The Argus’ Top Ten Holiday Movies

Stuck for holiday entertainment? These great movies have no shortage of holiday spirit!

By: Kaelen Pelaia, Staff Writer

With the holiday season around the corner, that itch for a feel-good holiday movie may be yearning to be scratched. Holiday films are a great way to sit down with a loved one and revel in the unfettered joy that comes with the time off from school and work, and the time spent with the people you love.

With that being said, here’s a list of the best holiday movies to watch curled up next to a warm fire, with some hot chocolate, of course:

10. Home Alone (1990)

The definitive classic holiday hijinks film. The (sometimes death defying) slapstick comedy and feel-good theme about what it means to be family never fails to impress and entertain. Home Alone is truly a festive feel-good film, and should be easy enough to find on Netflix and cable alike.

9. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

The oldest entry on the list, this film has cultivated a legacy as one of the earliest modern examples of a holiday movie. In this wonderful film, an angel is sent to Earth to help a frustrated businessman by showing him what the world would be like if he didn’t exist. For those having a rough holiday season, this movie beautifully  shows that life is worth living. Prepare for emotion, folks.

8. Die Hard (1988)

Now, I know what you’re thinking – how can Die Hard possibly be a holiday movie? Well, to that I say: how is it not? It’s set in the holiday months and the pine green colour motifs represent a Christmas tree, complete with all of the lights and ornaments (or in this case, explosions). If you’re a bit sick of the sappy, happy holiday movies, kicking back with Bruce Willis and beating up bad guys might be just right for you.

7. Elf (2003)

Love it or hate it, Elf has entered the popular imagination as one of the most iconic holiday films. Who can truly say they haven’t secretly wondered what candy and spaghetti would taste like after seeing this movie? Or, what having a snowball fight with one of Santa’s elves would be like? Elf is just a fun, feel-good movie that’s good for laughing out loud and having a good time.

6. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

This animated holiday film is purely iconic. Not just for Tim Burton’s unique style, but because it’s just a good film. It has a sense of wonder and imagination not often seen in film today. Critical acclaim and holiday themes aside, you should watch it just for its own merit. What are you waiting for?

5. Frosty the Snowman (1969)

This holiday short has long been a staple in my own home, and for good reason. It’s truly an essential holiday classic. It’s full of childhood whimsy and fun, and if you don’t like it, it’s only got a runtime of 25 minutes. Frosty the Snowman, above all else, is a short and sweet symbol of the holidays.

4. A Christmas Carol (2009)

A modern take on a Dickens classic, Jim Carrey’s Scrooge brings the Christmas classic into the twenty-first century. The beautiful animation and heartfelt story can soften the heart of even the grumpiest of holiday scrooges, and carries with it an important message to love your neighbours. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you! That’s the true beauty of this story.

3. Dr. Suess’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Like Frosty, The Grinch has established its position as a definitive holiday story. Dr. Suess’ loveable illustrations and poetic charm brought to life, makes for an entertaining and profound story about acceptance and love. You’ve probably seen this one, but it’s worth a rewatch. NOTE: AVOID THE 2002 LIVE ACTION FILM!

2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Rudolph trumps even Grinch and Frosty in holiday charm, with loveable characters and a tale as old as time—learning what it means to belong. Especially in the holiday season, it can be easy to forget about the importance of acceptance and love amidst all of the gifts and wrapping. However, Rudolph reminds us that it’s important to be human and to love our fellows.

1. The Polar Express (2004)

My personal quintessential holiday movie, Polar Express has beautiful animation and an enjoyable story about believing in something much bigger than yourself. Along with Tom Hanks as the voice of the Conductor, the music is phenomenal—featuring beautiful  songs and sing-alongs. All in all, this movie is an exquisite representation of holiday tradition and cheer, and should definitely be a part of your holiday viewing if it isn’t already.