The 37 Christmas Movies You Need To Watch Before The Holiday Season Ends

It's that time of year again — December is upon us, and Christmas will be here before you know it!

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For anyone who is a fan of the festive season, there is a lot to be merry about: cheery holiday music, dazzling decorations, and of course, classic Christmas movies.

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From modern flicks to legendary throwback films, there are so many awesome holiday features to enjoy.

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Here are 37 Christmas movies that are the best ever, in no particular order.

1.A Charlie Brown Christmas

Snoopy, Charlie Brown & Choir Characters: Snoopy,Charlie Brown & Film: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Year of release: 1965

Starring: Peter Robbins, Bill Melendez, Tracy Stratford, Christopher Shea, Cathy Steinberg, Karen Mendelson, Geoffrey Orstein, Chris Doran

Interesting fact: A Charlie Brown Christmas had a modest budget of just $76,000, which would be around $719,000 in 2022.

Mary Evans/AF Archive/Everett Collection

2.The Year Without a Santa Claus

Heat Miser and Snow Miser dance and sing

Year of release: 1974

Starring: Mickey Rooney, Shirley Booth, George S. Irving, Dick Shawn, Colin Duffy

Interesting fact: This classic by Rankin/Bass was the last acting credit of Oscar-winning actor Shirley Booth, who voiced Mrs. Claus.

Rankin/Bass Productions / Via

3.Love Actually

LOVE ACTUALLY, top to bottom left side: Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, top to bottom right side: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman, Martine McCutcheon, Rowan Atkinson, 2003

Year of release: 2003

Starring: Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Martine McCutcheon, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley, Rowan Atkinson, Laura Linney, Bill Nighy

Interesting fact: Writer-director Richard Curtis told Elle in 2013 that he thought of five previous "romantic ideas" before choosing to incorporate Mark confessing his feelings for Juliet via cue cards in the film, which was inspired by Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" video. He tested his ideas out with women who worked in his office, who all liked this suggestion the best.

Universal / courtesy Everett Collection

4.Christmas with the Kranks

Nora and Luther Krank talk in their home

Year of release: 2004

Starring: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, Julie Gonzalo

Interesting fact: The film is an adaptation of the 2001 John Grisham novel Skipping Christmas.

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Bill Murray as Frank Cross and Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present appear in "Scrooged"

Year of release: 1988

Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, Bobcat Goldthwait, John Forsythe, Carol Kane, Alfre Woodard, Michael J. Pollard, Robert Mitchum, John Glover, David Johansen

Interesting fact: Carol Kane told Vulture in 2018 that a scene in which her character, the Ghost of Christmas Present, does a ballet routine was originally supposed to additionally feature a double who was an experienced ballerina. After Carol put in a lot of effort to learn the routine but "was also bad at it," the production designer of Scrooged, J. Michael Riva, proposed that Carol should do the routine without the double to "show her character trying, because her character can’t do this dance." She then ended up doing the dance on her own.

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6.The Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack Skellington arrives in Christmas Town

Year of release: 1993

Starring: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, Ken Page, Paul Reubens, Glenn Shadix, William Hickey, Edward Ivory

Interesting fact: One week of filming was necessary to complete each minute of the movie.

Touchstone Pictures

7.The Polar Express

THE POLAR EXPRESS, Loney Boy, Conductor, Know-It-All, Holly, Santa Claus, Hero Boy, 2004

Year of release: 2004

Starring: Tom Hanks, Nona Gaye, Eddie Deezen, Peter Scolari, Daryl Sabara, Josh Hutcherson

Interesting fact: Tom Hanks voiced six different characters in the movie: the Conductor, Hero Boy, Hero Boy's father, Hobo, the Scrooge puppet, and Santa Claus.

Warner Brothers / courtesy Everett Collection

8.It's a Wonderful Life

Mary, George and Zuzu stand by the Christmas tree

Year of release: 1946

Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Henry Travers, Lionel Barrymore, Beulah Bondi, Karolyn Grimes, Thomas Mitchell

Interesting fact: Director Frank Capra asked special effects artist Russell Shearman to create a brand new type of false snow for It's a Wonderful Life. Russell then made the artificial snow for the iconic scenes of the movie using water, sugar, soap, and Foamite.

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9.A Very Brady Christmas

The Bradys are seen in the intro for "A Very Brady Christmas"

Year of release: 1988

Starring: Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland, Jennifer Runyon, Ann B. Davis

Interesting fact: The original actor who played Cindy Brady in the Brady Bunch series, Susan Olsen, was replaced by Jennifer Runyon in this holiday movie. Susan later revealed that she instead went to Jamaica for her honeymoon when the salary she requested was rejected, even though it was "way less than" the amount requested by her costars playing her sisters, Maureen McCormick and Eve Plumb.

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Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf talks to his boss at Gimbel's

Year of release: 2003

Starring: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Tay, Bob Newhart, Edward Asner

Interesting fact: Will Ferrell told the Hollywood Reporter in 2021 that he said no to reprising his role of Buddy the Elf following being offered $29 million to do a sequel to the Christmas comedy film.

New Line Cinema

11.Eloise at Christmastime

Eloise and her nanny smile by the Christmas tree

Year of release: 2003

Starring: Julie Andrews, Sofia Vassilieva, Kenneth Welsh, Christine Baranski, Debra Monk, Gavin Creel, Sara Topham, Rick Roberts

Interesting fact: Julie Andrews had to wear padding on her bottom while playing Eloise's nanny.

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12.How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Grinch grins in the Whoville mailroom

Year of release: 2000

Starring: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Molly Shannon, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin, Clint Howard

Interesting fact: During a 2014 Graham Norton Show appearance, Jim Carrey said that applying the Grinch makeup was so grueling for him that a professional was brought in to teach him tactics on how to tolerate torture, which was traditionally offered to CIA agents.

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13.Jack Frost

Michael Keaton as Jack Frost sits in the front yard of his home

Year of release: 1998

Starring: Michael Keaton, Joseph Cross, Kelly Preston, Mark Addy

Interesting fact: In addition to starring in Jack Frost, Michael Keaton co-wrote and sang "Don't Lose Your Faith," a song on the movie's soundtrack. He also sang a rock version of "Frosty the Snowman" for the project.

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14.Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town

Santa carries a sack of presents in "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town"

Year of release: 1970

Starring: Mickey Rooney, Fred Astaire, Robie Lester, Joan Gardner, Paul Frees, Keenan Wynn

Interesting fact: This animated feature was Mickey Rooney's first time voicing Santa Claus. He later voiced Santa for four other animated projects: The Year Without a Santa Claus, Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, The Happy Elf and A Miser Brothers' Christmas. He also played Santa in a 2008 live-action short called Wreck the Halls.

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15.Jingle All the Way

Myron and Howard sit in a diner and listen to the radio in "Jingle All the Way"

Year of release: 1996

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Rita Wilson, Jake Lloyd, Phil Hartman, Jim Belushi

Interesting fact: A limited amount of Turbo Man action figures were sold to coincide with the premiere of Jingle All the Way.

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16.Four Christmases

Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn as Kate and Brad greet Kate's mom

Year of release: 2008

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon

Interesting fact: Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn tweaked the Four Christmases screenplay together for four months prior to filming.

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17.Home Alone

Kevin sits at the top of the staircase and waits for Harry and Marv in "Home Alone"

Year of release: 1990

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara, John Heard

Interesting fact: Director Chris Columbus shared with Entertainment Weekly in 2015 that "an extraordinary amount of prep" was required to safely pull off the booby traps that Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) plants in the movie.

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18.The Best Man Holiday

THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY, from left: Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa, Nia Long, 2013

Year of release: 2013

Starring: Morris Chestnut, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Harold Perrineau, Taye Diggs, Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa

Interesting fact: The Best Man Holiday is a sequel to The Best Man, and a third installment of the storyline will soon be released as a TV series.

Universal / ©Universal/courtesy Everett / Everett Collection

19.National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION, Johnny Galecki, Juliette Lewis, Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, 1989

Year of release: 1989

Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki, Randy Quaid

Interesting fact: The movie was adapted from "Christmas '58," a short story penned by writer-director John Hughes that was featured in National Lampoon magazine in 1980.

Warner Bros / ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

20.The Muppet Christmas Carol

THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL, Robin the Frog (front, center), Kermit (back, second from right), Miss Piggy (right), 1992

Year of release: 1992

Starring: Michael Caine, Steve Whitmire, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz

Interesting fact: This was the first-ever project directed by Brian Henson, whose father, Jim Henson, created the Muppets.

Walt Disney Co. / ©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

21.Holiday in Handcuffs

Mario Lopez and Melissa Joan Hart as Trudie and David talk to Trudie's family members in "Holiday in Handcuffs"

Year of release: 2007

Starring: Melissa Joan Hart, Mario Lopez

Interesting fact: Melissa Joan Hart stated in a 2015 Bustle interview that the snowy environment that can be seen throughout the movie was real, as it snowed "the whole time" they were filming in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Alberta Film Entertainment

22.Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

The Beast and Belle ice skate together

Year of release: 1997

Starring: Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Angela Lansbury, Tim Curry, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Bernadette Peters, Haley Joel Osment, Paul Reubens

Interesting fact: Two stars of the film, Tim Curry and Bernadette Peters, had previously worked together for the 1982 movie musical Annie.

Disney Interactive Studios

23.I'll Be Home for Christmas

Jessica Biel as Allie and Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Jake sit in a sleigh in "I'll Be Home for Christmas"

Year of release: 1998

Starring: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jessica Biel, Adam LaVorgna, Gary Cole

Interesting fact: In real life, costars Jessica Biel and Adam LaVorgna dated for a time after meeting on the set of this movie.

Walt Disney Pictures

24.Single All the Way

Philemon Chambers as Nick and Michael Urie as Peter embrace in "Single All the Way"

Year of release: 2021

Starring: Michael Urie, Philemon Chambers, Jennifer Coolidge, Luke Macfarlane, Barry Bostwick, Jennifer Robertson, Kathy Najimy

Interesting fact: Philemon Chambers scored his first-ever feature film role through starring as Nick in Single All the Way.

Muse Entertainment Enterprises

25.Bad Santa

BAD SANTA, Billy Bob Thornton, 2003

Year of release: 2003

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Lauren Graham, Bernie Mac, Brett Kelly, John Ritter, Lauren Tom

Interesting fact: The lead role was originally written with James Gandolfini in mind, screenwriter John Requa revealed to the New York Times in 2016.

Dimension Films / ©Dimension Films/Courtesy Everett Collection

26.The Ultimate Christmas Present

Hallee Hirsh as Allie and Brenda Song as Sam test out a weather machine in "The Ultimate Christmas Present"

Year of release: 2000

Starring: Hallee Hirsh, Brenda Song

Interesting fact: This was the first Disney Channel appearance by Brenda Song, who would later star in DC projects like Get a Clue, Stuck in the Suburbs, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior.

Disney Channel

27.A Christmas Story

Peter Billingsley as Ralphie Parker talks to a department store Santa in "A Christmas Story"

Year of release: 1983

Starring: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin

Interesting fact: The flagpole scene was thankfully pain-free for Scott Schwartz, who portrayed Flick.


28.Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph and Hermey stand in the snow

Year of release: 1964

Starring: Billie Mae Richards, Paul Soles, Burl Ives, Larry D. Mann

Interesting fact: As of 2016, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the longest-running Christmas TV special ever, per MeTV.

Rankin/Bass Productions / Via

29.The Preacher's Wife

THE PREACHER'S WIFE, Whitney Houston, Denzel Washington, 1996

Year of release: 1996

Starring: Whitney Houston, Denzel Washington, Courtney B. Vance, Gregory Hines, Loretta Devine, Jenifer Lewis, Justin Pierre Edmund, Lionel Richie

Interesting fact: Whitney Houston's mother, singer Cissy Houston, made an appearance in the movie as Mrs. Havergal.

Buena Vista Pictures / ©Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

30.Miracle on 34th Street

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, Natalie Wood, Edmund Gwenn, 1947

Year of release: 1947

Starring: Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood

Interesting fact: At the time Miracle on 34th Street was filmed, a young Natalie Wood believed in Santa and thought that Edmund Gwenn was the real St. Nick.

20thcentfox / ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

31.White Christmas

The cast of "White Christmas" sings "White Christmas"  for an audience

Year of release: 1954

Starring: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen

Interesting fact: Danny Kaye was the third choice for the role of Phil Davis.

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32.Last Holiday

Queen Latifah as Georgia arrives for a dinner at a table for one

Year of release: 2006

Starring: Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Giancarlo Esposito, Alicia Witt, Timothy Hutton, Gérard Depardieu

Interesting fact: In 2015, Alicia Witt shared on The Queen Latifah Show that Queen Latifah's father taught her how to play poker during the filming of Last Holiday.

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33.Meet Me in St. Louis

Judy Garland performs in the "Meet Me in St. Louis" trailer

Year of release: 1944

Starring: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Lucille Bremer, Mary Astor, Marjorie Main, Tom Drake, Leon Ames

Interesting fact: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" was created for Judy Garland's role by songwriting duo Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin. Judy wouldn't sing the first draft of the track, as she thought it was too gloomy, Hugh said on NPR's Fresh Air in 2006. They then rewrote the song, and Judy sang this version for the film.

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34.Edward Scissorhands

Kim embraces Edward in "Edward Scissorhands"

Year of release: 1990

Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Alan Arkin, Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Oliveri, Kathy Baker, Vincent Price

Interesting fact: The character of Edward was adapted from a sketch that filmmaker Tim Burton drew during his high school days. In addition, screenwriter Caroline Thompson based Edward on a dog of hers that had passed away six years before she penned the Edward Scissorhands script.

Twentieth Century Fox

35.The Holiday

Kate Winslet as Iris and Jack Black as Miles chat during a meal

Year of release: 2006

Starring: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black

Interesting fact: Jack Black initially wasn't sold on the idea of starring in a rom-com, but he decided to take on the role of Miles once he learned that he'd be acting opposite Kate Winslet.

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36.The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Brooke Burns and Henry Winkler as Jennifer and Ralph have a heartfelt conversation in "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

Year of release: 2008

Starring: Henry Winkler, Brooke Burns, Warren Christie, Connor Christopher Levins

Interesting fact: This film was one of two Christmas movies from 2008 that Henry Winkler appeared in; he also played Judge Newman in Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh.

Hallmark Channel

37.The Santa Clause

Scott and Charlie get ready to deliver presents on Christmas Eve

Year of release: 1994

Starring: Tim Allen, Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz, Wendy Crewson, Judge Reinhold

Interesting fact: Patricia Richardson, who played Tim Allen's wife, Jill Taylor, on Home Improvement, was one of the actors who was looked at for the part of Tim's onscreen ex-wife in this movie. Wendy Crewson eventually got the role and went on to play Laura in the two follow-up films of the Santa Clause franchise.

Walt Disney Pictures

What are your all-time favorite Christmas movies? Let us know in the comments section below!