With Christmas around the corner and Hanukkah well underway, Team 1Huddle has spent the past week putting our heads together to create a list of our must watch holiday movies.
This list, which includes many of our personal favorites, has something for everyone– for those who feel that seasonal films require claymation reindeer, as well as those who embrace a more expansive view of what qualifies as holiday fare.
Naughty or nice, this list has it all! So sit back, relax, and get ready to add some fresh picks to your queue.
A Christmas classic, in which a small boy, played by Macauley Culkin, must defend his suburban Chicago home from burglars after his family accidentally leaves him behind on their Christmas vacation to Paris.
Dana: It’s a classic!
In which Buddy the Elf, a human raised by Santa’s elves, travels from the North Pole to New York City to find his biological father. Funny but also incredibly heartwarming and sweet, the film is ultimately about the triumph of good will and holiday cheer over cynicism. And, of course, Will Farrell as Buddy is irresistible.
Rose: I watch it every Christmas or even randomly if I want a good laugh!
Jim Carrey is at his best in this live-action adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic, which, at the time of its release, became the second-highest-grossing holiday film of all time, behind Home Alone (1990). The story attempts to fill in the details about the Grinch’s life that Seuss left out, but the main bits are unchanged. Carrey is a delight to watch, with long furry fingers, eating onions and glass bottles high in his mountain hideout while he plots revenge. All’s well that ends well, just like in the original, but there’s no getting around it: the Grinch is just best when he’s bad.
Dana: Heartwarming! Eventually.
The original film adaptation of the beloved children’s story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. The Grinch is a green, grouchy, solitary creature, born with a heart two sizes too small– and the only thing he hates more than Christmas is the joy it brings to the residents of Whoville.
Dani: The Whos are such goody-goodies, I always found it hard not to cheer the Grinch on. Plus, the music is great.
Starring Dane Cook and Dax Shephard as rival co-workers at Super Club, the country’s largest bulk discount retailer. A love triangle kicks off the movie’s main conflict, and while it may not be a Christmas film, it is a heartwarming rom-comm.
Marissa: Is this a Christmas film? I’m not sure. But it’s great! I used to watch it on repeat around this time of year.
The heartwarming story of a workaholic dad who, in an effort to make things up to his wife, promises to buy his son the hottest toy of the season– even though it’s Christmas Eve, and the toy seems to be sold out everywhere.
Mike: Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Rita Wilson and Phil Hartman?? That’s an all-star 90’s cast if I’ve ever seen one. Plus, they don’t make movies like that anymore. And maybe they shouldn’t– Arnold literally punches a reindeer.
Based on Mario Puzo’s novel about an Italian-American crime family, The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. It’s definitely a classic, but not usually thought of as a holiday classic– still, this masterpiece is full of holiday themes. The crimes are incidental. The real heart of this film is tradition, love, family– even delicious food.
Sam: It’s all about family…
Dani: It’s also all about lists. Who’s been naughty, who’s been nice, who’s betrayed me…
A wonderful movie that follows nine intertwined tales of love and loss during the holidays, including a forbidden love affair between a junior staffer and a newly elected British prime minister; a writer who falls in love with his Portuguese maid without being able to speak her language; and a father who must help his son win over his crush while grieving the loss of his wife.
Jaymie: I love that it is centered around Love and what love does to people.It really captures the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and what the holidays are truly about.
Dani: Emma Thompson listening to that Joni mitchel song never fails to reduce me to tears.
When party animal Adam Sandler finds himself in trouble with the law, he’s given one last chance at redemption: to spend the holiday performing community service or go to jail. The story follows Sandler through the eight crazy nights of Hanukkah while he serves his sentence in this hilarious story of holiday redemption, animated in the style of classic television specials,
Jaymie: Not a lot of Hanukkah movies out there!
Santa takes Christmas off in this stop animation classic. Mrs. Claus, unable to convince him not to, instead enlists the help of two eleves, Jingle and Jangle, to deliver the presents for him. It’s a meandering tale featuring strange characters, like the Miser Brothers– Snow Miser, who controls the world’s cold weather, and Heat Miser, who controls its warm weather– and unexpected, perilous conditions taht almost cost the two elves their lives. But the songs are memorable, and the cast of oddballs restores Santa’s faith that the world needs him after all.
Chris: Great songs from Heat Miser/Snow Miser. My kids watch it on repeat,.
Skeleton Jack, King of the Pumpkin Patch, no longer content to celebrate Halloween, discovers the joy of Christmas in Tim Burton’s creepy classic.
Jaime: The idea of Santa giving out messed uo presents makes me laugh, and the music is great. It was also the only holiday movie my emo ass would put up with in middle school.
You’ll take your eye out! Based on the writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the exploits of Ralphie Parker, a young boy who spends most of his time dodging a relentless bully, and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift– a “Red Ryder air rifle.”
Nic: Watching the Knicks to start the day and then A Christmas story to end it the day is our tradition.
When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.
Justin: The holidays and the joy they bring is something that most people lose as they get older, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You gotta believe!
Whether your favorite movie is conventional, charmingly eclectic, or disturbingly unrelated to traditional themes– from our team to yours, happy holidays!
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