December is for binge-watching classic Christmas movies. It’s the best group activity during the season of comfort food, cold weather, and the persistent urge to ball up in a fuzzy blanket on the couch. I tend to nerd out on many things””namely, plants””but I fancy myself a bit of a cinephile, with a particular fondness for the Christmas movie genre.
Disclaimer: narrowing down a top 10 list was nearly impossible, so I made my decisions purely based on which Christmas movies I enjoy the most. There are some wildcards on this list, but I staunchly believe they are underrated masterpieces that deserve a watch at least once”¦ per year.
10) The Muppet Christmas Carol
This classic Charles Dickens tale has been retold countless times, but the Muppet version is undoubtedly superior. You get two Jacob Marley’s for the price of one, the puppet ghosts are legitimately scary, the musical numbers are excellent, and Michael Caine nails it as Scrooge. Seriously, it may be the most outstanding performance of his career.
9) The Holiday
As far as romantic Christmas movies go, I have to say The Holiday gets my vote. Never would I have imagined there to be palpable romantic chemistry between Jack Black and Kate Winslet, but they served it up hot. The best scene is Cameron Diaz getting bored one day into her Christmas vacation, crushing a bottle of wine, and singing “Mr. Brightside” into the bottle like a microphone. Ahh, another classic winter pastime.
8) Home Alone II: Lost in New York
Similar to the Terminator franchise, this Christmas movie sequel arguably surpasses the original Home Alone installment in terms of coolness. Tim Curry plays the perfect smarmy hotel manager, the weird pigeon lady is living her best life, and Daniel Stern gets electrocuted for a comically long time in a scene that always makes me howl.
7) A Charlie Brown’s Christmas
This charming Christmas cartoon is beloved by all ages, and it’s just as entertaining as it was when I was five years old. But the real reason it gets a spot on this list: the soundtrack is absolute gold. I got that bad boy on vinyl.
6) It’s A Wonderful Life
This vintage classic hits me right in the feels every time. It’s 75 years old, yet it still holds up. Many argue it’s one of the greatest films of all time””not just within the genre of Christmas movies. Warning: you may very likely get a bit of dust in your eye once the credits roll.
5) Die Hard
Okay, I’m going to level with you: I haven’t actually seen Die Hard yet. I know I should have by now””everyone says it’s the greatest Christmas thriller movie of all time””I just keep forgetting to queue it up. I’m adding it to this list, so I will remember to watch it later.
4) Ernest Saves Christmas
The Ernest franchise is underrated comedy gold, and nobody can convince me otherwise. Jim Varney delights as the titular role of Ernest, breaking Santa out of prison, finding a replacement so Santa can retire, and assuming the position of sleigh driver, among other holiday hijinks. The plot twist I was not expecting: Santa’s real name is Seth Applegate.
3) Jingle All the Way
I hereby put forward the motion to refer to the non-denominational holiday season as “Turbotime.” This movie is absurdly hilarious and bizarre””so ridiculous; it’s somehow a masterpiece in its own right. Honourable mention goes to Phil Hartman for nailing the part of the annoying Flanders-esque neighbour.
2) The Santa Clause
Gaping plot holes and scientific impossibilities aside, The Santa Clause will always be a classic in my books. Tim Allen accidentally kills Santa and then becomes Santa. Excellent premise, 10/10.
1) Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean
Alright, I know this technically isn’t a Christmas movie””it’s an episode of a TV show, but I have it on a VHS tape, and it’s far more entertaining than any Hallmark Christmas movie ever made. After watching this for the first time, I made it a tradition always to include a T Rex in my nativity scene decorations. Highlights include Mr. Bean getting a turkey stuck on his head””a scene famously ripped off by the writing staff of “Friends” several years later.
What’s The Worst Christmas Movie Ever?
It pains me to say this, but the Star Wars Holiday Special is perhaps the worst movie ever, period. It’s 98 minutes of pure cringe. I wish I could say it was so bad it’s good, but it’s an absolute catastrophe of a film. Skip this one and watch The Phantom Menace instead””it stars the kid from Jingle All the Way!
Enjoy your Christmas movie-thon! If you need any last-minute gifts, winter plants, or holiday decorations, visit Salisbury Greenhouse! We always go big at Christmas, and we love helping spread a little magic during Alberta’s winter season.