Best and Worst Christmas Cinema

This list by its nature will be controversial. There is no way for it not to be. That’s why I’m writing it! As an example, when I spoke with my father about what is the best and worst Christmas movie, he laughed saying “Well, for me the best is A Christmas Story and the worst is White Christmas. For your mother, it’s the opposite!” So read and disagree. Then ask your loved ones, you may find they also disagree, but with you. Put your best spirited debate up and then watch all  the movies you love! Merry Christmas! 

Note: These are not in any particular order.

Best

Elf 

To start things off, we have to say that this newer Christmas movie is amazing. It’s extremely quotable and loveable. Kids love Buddy the Elf (and most adults do too). This message of spreading Christmas cheer in our growing commercialized and well, depressing, society, will be sure to get you in the Christmas spirit! 


Charlie Brown

Who doesn’t love the peanuts gang around the holidays? This beloved Christmas cartoon reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. A movie with scenes that would never be made now (quoting scripture …yeah right!), this Charles Schultz classic is a fun one for the whole family to watch. 

Its a Wonderful Life

Alright …so if I’m being honest, I can’t stand this one, but I see it’s merits and my husband would kill me if I didn’t add it to the list! This Christmas classic helps us to see the true meaning in life and to appreciate the ones we love. Set in the Christmas season, Clarence the Angel is a delightful source of inspiration and love! “You want the moon?” Well it’s not the moon, but it’s a good movie! 

Miracle on 34th Street

Everyone can agree this classic about Santa Claus is truly inspiring. Getting your kids to watch it (since it is in black and white) can be difficult, but there won’t be a dry eye or a scrooge in the bunch by the end of this movie!

Home Alone

Now this one is an outlier. Some may disagree, but for kids growing up in the 90s this movie was the bomb! It let us live out our “what if we were totally by ourselves” fantasy, but then reminding us that a Christmas without mom and dad wouldn’t be much of a Christmas at all! 

Muppets Christmas Carol

This one is going to get me in so much trouble. Go ahead start leaving your comments “What about the George C Scott Christmas Carol,” “The movies don’t do the book justice,” “You picked the MUPPETS Christmas Carol?!?!?” I know I know, but bear with me here. The message of the story remains the same and it’s not NEARLY as disturbing as the George C Scott Christmas Carol. Again I know, “IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE DISTURBING!” Fine! But when I’m feeling Christmassy I don’t want the pale faces of Ignorance and Want staring back at me. I understand that that statement makes me a terrible person, proves the point of why Dickens included it in his book, and I will promptly go donate to a food shelter, but in the end just let me enjoy my Kermit the Frog!

Christmas Vacation

Now, we’ve all been through this type of Christmas. I wouldn’t recommend  this one for the kids of course, but it’s hard not to love this comedy which depicts our worst Christmases and yet some of our favorites to talk about! Try not to laugh when the Grandparents arrive! 

A Christmas Story

This story about Christmas from a kids’ point of view will have you reliving your childhood! So many classic (and slightly terrifying) scenes and lines still resonate with audiences even decades after the film was made! You’ll remember your annoying little brother, your mom sparing you a punishment, and of course your Father – the Furnace Fighter! 

White Christmas

Ahhhh! There is nothing like the sound of Bing Crosby to get you in the holiday spirit. Here’s a whole movie that tastes like sweet and smooth Hot Chocolate that the musical lover in you will adore. Beware, sometimes men don’t have much of a sweet tooth and can’t take the love!

Die Hard

On the flip side, here’s a Christmas movie unlike any other. This one tends to be one of the men’s favorites. (I highly recommend when bargaining to watch Christmas movies, offer to watch Die Hard AND White Christmas. Just not one after the other, the contrast may be too crazy.) Bruce Willis as John MacLane and Alan Rickman as the villain Hans Gruber is too good to resist. Enjoy with that big bowl of popcorn! Yippee kay ay Merry Christmas! 

Worst

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

I doubt anyone has seen this movie, but it looks so bad that I had to put it on this list! I’m not going to even describe it because you need to see the trailer to understand : CLICK HERE.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Cary version)

Another moment of controversy on our list. While the original cartoon is a classic, this live action movie is a fail in our eyes. Jim Cary is not a Christmas actor no matter how much he tries (think of his Christmas Carol). The costuming is pretty much disturbing and the Who’s lose their innocence and are instead a comical yet weirdly adult group of individuals. This movie is a disgrace to the Dr. Seuss’ classic.

Deck the Halls

Speaking of actors who shouldn’t be in Christmas movies, Danny DeVito and Matthew Brodarick star in this movie which is more of a humbug than I’ve ever seen. This movie is pretty much guaranteed to not make you laugh! If you see this one, pass! 

Christmas with the Kranks

This movie is not the worst one on our list, but Tim Allen (THE SANTA CLAUS) could do better than this! The Kranks as their name suggests decide to skip Christmas one year and go on a cruise. Then their daughter comes home and they all of sudden have a reason to celebrate Christmas. This movie fails to get us in the Christmas spirit and misses the whole point of Christmas. Oh Tim, we expected better of you.

Jack Frost (Michael Keaton – 1998)

Ok, this movie has some redeeming qualities, but come on. This guy almost dies, gets regenerated as a snowman and then really dies? I mean at least he finds redemption as a snowman, but come on….. despite its incredible premise, this one will have you sobbing. Watch at your own risk! (also don’t get fooled by the horror movie with the exact same title of Jack Frost and deserves a special dishonorable mention on this list.)

Well, we’ve come to the end, folks, you made it. What are some of your most favorite and loathed holiday movies? Leave your answers in the comments! 

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