The other day I was asked about my favorite holiday movies to watch. That question made me realize that other than some of my childhood favorites (A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, etc.), I don’t watch the same ones each year.
So, I decided to compile a list of holiday movies we’ve enjoyed over the years – partly to share this link with those who ask and partly to remember which ones to look up for availability and re-watching.
And now, in no particular order, are holiday movies we’ve loved (or at least enjoyed watching while consuming adult beverages):
Last Christmas (2019) – What’s not to enjoy when Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding, Emilia Clarke and Emma Thompson team up for a story about love and loss, set during Christmas, with a soundtrack by the late, great George Michael?
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) – I love Geena Davis as an action hero! This story about a seemingly matronly schoolteacher takes place during the Christmas season, which, in my book, qualifies it as a holiday movie! (And one of my favorites at that.)
8-Bit Christmas (2021) – This movie brings back memories from the ‘80’s. If you’re not a fan of the 80’s, then enjoy this fairly original plot for a holiday movie.
Hawkeye (2022) –Just when I’d grown tired of the slew of Marvel Universe movies, we decided to take the plunge and watch this limited series about Hawkeye attempting to live as a civilian and come to peace about the death of his best pal, Black Widow. Of course, complications ensue. Will he make it home in time for Christmas?!?
Nothing Like the Holidays (2009) – I realize that the holidays aren’t a time for reality, but sometimes you need a dose of it amidst all of the snowy fairytales.
Office Christmas Party (2016) – Nothing says “joy to the world” like debauchery and inappropriate dialogue. Cheers!
Bad Santa (2003) – Same reason as above, but with Billy Bob Thornton.
A Castle for Christmas (2021) – This movie reminds me of Under the Tuscan Sun, but with Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes…in Scotland…for Christmas.
Love Hard (2021) – I’m not really into movies about guys who live in their parents’ basements, but this one is different. The lead actors in this film are not movie stars. This is an indie project, and maybe that’s why I’m rooting for it.
Love Actually (2003) – There are almost too many characters and stories in this one, but it makes for a fun Christmas vignette-a-thon.
The Night Before (2015) – Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie star in this holiday tale full of hijinks and shenanigans. This movie is nothing tremendous, but it does make for a fun low-brow Friday evening.
Falling for Christmas (2022) – I’ve never watched a movie on the Hallmark channel, but I’m guessing it would be like this one. It’s definitely not my favorite but we watched it because I wish Lindsay Lohan well in her career comeback and quest to live a better life.
Missing from this holiday movies list are, of course, your typical holiday fare:
It’s a Wonderful Life
Miracle on 34th Street
A Christmas Story
A Christmas Carol
Frosty the Snowman
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Let me know in the Comments section below what your favorite holiday movie is!
Need more ideas for holiday movies? Check out the top 100 from Rotten Tomatoes.
Pour yourself a glass of eggnog, put on those fuzzy slippers and enjoy!
For the complete guide to having time to watch all of these movies so you can truly relax over the holidays, check out The Great Escape: A Vacation Planner for Busy People Who Want to Take a Real Break from Work & Life