them and hide under the covers. I think your holiday spirit is perfect. And I’m a bit envious at all that recording space on your DVR! Wow. Enjoy watching your holiday movies!

  19. Should have checked in here first. Last night re-watched “Chinatown.” Remember? With Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway? FANTASTIC, but NOT HOLIDAY SPIRIT. Note to self — ’tis not the season for film noire. More like it — The Muppet Christmas Carol. Remember Marley and Marley? Fun post.

    • Marley and Me makes me cry. Every. Single. Time. Man, I haven’t seen Chinatown in years, maybe it’s time for a noire night. Put on some Blue Velvet and Jack, that would be a sassy evening! But maybe closer to the New Year, definitely not holiday spirit.
      Fortunately you found this list and still have time to catch some of the shows listed here. It’s all good!

  20. Any of the movies are your list are great except for one. I’m probably the only one in the world to say this but I hate “It’s a wonderful life”. it seems to me to be a tribute to codependency and always putting others ahead of yourself. makes me crazy.

    • I can see how that would make you crazy! I don’t think I ever saw the movie like that, but then it’s one of the films I put on while I’m doing something else, like decorating or wrapping gifts, so I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it straight through without interruption. Probably for the exact reason you’ve mentioned. At least there are dozens more movies for you to enjoy!

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