With Christmas fast approaching, it’s time to cram in as many specials as you can! Here’s my top ten list of Christmas movies you can watch with the family this holiday season.
10. A Charlie Brown Christmas
I love Peanut holiday specials, but there’s always a sort of depressing undertone within them. Someone always get the short end of the
stick. For instance, in “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, Linus gets made a fool of for believing in the Great Pumpkin and misses out on the festivities the other kids took part in. A Charlie Brown Christmas is no exception.
In this one, Charlie Brown is a depressed and discouraged about how commercialism has taken over Christmas. He directs the school nativity play and is determined to keep the true meaning of the story alive, despite suggestions to “modernize” it from his classmates. Charlie Brown goes outs and buys a tiny baby Christmas Tree for the play and all the kids make fun of him. He quietly leaves with the tree and tries to decorate it on his own, but when it topples over, he thinks he killed it. The other kids prop of the tree and decorate it. When Charlie Brown sees what the other kids have done, they all begin to sing.
Although things end up alright in the end and makes you think, it still is kind of a sad story.
9. Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July
Although this a great movie, the whole thing is a bit complicated. An evil wizard wants to reclaim Santa’s territory for his own and has to destroy Rudolph because he’s the only one with the power to stop him. Frosty and his family want to visit a Fourth of July circus that Rudolph stars in. The evil wizard gives Frosty and his family magical amulets to keep them from melting, but it will only last until the event is over. Santa is supposed to pick up Frosty and his family before this happens, but the evil wizard causes a blizzard to prevent that from happening. Rudolph makes a deal with the wizard to keep Frosty from melting and Frosty ends up giving the evil wizard his hat to help save Rudolph. Rudolph gets back Frosty’s hat and a showdown followed. Once the evil wizard was defeated, Frosty was still in danger of melting, so he was whisked away to the North Pole. Rudolph stayed behind to help the circus get out of debut.
8. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Okay, so this one may be a bit questionable on the scale of Christmas classics. You know, like calling “Home Alone” and “Harry Potter” Christmas classics. (Yes, I’m talking to YOU ABC Family!) But it’s sill a good one.
Jack Skellington, the King of Halloweentown, is unhappy with his life and stumbles into Christmastown. After weeks of locking himself away, he decides to kidnap Santa Claus and take over the holiday.
7. Nestor, The Long Eared Christmas Donkey
This classic takes place during the time of the Roman Empire. All the animals in the barn make fun of Nestor because his ears are abnormally long. One day soldiers come to take all the donkeys. Once they realize Nestor is defective, they take the rest of the donkeys without paying for them. The farmer kicks Nestor out in the middle of a snow storm and his mother follows him. She keeps him warm during the storm and she dies from hypothermia during the night.
He then meets an angel named Tilly, who leads him to the outskirts of Bethlehem. There, Mary and Joseph find him and he carries them to Bethlehem where baby Jesus is born.
6. Olive, the Other Reindeer
This is one of the cutest holiday movies ever! Oliver, a dog, comes home to hear on the radio that Christmas might be canceled because Blitzen got hurt. Santa says he hopes he can make his run with “all of the other reindeer”, but Olive mishears and thinks he’s talking about her. With the help of her penguin friend, Martini, they head to the North Pole. An evil mailman tries to stop them from saving Christmas.
5. The Year Without a Santa Claus
Dismayed and sick, Santa decides to take a holiday because he thinks no one cares about him. Mrs. Claus, two elves, and a boy work to show Santa that there is still Christmas spirit out there and the children still care.
4. The Little Drummer Boy
This is one of the sadder Christmas specials out there, but it’s still a classic and has personal meaning to me. My grandma loved this movie and I watched it all the time as a kid, even when it wasn’t Christmas.
The Little Drummer Boy is based on the Christmas song by the same name (aka Carol of the Drums) in which a poor boy sees baby Jesus. Since he doesn’t have a present for him, he plays him his drum. The movie expands on that story by explaining how the boy’s family was murdered and he hates people. He travels around with animals and they are kidnapped and forced to perform in a circus. The boy escapes and follows the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem. One of the animals gets hurt there, and he asks the Three Kings for help. One of them suggests he bring the lamb to baby Jesus. He plays a song for Jesus on his drum and the lamb is healed. His faith in humanity and kindness are restored.
3. The Polar Express
A boy who begins loosing faith in Christmas and Santa climbs aboard a magical train to Santa’s Workshop.
I LOVE this movie so much because it makes you a believer again. It’s exciting, fun, and stunning to look at it. It almost looks real!
2. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Based on the song, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, this movie focuses on the origins of Santa and other holiday traditions centered around him.
1. It’s a Wonderful Life and How the Grinch Stole Christmas
I couldn’t pick JUST one. It’s a tie.
Whenever I’m feeling down about my life, I like to watch It’s a Wonderful Life because no one other than Charlie Brown had worse luck than George Bailey. The man was so selfless. He always thought of others and never himself. He wasn’t a rich man when it came to material goods, but his heart was huge ad his friends loved him so dearly for it.
I love the Grinch because we’ve all had those moments where we’ve hated Christmas. It also demonstrates that Christmas is more about the gifts and the bells and whistles that surround the holiday. It’s about family, friends and kindness.
What are your favorite Christmas movies?