Holiday Break: 16 Christmas Movies

Holiday Break: 16 Christmas Movies

Santa. Scrooge. Clarence. Charlie Brown. Ralphie. Kevin McCallister. Elf.

These Christmas movie characters are stamped onto Christmas cards, ornaments, pajamas and more! Their trademark expressions and quotable movie dialog is even part of the holiday lexicon:

"Ho! Ho! Ho!"

"Bah, humbug!"

"Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings."

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

"You'll shoot your eye out!"

"Keep the change, ya filthy animal."

"Sun of a nutcracker!"

The perennial favorite Christmas movies are designed from start to end with holiday cheer –– snow, Christmas trees, lights, ornaments, stockings, wreaths, bows, seasonal foods and music - but they also have fun, heartwarming stories that illustrate the meaning of Christmas and inspire us all to be a little better than we were before.

In this post, I’m going to share 16 of those perennial favorite Christmas movies that you can watch during the holiday season.


Holiday Inn

A musical comedy about two song and dance men vying for the affection of the same woman at an inn that’s only open on holidays.

iTunes | Amazon


Miracle on 34th Street

When a department store Santa Claus claims to be the real Santa, a young lawyer defends him. Set between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in New York City.

The 1994 remake is listed in The Ultimate Christmas Move Checklist.

iTunes | Amazon


It's a Wonderful Life

An angel tries to convince a frustrated businessman of the good he’s brought his town and family by revealing what life would’ve been like if he'd never existed.

iTunes | Amazon


White Christmas

Two men with a successful song and dance act become romantically involved with a sister act and then team up to save the failing Vermont lodge of their former commanding general.

iTunes | Amazon


A Charlie Brown Christmas

Depressed over the commercialization of Christmas and his inability to understand what Christmas is about, Charlie Brown directs a holiday play and ultimately changes his mood.

iTunes | Amazon


A Christmas Story

An Indiana schoolboy in the 1940s dreams of a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas and tries to convince his parents, teacher and Santa this is the perfect Christmas gift.

iTunes | Amazon


A Christmas Carol

Ebenezer Scrooge –– the bitter and lonely miser –– is visited by 3 ghosts on Christmas Eve who teach him to open his heart and accept the spirit of Christmas.

Several other versions of Charles Dickens' classic Christmas story can be found in The Ultimate Christmas Movie Checklist, including A Christmas Carol (1938, 1951), Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) and A Christmas Carol (2009).

iTunes | Amazon



This hilarious retelling of A Christmas Carol portrays a cold-hearted and mean-spirited network television president who’s visited by 3 ghosts on Christmas Eve for a journey through his past and future and a chance for redemption in the present.

iTunes | Amazon


Nationally Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Dreadful in-laws and a greedy boss invade Clark Griswold's plans for the perfect family Christmas.

iTunes | Amazon


Home Alone

An 8-year-old boy must protect his home from 2 clumsy burglars when his family rushes off to the airport for Christmas vacation and accidentally leaves him behind.

iTunes | Amazon


The Nightmare Before Christmas

In a land where every holiday has it’s own land, Jack Skellington (the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town) is bored with the same old tricks and treats, but after discovering Christmas Town and attempting to bring that magic home, it causes confusion.

iTunes | Amazon


The Santa Clause

A divorced father begins transforming into the new Santa and the strained relationship he has with his son begins to improve.

iTunes | Amazon


Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Grinch plans on destroying Christmas for the citizens of Whoville until a little girl teaches him the true meaning of Christmas.

iTunes | Amazon



A man raised as an elf in the North Pole goes looking for where he belongs in the world and finds his workaholic father –– who's on Santa's naughty list –– in New York City.

iTunes | Amazon


Bad Santa

A con man and his partner-in-crime pose as Santa and an elf to rob department stores every Christmas Eve, but this year’s heist might be foiled by a store manager and mall detective.

iTunes | Amazon


The Polar Express

A boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus boards a mysterious train to the North Pole and embarks on an extraordinary adventure of self-discovery.

iTunes | Amazon


You just learned about 16 perennial favorite Christmas movies. If you're in the mood for more Christmas movies, get my free download with 91 movies –– The Ultimate Christmas Movie Checklist.

What's your favorite Christmas movie? Answer in the Comments below.

Holiday Break: 16 Christmas Movies first appeared on the Culture Gaps Blog by Jeff Shibasaki.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click a link and make a purchase Culture Gaps will earn a very small commission –– at no additional cost to you.


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Jeff Shibasaki blogs about effective communication skills for the USA at Culture Gaps and healthy web design for unhealthy websites at Bento Sites.