The 10 best Christmas movies to watch over break


Finals are almost here: The weather’s getting cold and students are stressing. What better way to warm the soul and de-stress than with some good ‘ole Christmas classics.

  1. “A Christmas Story”

The famous line “You’ll shoot your eye out kid” has been heard all around the globe. All Ralph Parker (Peter Billingsley) wanted for Christmas was a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle, but nobody thinks he is responsible enough to have one. Looking at how Ralphie lives life and faces everyday problems gives the audience an idea of what it was like to be a kid in the ‘40s. The comedy film is also appearing live on NBC on Dec. 17.

  1. “While You Were Sleeping”

You probably don’t see “While You Were Sleeping” on a lot of of Christmas movie lists and that’s because it’s not considered a huge holiday classic. Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”) plays a transit worker who falls for a man she sees once a day, if that. When he ends up in the hospital after Bullock saves him, she gets mistaken as his fiancee and trouble ensues. This chick-flick has a predictable plot but is worth watching until in the end.

  1. “Edward Scissorhands”

While “Edward Scissorhands” aesthetic doesn’t scream Christmas, the recurring theme of ice and snow fit in perfectly with the holiday season. Edward (Johnny Depp) finds himself taken in by a family and soon falls for their oldest, Kim (Winona Ryder). He is friendly but others only see him as evil, creating a stereotype in which he doesn’t fit. Tim Burton has been know to create Halloween movies, but this one doesn’t fit in that category. The film is a romantic fairy tale that adds to the holiday season.

  1. “The Polar Express”

One of the first tries at motion capture, “The Polar Express” is a time-honored tradition — especially where school is concerned. The film explores a non-believer and his journey to the North Pole on a mysterious train. Along the way, he makes friends and learns the true meaning of Christmas. In elementary school, kids would show up in their PJs, snuggled in pillows and blankets on the classroom floor while watching the film and participating in holiday activities, making the movie nostalgic for many kids who experienced this.

  1. “The Santa Clause”

This 1994 holiday classic, which is usually always playing on Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas, is beloved by all ages. It  explores Santa’s secret and explains how he has survived for so long. Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) soon finds himself wrapped up in an undesirable position — at least, according to him. He slowly transforms into the big, jolly man we all know and cherish. Watching Calvin begin to believe makes anyone desire to believe, too.

  1. “The Muppet Christmas Carol”

The Muppets first began in the late ‘70s but they’ve been a major part of kids’ lives to this day. So of course, it’s important to remember them this holiday season. With a take on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” the Muppets take a dreary tale and make it entertaining for kids of all ages. With Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat narrating the film, it gives the tale more of a fairy tale feel than other previous adaptations have. With Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, and more, who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas with the Muppets?

  1. “Elf”

One of the most quoted holiday movies, “Elf” is popular among film fanatics everywhere. The film focuses on Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) and his journey through New York as he tries to find his actual father. Once he does, he begins to start a life with his new family and engages on several fun experiences. The film also plays a lot with the phrase “believing is seeing”– Santa’s sleigh no longer flies on its own and has to receive help from the remaining believers in order to save Christmas. The fun nature and commentary — for those who are old enough to read between the lines — makes the film a holiday classic.

  1. “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

Based on Dr.Seuss’ original story, this film takes us through Whoville and the Whos’ lives during Christmas, and makes  them out to be quite materialistic. While it’s a fun watch and encourages many laughs, the film also has a lot to say about society’s ideals towards the holidays. We only really see the Who’s competing against each other for the most of whatever they can get. The pace change when switching from the Grinch to the Who’s allows for eye-opening comparisons as well as many jokes.

  1. “Gremlins”

While it may be hard to think of this comedy-thriller as a Christmas movie, the film is set during Christmas and is a fun precursor before the actual holiday festivities begin. (If you don’t want a mogwai after watching the film, you’re lying to yourself.) There are three important rules to having a mogwai and Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) broke all of them. Soon his town becomes overrun by little green men and he can’t do anything about it. With its humor and jump scares, the film rightfully makes into the Christmas category.

  1. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”

While the film was originally considered one of the worst National Lampoon movies, the film has become a classic. Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) likes to have a traditional Christmas, but unfortunately everything that can go wrong, does. However, he makes the best of it and treats it like any other holiday.  The film’s use of comedy, realism and dialogue allows the audience to enjoy the Griswold’s disastrous Christmas.