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25 Classic Christmas Movies, Ranked

It’s beginning to look like Christmas movie season! Once Halloween passes I find it highly acceptable to break out the old VCR and climb the ladder into the attic to grab old Christmas home videos from the 1990’s.

Every year I usually go to the movies and watch a few of the new holiday movies (Last year we saw Daddy’s Home 2…It definitely did not make it on this list). Along with watching the Harry Potter marathon that comes on every year, I tend to watch these movies whenever I am feeling nostalgic and Christmas-y.

25. Love Actually

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If you want a movie that makes you follow a billion different storylines, this is the flick for you. It’s almost as if the director asked five of his friends to come up with a holiday love story, then squished them all together with British accents.

24. Deck The Halls

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Egad, what a nightmare. Matthew Broderick plays a perfect family man who is annoyed at his new neighbor, Danny DeVito, for decking their house will billions of Christmas lights. The movie was a flop, making less at the box office than the budget it took to make the film. Ouch.

23. A Christmas Story 

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I might get some flack for putting this classic so low on my watching priority, but contrary to popular opinion, I am not a fan of A Christmas Story. The first time I watched it was in a gym filled with sweating pre-teens. We were in the middle of gym class when it started raining and the teacher’s decided the best use of our time would be to watch this. I can still smell the sneakers.

22. Christmas in Connecticut 

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Lemme start off by saying this, Elizabeth Lane is nuts for marrying her friend to further her career. While I love the fact that she is a food writer, this movie fills that cheesy Christmas movie void we all love.

21. The Holiday

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In a time before Airbnb was a travel norm, two single women decided to switch houses for the holiday season. It’s a sweet chick flick to watch while eating a tub of Blue Bell Christmas Cookie ice cream.

20. White Christmas

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I admit this ranking is super. The only reason I don’t like this film is that this really annoying girl I used to know was obsessed with it. Once it hit December she found a way to mention it in every conversation imaginable. We get it, you like watching Bing Crosby

19. The Polar Express

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If you like watching (err.. hearing) Tom Hanks in six different roles, this is the movie for you! While this isn’t a movie I tend to binge, there’s something fun about the thought of drinking hot chocolate on a train.

18. Holiday Inn

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Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Virginia Dale make this Christmas musical a full-on classic. Did you know that Bing Crosby’s White Christmas originated from this 1940’s movie?

17. A Charlie Brown Christmas

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This Christmas classic was actually commisioned by the Coca-Cola company in 1965. Now, this Christmas television movie inspires families to go out and find the ugliest Christmas tree in the lot.

16. Jingle All the Way

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Inspired by the popular sell-out of Cabbage Patch Dolls and Power Rangers, this comedy (which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger) is silly and slapstick. A straight-to-VHS sequel was produced in 2014, but none of the original cast returned.

15. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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As the longest continually running Christmas TV special, Rudolph continues to be a Christmas favorite throughout the entire season. Sadly the producers of the stop-motion film didn’t think that the film would be a big hit and trashed the stop-motion puppets. Can you imagine how much they would be worth now?

14. Scrooged

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There’s no better way to tell the classic Christmas Carol than with Bill Murray. This cult classic comedy is a must for a late winter night viewing with a bottle of whiskey.

13. Mixed Nuts

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Based on the 1982 French comedy film, Le père Noël est une ordure, this movie was both unsuccessful critically and commercially. However, looking at this movie from today’s perspective, this oddly theatrical film is fun to watch.

12. Gremlins

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Unconventional Christmas movies are the best in my opinion. The great thing about Gremlins is that you can watch it all year long!

11. Home Alone

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While I love this movie, I find it completely unbelievable that you could leave your young child at home. But then again, it is a movie.

10. Four Christmases

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Reese Witherspoon is as cute as a button in this hilarious Christmas film about dysfunctional families and spending the holidays with them. You’ll be laughing out loud at the situations this couple finds themselves in.

9. Die Hard

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It’s not Christmas without Die Hard. Enough said.

8. Christmas with the Kranks

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Simply put this film is about a couple that decides to not “celebrate” Christmas with material things and everyone gets mad at them. Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis bring the laughs to this playful film.

7. The Muppet Christmas Carol

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I love the Muppets, hands down. Anything they recreate is gold, and this Christmas Carol adaptation is no exception.

6. It’s a Wonderful Life

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Regarded as one of the most loved movies in American cinema, It’s a Wonderful Life follows George Bailey as he thinks about committing suicide on Christmas Eve. His guardian angel comes down to help and with it, creates a stunning movie worthy of ringing a bell.

5. The Santa Clause

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Am I the only one that craves hot chocolate when Bernard makes a cup? No?

4. Miracle on 34th Street

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This Christmas classic still stands strong as the Macy’s in Harold Square performs a 30-minute puppet rendition of the movie.

3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas

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Jim Carrey and Christine Baranski star in this Christmas classic. While there is a remake coming out, nothing can top the original. 

2. Elf

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This is one movie I can watch multiple times in a holiday season. What’s not to love?

1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

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And coming in at number #1 is none other than Christmas Vacation. I watch this film every single year with my family and I still crack up.

Watch: Take a Scenic Train Ride Across the U.S. for $213

Lyndsay Burginger is a food and lifestyle writer as well as the Managing Editor of Wide Open Eats. Lyndsay has worked for companies such as America's Test Kitchen and Disney, and holds degrees in Creative Writing and Culinary Arts. When she's not writing or cooking you can find Lyndsay traveling ...Read more
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