Best Movies To Check Out For The Holidays

by Kahlia Meeuwsen, Entertainment Columnist

Published in Entertainment on 5th November, 2018

One of the greatest aspects of the holidays is being able to watch holiday movies. These films are perfect for watching as you snuggle up with your family on a cold winter's eve. From Thanksgiving to New Years, there are films in this list for just about any occasion.

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Here, you'll find holiday films for when you want to be frightened, driven to laughter, engaged in the action or warmed by the love that seems to emanate just about everywhere during the holidays. You may even decide that you want to go through this list and watch them all! We won't stop you!

Grumpy Old Men

The holiday season is filled with unforgettable classics, and Grumpy Old Men is one of them. This is a film that centers a little more around the general season and Thanksgiving rather than Christmas, so it's perfect to watch for a laugh in between the winter holidays. Who doesn't love watching two cranky older neighbors seeking to win the heard of the same woman?

Free Birds

Every year, the president pardons a single turkey, allowing them to escape potentially becoming somebody's Thanksgiving dinner. While one chosen turkey is living the presidential life, he is kidnapped and taken back in time on a mission to stop turkeys from becoming the go-to meal for the Thanksgiving celebration. This is a fun one for the whole family!

Rudolph's Shiny New Year

Who doesn't love the older Rudolph films? This is a fantastic one to wind down the holidays with as we ring in the new year. In this film, Rudolph goes on an adventure to find baby New Year and allow New Years to begin as normal. The whole family can enjoy watching Rudolph as he encounters talking whales, angry vultures and more as he brings in a brand new year!


What better way to enjoy the holidays than with Will Ferrell? In this film, Ferrell plays the role of Buddy, who discovers that he isn't actually one of Santa's elves. On his journey to find his real father, he discovers that the world outside of Santa's workshop is seriously lacking in Christmas spirit, and he's just the non-elf to bring a little more joy back to the world.

The Night Before

For some, the winter holidays are about family. For others, it's about the great holiday parties. This film depicts the adventures of three friends who are used to having their own party tradition. However, with one of them soon to become a father, they're realizing that the era is ending. Consequently, they go in search of the holiday party to end all others.

Eight Crazy Nights

It can be so easy to forget what the holidays are really all about, especially for the protagonist in this film. However, through his experience of hitting rock bottom and being taken in by an old basketball coach, Davey learns that there's more to life than partying and being a rebel. This is a great one, filled with plenty of songs and more than a few laughs.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

While it may start with Halloween, this film largely tells the tale of the Pumpkin King's attempt to re-vamp Christmas and make it more enjoyable for all. However, as the king of Halloween, Jack soon realizes that "better" for him actually means "spookier", and not everyone is thrilled with having a spooky Christmas!

Jack Frost

For those who are looking for a truly heartwarming tale, Jack Frost is a great holiday film to watch with the whole family. This film tells the story of a father who's soul returns to the body of a snowman so that he can make things right with his young son. If you're interested in this one, make sure you get hold of the 1998 film, not the good-bad 1997 Jack Frost horror film, unless you're looking for a holiday scare!

Black Christmas

If you are looking for a Christmas scare, Black Christmas is worth a watch! As a sorority group gets together to celebrate the holiday, they become victims for an escaped psycho, resulting in a low of Christmas slashing. There are also multiple versions of the film, one made in 1974 and the other in 2006, so make sure to compare them and watch the one most interesting to you!

Planes, Trains And Automobiles

This is an ideal film for some holiday laughs. It tells the story of the up-tight Neal Page, who is traveling home to spend the holidays with his family. However, nasty weather and a rerouted flight throw his plans off. Furthermore, he's forced into the close proximity of Del Griffith, a talkative man who will annoy Page through the rest of his travels.


Some holiday gifts require a bit more care than others, and the protagonist in this film learns that the hard way when he's gifted an adorable Mogwai named Gizmo. However, when Gizmo accidentally gets wet, it erupts some nasty looking babies who are as different from Gizmo as they could possibly be. Spreading murder rather than holiday cheer, these creatures need to be stopped!

Jingle All The Way

The lengths a father will go to get the perfect Christmas present for his son. In this film, we see the endless journey that one father goes through for a superhero action figure that is at the top of his son's list. However, it ends up being a much more difficult, and hilarious journey than he intended. Not to mention, it's all wrapped up with a heartwarming ending.

Love Actually

The colder months can leave us feeling like cuddling up with our loved ones and enjoying a story about the importance of love. This film depicts a variety of forms of love, from romantic relationships to close friends, to the purest of all, the love of a child. It's a fantastic movie that will take you through a variety of emotions and remind you that love is truly everywhere.

Four Christmases

Family can be a source of humor, annoyance and sometimes a little bit of shame, but they can also teach you some fantastic lessons. While traveling through four different holiday meetings with various family members, Kate and Brad are put to a most extreme test. As a result, they learn what it truly means to be family, and how to put love above all.


Though many of us know the jolly, gift-sharing Santa Claus, not all may know about his much more terrifying counterpart, Krampus. This family discovers Krampus when they discover their Christmas spirit has fallen into dysfunction. As a result, Krampus comes to dish out the punishments, and even incorporates some terrifying toys to help him do so.

Home Alone

There are few who aren't familiar with the antics of Kevin McCallister as he creates trap after trap to keep a group of would-be thieves at bay. When his parents leave on a trip without him, he's forced to protect the household with his own wits. This is a fun ride for the whole family, filled with an enduring lesson and a whole lot of slapstick humor.

Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas

Two great things combine in Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas as our favorite cartoon mouse and his friends get together for a few holiday tales. In these tales, we get to enjoy lessons and fun with some of our favorite characters, including Donald Duck and his nephews, Goofy, and of course Minnie and Mickey. This is a great one for a mellow, family holiday evening.

The Santa Clause

When an accident leaves the world without a Santa Claus, Scott discovers that he has no choice but to take on the roll of the beloved holiday presence. With weight he can't keep off and a beard that just won't stay shaven, he takes on the roll to become the new Santa Claus. This is truly a Christmas classic that teaches us what the power of belief can bring.

Miracle On 34th Street

For an older Christmas classic, this is one that sticks with many who watch it. It tells the tale of an old man who takes over the job of mall Santa when the regular Santa actor is unable to perform. However, when he claims to be the actual Santa Claus, people begin to wonder about the sanity of the old man. Santa then goes to court in an effort to prove his identity and sanity.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The beloved Charlie Brown is a kid who wants something more than fancy gifts and commercialism. As a result, he goes on a search to discover what the spirit of Christmas really is. When he takes on the role of director for the school Christmas play, he discovers that it just isn't right without the perfect Christmas tree. Christmas magic proves that any little tree can be the perfect tree when it receives love and faith.

A Christmas Story

Another great classic, this film tells the tale of a child's Christmas wish. All little Ralphie wants is a BB gun, but there are many who worry whether or not it's a suitable Christmas present. As a result, he goes on a journey to convince everyone around him, including Santa himself, that it truly is an ideal gift. This is absolutely a fun one for the entire family!

It's A Wonderful Life

When it comes to Christmas miracles, this is a film that many people think of. When George Bailey is in his darkest hour, a guardian angel appears to guide him through the fog. Through showing him what the town would be like if he had never existed at all, he teaches Bailey that even when things are hard, his existence is far more important than he could ever know.

Polar Express

A young boy finds that his belief in Santa and the Christmas spirit is fading away when he discovers a magical train. Through his ride on this train to the North Pole, he discovers that Christmas means a whole lot more than just gifts, especially for those who don't typically get to experience the joys of it. On top of that, he gets to meet the one and only St. Nicholas himself.

Rise Of The Guardians

Imagine a world where the holiday mascots are not only real, but take pride in their job protecting the goodness in the world by keeping faith alive. In this film, Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Sandman and even Jack Frost take on a notorious boogeyman by the name of Pitch Black. They fight not only to protect children, but to exist.

Frosty The Snowman

This Christmas classic is a fantastic one for kids. It's full of music, magic and the joys that Christmas can bring. Frosty The Snowman is a snowman brought to life through the magic of a hat, and he spends his time playing with the children until the snow begins to melt. At which point, the children need to figure out how to keep Frosty from melting.

The Nutcracker

Over the years, many forms of this great story have come into existence. In 2018, we'll also see the release of a brand new feature film involving this story. Though it may be different from the older versions, it's still worth checking out for the holidays! Otherwise, you can always relax with one of the older versions, in which a magical nutcracker comes to life to protect a young girl from some nasty rodents!

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

There are few who don't know the story of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. This is a tale that displays the effect that a little holiday love can have on even the Grinchiest of people. Furthermore, for those who are feeling jaded by the commercialism of the holiday, this film is a great one to watch when you need a reminder of what the holiday is really all about.

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

This holiday classic is one that reminds us not to judge on differences or appearances. There are few who don't grow up knowing the story of Rudolph, and it's a fantastic one to watch with the whole family as you anticipate the holidays. There are also a few other great Rudolph films that you can follow this one up with for a whole marathon!

The Christmas Carol

There are a number of Christmas stories that depict a change of heart within someone who isn't fond of the holiday. One of the most well-known is The Christmas Carol, in which the cranky old Scrooge is visited by spirits of the past, present and future of Christmas, who seek to convince him to change his ways. When he discovers that nothing would be left behind in the wake of his death, will he change his ways?

The Year Without A Santa Claus

When Santa has fallen ill and no longer believes that people care much about Christmas, he decides to cancel Christmas. It's up to a pair of elves, a couple of intrepid reindeer and Mrs. Claus to show him that people still love him and the holiday. Through a series of whacky adventures, they find ways to make it snow where it hasn't before and bring the Christmas spirit back to the children of the world.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

If your children have ever wondered just how Santa Claus got to be Santa Claus, this is the film to show them. It's a heartwarming story that has had a major presence in many childhoods during the holidays. Consequently, it's the perfect Christmas story to enjoy with family, watching the young Kris Kringle become a lovable outlaw in a town where toys are banned by the Burgermeister.

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