As all of my friends know, Christmas is my absolute FAVOURITE time for movie marathons. My Top 10 includes a mix of heartwarming classics and light-hearted modern Christmas films. However, I would like to point out that it was extremely hard for me to narrow it down to only ten, and I’m very sorry if your favourite didn’t make the list. Also, I know all of the lines from both The Grinch and Elf, because I watch them both every single year, so it was VERY hard for me to choose only one quote for each.
1) How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) – 6.0/10 IMDb
I’m going to be the first to say that the IMDb rating of 6.0 is a MASSIVE underrepresentation of this glorious film, as How The Grinch Stole Christmas is HANDS DOWN my favourite Christmas movie of all-time. Not only is The Grinch the second highest-grossing holiday film of all-time, it also won an Academy Award for Best Makeup. Also, as Jim Carrey was a solid staple of my childhood, the top spot of this list was forever claimed the moment he brought the classic Dr. Seuss TV special to life!
For those who have been living under a rock, The Grinch is about an outsider who hates Christmas and plans to ruin the holiday for the neighbouring town of Whoville. Personally, I love the adult humour that is mixed into the film, the flashbacks to the Grinch’s childhood, and of course the visual performance hilariously displayed by Jim Carrey as the adult Grinch.
“We’re gonna crash!” – Cindy Lou Who
“Now you listen to me, young lady! Even if we’re horribly mangled, there’ll be no sad faces on Christmas.” – The Grinch
2) Elf (2003) – 6.9/10 IMDb
I’m going to start by saying that Will Ferrell is very hit or miss for me, but in Elf he is a massive hit! One Christmas Eve when Buddy was a baby, he crawled out of his orphanage crib and into Santa’s sack of toys. Therefore, Buddy grows up as an outsider at the North Pole as he thinks he’s an elf but is clearly a human. After Papa Elf finally tells him the truth, Buddy heads to New York to find his real dad and has some hilarious culture shock along the way.
“SAAANNTA!! OH MY GOD! SANTA’S COMING! I KNOW HIM! I KNOW HIM!” – Buddy
3) Home Alone (1990) – 7.5/10 IMDb
Home Alone is another classic staple of my Christmas season due to the excellent writing of John Hughes, who sprinkles it with great lines and excellent physical comedy. The film follows eight-year old Kevin McCallister after he is accidentally left home alone by his family when they leave for vacation. Kevin eventually has to defend his house from thieves, Harry and Marv, by riddling it with booby traps to fight them off. Macaulay Culkin is excellent, plus Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are glorious together as the Wet Bandit duo.
“Why the hell did you take your shoes off?” – Harry
“Why the hell are you dressed like a chicken?” – Marv
4) Die Hard (1988) – 8.2/10 IMDb
I whole-heartedly agree with my friend’s annual statement that “there are two types of people in the world: those who think Die Hardis a Christmas Movie and those who are wrong.” The film is about New York cop John McClane who travels to California to surprise his wife on Christmas Eve. This is his attempt at trying to repair their marriage as she had recently moved to California with their two children in order to strengthen her career. However, storyline quickly escalates as McClane is forced to try and stop a terrorist group from killing everyone at his wife’s work Christmas party.
“Attention, whoever you are, this channel is reserved for emergency calls only.” – Supervisor
“No f*cking shit, lady. Does it sound like I’m ordering a pizza?” – John McClane
5) The Santa Clause (1994) – 6.4/10 IMDb
The Santa Clause is an adorable Christmas classic that features Tim Allen in the lead role of Scott Calvin, after he accidentally knocks Santa off his roof on Christmas Eve. Scott is a egotistical father who has to learn the selfless ways of Santa Claus during the year leading up to his first real Christmas as the big man. This is another widely underrated film by IMDb as it is full of witty lines, Christmas cheer, and amazing character development.
“Whoa Dad! You’re flying!” – Charlie
“It’s okay, I’m used to it. I lived through the ’60s.” – Scott
6) The Family Stone (2005) – 6.3/10 IMDb
The Family Stone is a modern Christmas film that has a special place in my heart as it mixes brilliant comedy with dramatic storylines. The film centres upon a dysfunctional family that have a hard time accepting the eldest son’s (Dermot Mulroney) uptight new girlfriend/possible fiancee (Sarah Jessica Parker). After receiving a very hostile welcome she enlists the help of her sister (Claire Danes) and the mishaps snowball further for the rest of their visit.
“We will try to welcome her back in … like a civilized family might.” – Kelly Stone
7) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – 8.0/10 IMDb
The Nightmare Before Christmas is an absolute gem of a Christmas movie due to Tim Burton’s brilliant mind and the musical fantasy world he developed for us all. This film follows Jack Skellington (Danny Elfman) on his journey of switching portals from Halloween Town to Christmas Town. After discovering this new world he wants to celebrate in his own way, however he ends up sparking a few disasters after enlisting the help of his Halloween Town friends.
“Just because I cannot see it, doesn’t mean I can’t believe it!” – Jack Skellington
8) It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) – 8.6/10 IMDb
It’s A Wonderful Life is a true Christmas classic that was released in the mid-40s and was both produced and directed by Frank Capra. The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, who is contemplating suicide on Christmas Eve but instead has his plans intervened by a guardian angel named Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers). This angel shows George the overwhelming impact he has had on his community and how different life could have been if he were never born. As a result of the film’s excellent acting and directing, it was nominated for five Academy Awards.
“Strange isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” – Clarence
9) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) – 7.6/10 IMDb
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is another glorious Christmas film written by Hollywood genius John Hughes. This classic features Chevy Chase in the role of Clark Griswold as he attempts to plan a huge family Christmas event and how it inevitably turns into a disaster. Not only does he blind the neighbourhood with his Christmas lights, but he also chops down the biggest tree in the forest and successfully forces it into the house.
“Clark, I think it’d be best if everyone went home… before things get worse.” – Ellen Griswold
“WORSE? How could things get any worse? Take a look around here, Ellen. We’re at the threshold of hell.” – Clark Griswold
10) The Holiday (2006) – 6.9/10 IMDb
Lastly, The Holiday is one of my go to light-hearted Christmas films that always makes me laugh and gets me ready for the holidays. The storyline follows two women, Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz), who decide to swap houses in order to get away from their guy troubles. Amanda is inevitably matched up with Iris’s dashing brother Graham (Jude Law), and Iris gets paired with comical Hollywood music composer Miles (Jack Black).
“Iris, in the movies, we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you’re behaving like the best friend.” – Arthur Abbott
“You’re so right. You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for god’s sake! Arthur, I’ve been going to a therapist for three years, and she’s never explained anything to me that well. That was brilliant. Brutal, but brilliant.” – Iris Simpkins
And that’s all of them! My annual Christmas movie marathon has officially begun, so hopefully you’ll join in on the festivities this year and watch a couple of my favourites.