My Top 20 Holiday Movies – Part 1

My Top 20 Holiday Movies - Part 1 |

A favorite holiday tradition of mine is watching the holiday movies. I began to list a few in this post, but soon realized that the list was pretty long.

Yet, I still want to share them with all of you, so here is my:


(in order of release year because putting them in favorite order is too hard to do) 🙂

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

When her toy department Santa shows up drunk for work, Macy’s supervisor Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) hires Kris – an elderly gentleman with a white beard who looks like Santa Claus – as her emergency replacement. She comes to regret her choice, however, when she learns that Kris believes that he really is Santa. Kris works not only to restore Doris’ belief in Santa Claus but make her young daughter’s wishes come true, all while trying to prove his identity in a court of law.

Why do I like this movie? This is a true good vs evil story and I love that good wins in the end. Plus, I love the way that Santa wins a young Natalie Wood over. What a great cast!

It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)

A homeless New Yorker moves into a mansion and along the way he gathers friends to live in the house with him. Before he knows it, he is living with the actual home owners.

Why do I like this movie? Would you believe that I just saw this movie for the first time last year? I know, right? How could I have missed this my entire life? I love the story line here. The way the homeless man wins over the people that he comes in contact with and then enhances their holidays is just wonderful.

A Christmas Story (1983)

In the 1940’s, in the town of Hammond, 9-year-old Ralphie wants one thing for Christmas — an official Red Ryder BB rifle. When he asks his mother for the BB gun for Christmas, she says, “No, you’ll shoot your eye out”. When he writes an essay about it at school his teacher gives him a C+ with a note saying “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Next he asks Santa for the gun, Santa’s response is familiar, he says, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” Ralph fears that he’ll never get the BB gun for Christmas. But there may be a surprise in store for him.

Why do I like this movie? Probably because I grew up in Michigan where we had harsh winters. I remember getting all bundled up like Ralphie’s brother when I had to walk to school. Plus you gotta love when Ralphie’s friend sticks his tongue to the flagpole.

Scrooged (1988)

Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, a ruthless TV executive confronted with the slapstick ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Will a night of zonked-out horror convince the heartless Frank to change his ways?

Why do I like this movie? This is one of my favorite twists on A Christmas Carol. Lots of colorful characters and Bill Murray is funny as always.

Christmas Vacation (1989)

This is the third in the “National Lampoon” series about the Griswold family. In this sequel, the Griswolds must deal with a holiday with their in-laws.

Why do I like this movie? I am not a big fan of the other two “Vacation” movies, but I really like the Christmas one because I think we can all relate to holiday family drama and stressing out over everything that needs to be done for the holidays.

The Santa Clause (1994)

Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is an ordinary man who accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall from his roof on Christmas Eve. When he and his young son, Charlie, finish St. Nick’s trip and deliveries, they go to the North Pole where Scott learns that he must become the new Santa and convince those he loves that he is indeed Father Christmas.

Why do I like this movie? Tim Allen is humorous as usual and I love the physical transformation that occurs as he begins to become Santa. This is such a good family movie.

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

A little girl discovers dreams do come true if you really believe. Six-year-old Susan has doubts about childhood’s most enduring miracle – Santa Claus. Her mother told her the “secret” about Santa a long time ago, so Susan doesn’t expect to receive the most important gifts on her Christmas list. But after meeting a special department store Santa who’s convinced he’s the real thing, Susan is given the most precious gift of all – something to believe in.

Why do I like this movie? I really like the original version of this movie so I was pretty skeptical when I watched this one for the first time. I think they did a really good job in this remake. I enjoy the romance aspect a little more in this one.

Borrowed Hearts (1997)

Sam Field (Eric McCormack), a single, powerful businessman is about to close the biggest deal of his career with industrialist Javier Del Campo, a self-proclaimed family man. Problem is, Sam prefers freedom to fatherhood. To impress Javier during his holiday visit, Sam convinces single mom Kathleen and her daughter, Zoey, to pose as his family for cash Kathleen desperately needs. With a little Christmas magic, Sam learns to open his heart to the best gifts of all: love and family.

Why do I like this movie? I am a sucker for holiday romances and I love the growth of Sam as he becomes less selfish.

A Christmas Carol (1999)

In one haunted evening, embittered old miser Ebenezer Scrooge (Patrick Stewart), who has soured on the world and his fellowman, learns the true spirit of Christmas from three ghostly visitors. After moving visions of long-dead happiness, of past and present remorse and a fearful glimpse into the future, Scrooge receives the chance to change his life for the better on Christmas morning. Based on Charles Dickens’ classic story.

Why do I like this movie? I love the story and pair it with Patrick Stewart, who brings such a wonderful performance, and this version is my absolute favorite one. Who remembers when Scrooge goes from sounding like he is choking to laughing hardily? Only Patrick Stewart could pull that off.

The Family Man (2000)

Wall Street playboy, Jack Campbell (Nicholas Cage) is at the top of his professional game with little time for anything else. Jack’s lavish, fast-paced lifestyle drastically changes one snowy Christmas night when he unwittingly stumbles into the middle of a grocery store holdup and in a bold display of self-preservation disarms the gunman. The next morning he wakes up in a suburban New Jersey bedroom lying next to Kate, his college sweetheart who he left in order to pursue his career, and to the horrifying discovery that his former life no longer exists. As he stumbles through this alternate suburban universe, Jack begins to feel strangely comfortable in this new role of loving husband and father to two children. Jack finds himself at a crossroad, where he must choose between his high-powered career and the woman he loves.

Why do I like this movie? Nicholas Cage is one reason. He plays a great egocentric man, but I have to say that I loved the bumbling that occurred when he is trying to adjust to his new reality.

Well, that’s the first half of my list, check out this post for the second half.

What about you?

What are your favorite holiday movies?

What makes those movies your favorites?

Note: If you are interested in adding any of these movies to your movie library, just click on the pics to be taken to Amazon – these are affliate links. Happy Holidays!






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