Top Five Holiday Movies

by Sara Taney Humphreys

Happy Holidays everyone! With Thanksgiving behind us the holiday season is now in full swing. Aside from the relentless television ads and non-stop Christmas music there are the inevitable Christmas movies. I love movies. I love Christmas. So put the two together and I am one happy camper. Here are my picks for the Top 5 Christmas Movies.

#5-Christmas Vacation: Clark W. Griswold is the best-movie-dad-ever.You gotta love the never ending optimism, the squirrel that flew out of their Xmas tree, the crazy old uncle that torches the same tree and of course the over-the-top light display on the house. Although, I think Randy Quaid's character is hysterically funny as well. The dog is named Snots for goodness sake.

#4-Jingle All the Way: Any parent who has been driven mad by the relentless search for the hot toy MUST watch this movie. You gotta love Arnold and Sinbad duking it out over the Turbo Man doll. I think Phil Hartman's letch of a divorced dad was my favorite character though. Best scene? When Arnold is in the ball pit fighting the little girl for the lotto ball and all the mom's beat him up with their purses.

#3-It's a Wonderful Life: It's a classic. I mean how do you not love this movie? George Bailey is one of the great movie characters of all time. There's a little bit of George in all of us. If you've ever loved someone... then you've definitely sacrificed something you really wanted in order to make them happy. What I love about this movie is that all those years he felt he was saving them, the truth of it was that they were saving him. Best scene is at the end. Say it with me, "Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angle gets his wings."

#2-Elf: I think Will Ferrell is the funniest guy around and this movie is one of the most original Christmas movies in recent years. Every time I watch it, the innocent enthusiasm of his character Buddy makes me grin from ear to ear. My favorite scene is when the fake Santa shows up at Gimbels and Buddy sniffs him and says, "You're not the real Santa. You stink. You smell like beef and cheese. You sit on a throne of lies!"

#1-A Christmas Story: Hands down best-Xmas-movie-ever. I can still remember that Christmas when I didn't quite believe in Santa but I said I did just to be safe. I wrote my letter to Santa but still made sure my parents knew what I wanted because I suspected that they were really in charge. I loved the elaborate daydreams he had about his Red Rider BB Gun--saving his family from marauders and thieves! The infamous Leg Lamp. Flick getting his tongue stuck to the flag pole and of course the humiliating pink bunny outfit from the crazy aunt. (Come on. You know that some kooky relative knitted you a hideous sweater that you never wore.)

The only sad part was that throughout the entire movie his father seems detached and disinterested. Ralphie focuses all of his energy on his mother to get her to buy him the bb gun but in the end it's his dad who gets it for him. Sweet, funny and touching. The perfect recipe for a Christmas movie.

So how about you? What's your favorite holiday film?


  1. Hey Sara! Great list - love your write ups - there is something comforting and fun about watching those movies year after year - even though we know what's going to happen - it's as familiar as the sweetness of a candy cane.

    Merry Christmas! ;)

  2. I also love White Christmas and Home Alone - two very different movies but they both make me think of Christmas.

  3. That is one awesome xmas movie list, Sara! I just love your selections :)
    Elf, what a cracker, and is one of my favorites to watch. "Santa's coming?" hehe

    And what's a christmas without the Griswalds? Oh my, they crack me up. That poor kitty cat who finds the xmas tree lights -- I feel so mean when I laugh at that.

    But my favorite xmas move is the Santa Clause! Just the first one, though.


  4. I love Christmas Vacation too. And Jingle all the Way. As a parent I can relate to that one. Who doesn't love It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story. I have to admit I'm not a big fan of Elf. I tend to love the vintage movies, like Christmas in Connecticut and Holiday Affair and the 1951 version of Scrooge.

  5. Has to me Miracle on 34th Street - either version will do.

  6. My two favorite holiday movies are "Love, Actually" and "White Christmas". They're my go-to films every time!

  7. Great post!! Love Christmas movies.

    I'd add The Santa Clause (good choice, Jo-Anne!)

    I love vintage movies like Cara (Christmas in Connecticut was great!) and my favorite two are The Bishop's Wife (with Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven) and Holiday Inn starring the fabulous Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby (the song White Christmas was written for this movie!).

    Like Bob, I also adore Miracle on 34th Street.

    Great post!

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