Really the Best 25 Christmas Movies?

With time off work over the holiday, I decided to survey some newly-posted lists on the Web to get a sense of which Christmas movies are widely believed to be the best ever — with lists including (but not limited to) Moviefone, the Chicago Tribune, Saturday Evening Post, and the objectively-measured most loved Christmas movies list.

Using a not-so-highly scientific formula (and not necessarily my own personal preferences), the result is the 25 most highly rated Christmas movies:

  1. A Christmas Story (1983)
  2. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
  3. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
  4. White Christmas (1954)
  5. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
  6. Scrooge, aka A Christmas Carol (1951)
  7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
  8. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
  9. Scrooged (1988)
  10. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
  11. Love Actually (2003)
  12. Christmas in Connecticut (1942)
  13. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  14. Home Alone (1990)
  15. Elf (2003)
  16. The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
  17. Die Hard (1988)
  18. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
  19. The Santa Clause (1994)
  20. Gremlins (1984)
  21. Scrooge (1970)
  22. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970)
  23. Bad Santa (2003)
  24. Holiday Inn (1942)
  25. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Okay then … What’s missing? What’s overrated? What’s out of place? What do you think should be number one?

Let me begin the debate by suggesting that one of my new favorite Christmas movies The Nativity Story belongs somewhere on the list. I mean, would it hurt to have one film depiction of the original reason for Christmas? The 2006 picture is a fine production in its own right, and in my mind at least should break the top 15.

What’s sad is that one of the prominent lists I surveyed passed up The Nativity Story to feature instead the mediocre 1985 Dudley Moore Santa Claus: The Movie. There’s no accounting for taste. But the fun of course is in the never-ending debate. Happy Christmas Eve!


  1. says

    This list simply must contain Frosty The Snowman. I don’t think I’ve gone a year without seeing it once since I was a kid.

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