Top 10 Christmas Movies in My Rotation Every Year

Let me just get this out of the way---I'm not including Die Hard in my Top 10. Its not a movie I watch every Christmas. Although, John McClane is still one of the coolest protagonists ever. It's less of a seasonal movie to me and more of a movie I could watch at any point during the year.

After I watched the new movie 8-Bit Christmas with my kids a couple of nights ago, I immediately knew that it was going to be a part of my Christmas movie rotation for the foreseeable future. It was great! The 80s nostalgia was off the charts, much different than doing nostalgia just for the sake of nostalgia. I could tell the writer of 8-Bit Christmas actually lived in the 1980s as a kid. I highly recommend, even if you're not a child of the 80s. Think A Christmas Story meets The Sandlot type of feel.

Anyway, it got me thinking.....

What Christmas movies are most definitely in my rotation every year?

The day after Thanksgiving, my kids started compiling a list of all the Christmas classics that we were going to view this next month. We had fun debating which movies were a "must watch" and which ones were more under the label of "if we get around to it". 

With that said, there are 10 that definitely stand out, Christmas staples that must be relived year after year. However, before I get to the list, please check out something fun I'm doing this year. If you aren't following my dog Bella Dear's Crazy Instagram Page yet, please click the link. Bella Dear is thrust into all kinds of crazy historical photos, to include images of popular culture from present and past. This Christmas, Bella Dear will find her way into popular Christmas movies. I promise there will be new Bella Dear Christmas movie pic every day in December.

Below is Bella Dear in an iconic scene from Home Alone.

Follow them every day and enjoy. Now to the list.

10. Scrooged

Yes, I like Bill Murray and its not because he recently visited West Point. He's one of my favorite comedy actors of all time. Scrooged is a fun take on Dickens' Christmas Carol, a story I love revisiting every year.

9. The Polar Express

Every time I watch this, I just want to ride on a train drinking hot chocolate. I like creepy animated Tom Hanks and the magical story this one tells.

8. Gremlins

I still have my Gremlins aluminum lunch pail from 1st Grade. This one is a classic from my childhood. Plus, isn't Gizmo the cutest?

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas

I like the odd and unique look of Tim Burton movies. This one always bridges the gap of Halloween to Christmas for me.

6. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Yes, I like the classic Grinch cartoon and the new Grinch movie as well. Usually, all the Grinches make it into the rotation, but Jim Carrey's version is my favorite.

5. A Charlie Brown Christmas

I love that this movie includes the narrative of Christ's birth by Linus. No Christmas is complete without seeing Charlie Brown pick out that sad tree.

4. Elf

This one seems to climb up the list every year. Hilarious and heart-warming! I have an ever greater appreciation for Elf's setting, having lived near NYC the last 3 years. The city really is beautiful during Christmas time!

3. Home Alone

Probably the favorite of my kids. This will always be in contention for "movies that I've laughed the hardest at the first time through". Still, worth a review every year. By the way, the new Home Alone movie, Home Sweet Home Alone on Disney +....not too shabby, a fun flick.

2. A Christmas Story

I'll admit, this one had to grow on me after the first couple of times I watched it. However, over the past few decades, I have always come back to revisit the subtle humor, child-like Christmas magic, and charm that this movie brings. Love it!

1. Christmas Vacation

"Save the neck for me, Clark." 
There's so many awesome lines in this movie. I can't help but love this classic film! In addition to my Clark Griswold Christmas ornament and my Marty Moose mug that I pull out every Christmas, I can also relate to so many aspects of the movie. I have had a live squirrel in my house. I have fallen off ladders trying to put up Christmas lights. I've had snotty neighbors. I'm a goofball dad that would drive out to the middle of nowhere to cut down a tree and forget my saw. Don't let my wife get to talking. She finds many other similarities between me and Clark. 


That's the list, but I'm willing to guess that it didn't include a few of your favorites. Please know that there are many other honorable mentions like Rudolph, Frosty, It's a Wonderful Life, A Miracle on 34th Street, Edward Scissorhands, Home Alone 2 and sure...Die Hard.  However, the 10 above are the ones I absolutely can't miss each December. 

In addition, there are also some Christmas movies that many others love that I'm not so fond of like Christmas with the Kranks and Ernest Saves Christmas. Those are just sorta....ehhhh.

Let me know your favorites, and Merry Christmas!

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