12 of the Best Classic Christmas Movies

Can you believe there is only a week left until Christmas!? This is my favorite time of year, hands down but it always flies by so fast.

I love almost everything about Christmas. The traditions, making time to spend with family, baking cookies and decorating them with the littles; seeing every street, store and house festooned in Christmas decor; shopping (of course, you know me well enough by now), all the delicious food, visiting friends and family, the anticipation on Christmas Eve, and watching classic Christmas movies. Phew! I’m sure I’ll think of at least ten more things to add to that list.😉

The one thing I really don’t love about Christmas is post-Christmas blues. Its real.

But we’re not going to even think about Christmas being over right now, because there are still a ton of awesome Christmas movies you need to watch, and I need to watch for the 11,000th time before the glorious day arrives! Take a break from the monotony of Hallmark’s corny, singular plot Christmas movies (sorry, not sorry) and thrill your senses with classic Christmas movies that I love and know you will love too!

 

The Classics (1940s-1980s)

1. Miracle on 34th Street (1947) – Pay close attention to the date here because though Miracle has been remade, all others pale in comparison to this one. Young Natalie Wood is adorable as a mini adult who slowly but surely begins to believe in Santa due to some magical happenings. This is such a heartwarming story that will give you all the feels!

2. It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947) – Speaking of feels, this film will give you double what the last one will! A precarious situation, learning what (and who) is really important, love, and of course a big ol’ tinsel covered Christmas tree make It Happened on 5th Avenue one of my all time favorites! I know you’ll feel the same way too.

3. Holiday Inn (1942) – Though this movie features scenes for every holiday on the calendar, I’ve always associated it with Christmas. Everyone’s favorite Christmas song, “White Christmas”, was written for and debuted to the world in this film. Shockingly enough, as this film was released during Valentine’s day the song didn’t gain popularity until a few years later. Try to get the colorized version, it’s absolutely stunning! Fabulous costumes and set designs and a rather frustrating love-triangle make this movie a necessary addition to your Christmas movie watch list!

4. White Christmas (1954) – No Christmas is complete without watching this Holy Grail of a movie at least once a night – and you can because it never gets old! The most charming inn that will have everyone thinking #goalz nestled in the most bucolic setting; literally the greatest songs, dances and costumes in any movie ever, and a generous act of selflessness involving a group of four new-found friends. All of this wrapped up with the most iconic final scene that will leave you singing these catchy tunes well into next year! Swoon.

5. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) – A beautiful story about a man and the many trials he faces that lead him to wish he had never even been born. This is not only one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, but a wonderful lesson of timeless relevance!

6. Remember the Night (1940) – A more somber Christmas classic involving a shoplifter and a super-compassionate district attorney. A series of unlikely events unfold as they accidentally end up spending Christmas together. I will warn you though, the ending is not what you’d expect!

7. The Shop Around the Corner (1940) – A woman in love, a man in love. Find out what happens when two shop clerks fall in love with very unlikely people! Set in a shop at Christmastime in Budapest, Hungary; this movie is so much more than just a surprising love story!

8. Trading Places (1983) – This is a comedy I can watch all year long for it’s timeless plot – sweet revenge! – and hilarious reversed situations both Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy find themselves in.

9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) – So many great lines from this movie have made their way into the hearts of Americans for generations, “shitter’s full” is just one of many endearing lines that anyone will immediately recognise and recall the moment Cousin Eddie is …well, you know.

The New (1990s-Now)

10. Christmas with the Kranks (2004) – I can’t believe I only found out about this movie in the last few years! The silly misadventures and an empty-nest couple’s attempt to enjoy Christmas their way makes for a hilarious Christmas classic.

11. Home Alone 1 (1990) – This is the best Home Alone, in my opinion! An extremely resourceful child left home alone over Christmas defends his house against the imminent threat of the “Wet Bandits”! I always loved how the whole house and everything in it is red and green!

 12. The Santa Clause (1994) – Tim Allen is to modern Christmas movies what Bing Crosby is to classic Christmas movies – critical. This has been one of my favorites since it came out for its humor and its beautiful depiction of the North Pole! For real though, where can I get Judy’s hot cocoa recipe?! 😉 I like all three of TA’s Santa Clause movies but I recommend beginning with this one. 

This list is by no means exhaustive but I’ve definitely covered all of my most endeared favorites.

If you’re a classic film fan, let me know in the comments what your favorite Christmas movies are!

Merry Christmas and happy watching! 

🖤Mia

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