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Best Movies to Watch for the Holiday Season

Best Movies to Watch for the Holiday Season

When the weather starts to become less inferno-like, finals are looming imminently in the distance, and the months start ending in -ber, that’s when you know the holiday season is fast approaching. One way you could get into the festive mood is by viewing your favorite winter movie. Whether you prefer the family-friendly ones, the slasher-like horror movies, or the heartwarming rom-com, we have your official list for all things holiday film-related!


Let’s start with your classic animated movies, perfect for everyone of all ages:


The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993): A spooky, lighthearted film about the pumpkin king Jack Skellington’s misadventures while on his mission to make Christmas his very own holiday, perfect to watch on Halloween or Christmas.


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964): An old-timey, stop-motion animated classic that popularized the timeless song.


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966): The original animated film about a certain green menace and his plans to foil Christmas, a great movie that tones it down from Jim Carrey’s version so even your old folks can enjoy it.


A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965): The quintessential animated Christmas movie, this is the Christmas edition of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang’s slice-of-life stories.


The Polar Express (2004): Adapted from the book of the same name, this features the story of the iconic train that takes kids to the North Pole to have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Saint Nicholas himself.


These are the perfect films to enjoy with the whole family:

Family Fun:

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989): A wacky, over-the-top comedy film featuring the Griswalds, a quirky family and their Christmas-related exploits.


Home Alone (1990): Everyone knows this movie about Kevin, the often forgotten child of his family, and his fight to protect his home from burglars while his family is on vacation.


The Santa Clause (1994): The beloved story about an average Joe turned Santa Clause that must learn to embody Kris Kringle before the next Christmas.


A Christmas Story (1983): “You’ll shoot your eye out!” This line comes from this film chronicling the life of Ralphie around Christmas time, and his efforts to obtain his prized Red Ryder air rifle.


Elf (2003): Will Ferrel stars as Buddy the Elf, a regular human living as an elf at the North Pole and his search to find his biological father.


If you’re feeling the cozy vibes with your significant other:


Love Actually (2003): An edgy, non-conforming romance about the lives of nine people that are all connected by the powerful emotion of love, backdropped by the Christmas season.


It’s A Wonderful Life (1946): A heartwarming, emotional story about a man’s journey to discovering the true meaning of life and why the holiday season is so important.


When Harry Met Sally… (1989): Can a boy and girl truly be platonic friends? The film asks this question, and tries to answer through the relationship of Harry and Sally as they share a series of chance encounters over the course of 12 years.


While You Were Sleeping (1995): A girl saves her crush from an oncoming train, and he ends up in a coma. Now his family believes she’s his girlfriend, and she begins to develop feelings for the comatose-man’s brother.


Last Christmas (2019): A play on the popular Wham! song, a jaded Christmas store worker meets a charismatic man and slowly falls for him—but little does she know, he harbors a secret that will change their relationship.


If you’re not a fan of the traditional holiday movie, these are your go-to’s:


Krampus (2015): A dysfunctional family will learn why the holidays are important when a creature from European folklore pays them a visit, forcing them to join forces to defeat its evils.


Thanksgiving (2023): A recently released feature about the town of Plymouth becoming besieged by an ax-wielding maniac seeking revenge.


Gremlins (1984): A Chinatown shopkeeper sells a man in need of a gift for his son a mogwai, a mythical creature that has strict rules for his upkeep, and when those rules are broken, all hell is broken loose.

Better Watch Out (2016): A kid and his babysitter defend his home from home invaders, however, things quickly take a dark turn when the invader’s intentions are revealed.


Black Christmas (1974): A group of sorority girls must fend for themselves against a serial killer that can’t seem to leave them alone.


Most of these films can be found on any and all streaming platforms such as Peacock, Netflix, Prime Video, etc. No matter your film preference, these recommendations will get you into the holiday spirit. Who knows, you might even find yourself a new favorite!

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Olivia Munoz
Olivia Munoz, Page Editor
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