It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Grab your Snuggie, pour yourself some eggnog and enjoy these 12 must-see holiday films!

Love Actually

12. “Love Actually” (2003)

Looking for a cozy night in with your significant other? With 10 different plots to follow, this all-star English cast is sure to cure your “sads,” leaving you all warm and fuzzy inside. Yes, it can be a touch schmaltzy and predictable, but there’s no denying the charm of this movie. Enjoy the ride.

Bad Santa

11. “Bad Santa” (2003)

Not all holiday movies are warm and gooey on the inside. Billy Bob Thornton plays a mall Santa who’s casing the place to later rob with his sidekick elf. It’s rude, brash and a hilarious change from the sentimental tone we’ve grown accustomed to with holiday films.


10. “The Polar Express” (2004)

The groundbreaking animation alone makes this a worthy must-see. Tom Hanks excels as six different characters, and the hot chocolate dance scene is a standout.


9. “A Christmas Carol”

There are so many great renditions of this classic Dickens’ tale. Whether it’s “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” (1983), “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992), Bill Murray’s “Scrooged” (1988), or the classic “Scrooge” (1951), there’s a version for every taste.

Christmas Vaction

8. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989)

If you’re into slapstick and goofy humor, this movie’s for you. Chevy Chase stars as the father of a dysfunctional family who just wants to have the perfect Christmas. Lucky for us, hardly anything goes according to plan.

Die Hard

7. “Die Hard” (1988)

This is the film that launched a successful franchise and even more successful action-film career for Bruce Willis. He is kicking butt on Christmas Eve, which makes it a Christmas film. Yippee ki-yay.

The Santa Clause

6. “The Santa Clause” (1994)

Our favorite dad from the ‘90s is doing what he does best. Tim Allen plays a divorced father who accidentally kills Santa (oops) and now has to fill in! Allen’s hilarious transformation and disbelief make watching this heartwarming tale a worthy tradition.

Holiday Inn

 5. “Holiday Inn” (1942)

“White Christmas,” the most popular Christmas song of all-time came from this film. Then there’s Fred Astaire’s dancing. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a heartwarming and picturesque look at the holidays.

A Christmas Story

4. “A Christmas Story” (1983)

There’s so much to love about this offbeat comedy, for me it’s the leg lamp (“Fragile … it must be Italian”). Watch it for yourself, I triple dog dare you.


3. “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)

Other than being critically lauded as one of the greatest movies ever made, this Capra classic should be seen because it reminds us of the good karma we can spread through our actions. Everyone can make a difference in this world.


 2. “Elf” (2003)

Will Ferrell plays Buddy, an orphan boy raised by Santa as though he’s an elf. Now an adult, Buddy the elf comes to discover he’s actually human … awkward. Watch with mirth as Buddy seeks to reconnect with his biological father and turn New York City from a cesspool of cynicism into a place of joy. Plus, there’s everyone’s favorite indie star, Zooey Deschanel.

Miracle on 34th Street

 1. “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947)

It will restore your faith in humanity. Just watch it already!

Honorable Mentions:

“Meet John Doe” (1941), “Arthur Christmas” (2011), and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000)

5 Golden Holiday TV Specials:

  1. “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” (1970)
  2. “Frosty the Snowman” (1969)
  3. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (1966)
  4. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964)
  5. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965)