Wondering what you should watch this holiday season?
By the time all of you out there are reading this article, it’ll officially be the holiday season. With that comes holiday movies, specifically Christmas movies.
Everybody has their own movie list of what they like to watch around Christmas time, but here are my Christmas must-watches.
Starting with a light-hearted movie from 2019 to remind you that this is about Christmas movies before we get into some of the more intense stuff, Klaus. It follows Jesper, a postman’s son being sent to a town in Northern Norway to send off letters.
While trying to send those letters, he finds a man named Klaus who lives alone in the woods, making toys. Together, they make a system to save Klaus’ job: send a letter, get a toy. Plus, Klaus (who is the Santa figure) is voiced by J. K. Simmons.
Starting our descent into the devious, we’re going light and watching Home Alone, the original from 1990. The story is well known. Kevin McCallister, a young boy, is accidentally left home alone from the family’s Christmas trip, and that just so happens to be when two men decide to break into the house. In response, Kevin does what any child would do: terrorizes the men with booby traps. It’s fun, it’s silly, it’s light-hearted, and it segues nicely into what comes next.
Trust me when I say, you’d be hard-pressed to find this film on any other Christmas movie list. 1974’s Black Christmas. This movie isn’t for the faint of heart, so if you don’t like horror, skip this one.
A sorority house is celebrating Christmas when a man sneaks into the house and murders them. It’s not just a classic slasher, it’s the classic slasher. Without Black Christmas, there would be no Halloween, no Freddy Krueger, and no Scream. Horror as a genre would be vastly different without it, and it’s the perfect scary movie for Christmas.
Easing off of the horror a bit, but keeping it in the family, Gremlins is next on our list. The story goes that a man buys a small creature to give to his son as a pet. This pet, named Gizmo, starts to cause chaos in the house right around Christmas time. It was released in 1984 and written by Chris Columbus, who also directed and wrote Home Alone. It’s not too scary, but it’s definitely silly.
Die Hard. That’s it. That’s the next one. Die Hard is a movie that people love to argue about during Christmas, but this is my list, and in my list Die Hard is a Christmas movie.
It’s in the middle of the list because it’s the peak of intensity before we start slowing down a bit. Die Hard was released in 1988 and features Detective John McClane trying to reconcile with his wife at a Christmas party her work is hosting. But, unfortunately, there is a terrorist there trying to steal the money in the building.
The Polar Express from 2004 is the epitome of Christmas magic in a movie. Following the story of a boy on a train trying to go to the North Pole to visit Santa, it’s a deeper story than just “woohoo Santa.” Maybe the animation is a little creepy, but that’s why it’s in this spot on the list.
Now officially in light-hearted Christmas movie territory, we’ve got 1994’s The Santa Clause. Tim Allen plays Scott Calvin, a man who had to become Santa because he triggered the legality of “the Santa Clause.” It’s a great movie, it’s good for the family, and it’s a classic.
The story of A Christmas Carol is one with countless adaptations. A man named Ebenezer Scrooge isn’t the best guy, and he hates Christmas. But, in the night before Christmas, he’s visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future to show him the error of his ways. But, the best iteration is The Muppet Christmas Carol, released in 1992. Scrooge is the only human character amidst the Muppets playing every other character. What’s not to love?
We’re ending this list nice and easy with A Charlie Brown Christmas from 1965. The story goes that Charlie Brown is sad and his friend suggests he put on a Christmas play to cheer himself up. The most iconic thing from this movie is Charlie’s tiny Christmas tree. This is a true Christmas movie; light, fun, and something you can fall asleep to if you watched all nine of the movies from this list in one sitting.