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Dec 05, 2017

Okay, Let's Settle This: What's the Greatest Christmas Movie of All Time?

Many are schmaltzy, a few actually festive, and plenty completely unwatchable, but like it or not, the annual viewing of many a holiday film classic just comes along with the season. And if someone in your house is going to watch one anyway, you might as well make it something worth revisiting year after year.     

So, let's have it. 

What's the greatest Christmas movie of all time?

This isn't about your own personal favorite, or the one you always watch first to get you in the spirit. My own personal go-tos – Home Alone and A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All –  are important to me for a variety of reasons, but I can't reasonably argue either of them is greatest holiday film ever.

I'm open to taking write-in nominations, but in my mind, there are only a handful of serious contenders: those that have just the right amount of holiday cheer while still remaining legitimately watchable, and even high quality, films. We're also vetoing anything that takes place at the holidays, but doesn't use the actual spirit of the season as the occasion for the narrative. (Sorry, Die Hard.)

 

The Candidates:

A Christmas Story | White Christmas | Elf  
It's a Wonderful Life | A Charlie Brown Christmas 
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

 

Vote your pick in the comments below, share your top three, or tell me why my nominations are BS. Looking forward to your thoughts. Happy Holidays. 

 

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Zach Haddock on Dec 13, 2017:

Die hard all the way!! Watch it every Christmas season. Honorable mention to National Lampoon's Christmas.


Ladd on Dec 11, 2017:

Scrooged, with Bill Murray. "Have you tried staples?!!!"

Of the choices given though mine would be National Lampoons, "Can't see the line can you, Russ?"


T Ward on Dec 10, 2017:

Gotta go with a movie that gives me multiple opportunities to drop quotes.Nothing brings out mumbling quotes under your breath like family.
Example Neighbor asking a question to Chevy Chase "Hey Griswald, where do you think you are going to put a Christmas tree that big?", Clark responding to neighbor "bend over and I will show ya".


D Lemming on Dec 09, 2017:

A Christmas Story.
You'll shoot your eye out!


jennifer hill on Dec 07, 2017:

Elf.


Doug Perkins on Dec 07, 2017:

Come on guys. How about "Mixed Nuts"? Steve Martin, a young Adam Sandler, Gary Shandling, Madeline Kahn. Watch it; you'll see.
Elf
Christmas Story


Noreen on Dec 06, 2017:

My vote would be for A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Wood, and Scrooge with Albert Finney.


Cozmo on Dec 06, 2017:

Elf
Charlie Brown
Scrooged


Bob on Dec 06, 2017:

Diehard is the greatest Christmas movie of all time and should be included. Here's why:

1. John McClane flies out to LA to spend Christmas with his kids and estranged wife - what could be more Christmas for most than spending it with family that doesn't want you around (ha);

2. The movie takes place at a Christmas party replete with trees, dancing, and festivities; and

3. The Christmas oriented one-liners including "Welcome to the (Christmas) party, pal" and "Now I have a machine gun. Ho Ho Ho."

So ... Jingle bells, jingle bells, Diehard all the way.

(And Hans Gruber says 'hi' @ https://goo.gl/images/QYyR6T)


Jeremy on Dec 06, 2017:

Die Hard totally counts.

Having said that, the older I get the more I've come to appreciate National Lampoon. I'm stunned at how accurately it captured the struggle to hold off the dread that comes with hosting family and finding the balance between forcing people to have fun vs letting it happen. Now that I'm a dad with a house to decorate it hits awfully close to home. Plus it's got a ton of laugh out-loud moments. It's funny as hell, but it's surprisingly mature for a National Lampoon movie.

I understand the veto conditions, but I really enjoy a good showing of Trading Places or Batman Returns around the holidays.


Ben on Dec 06, 2017:

Christmas Vacation - full stop


Dion on Dec 06, 2017:

Christmas Vacation


Brian on Dec 06, 2017:

Definitely, 100%, without a doubt, Die Hard


Jonathan on Dec 06, 2017:

A Charlie Brown Christmas


Alex on Dec 06, 2017:

I think we can all agree that it's not Christmas until you see Hans Gruber fall from Nakatomi tower. To that end, Die Hard is the greatest Christmas movie of all time.


David on Dec 06, 2017:

These are all good! Holiday Inn is actually the first time that "White Christmas" was sung in a movie, but I've never seen the movie White Christmas so I don't know if it's better or not. My top three from this list are A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

*Oh, and ....Die Hard.


Philp on Dec 06, 2017:

1) its a wonderful life
2) a christmas story
3) national lampoon christmas vacation
4) home alone
5) charles' dicken's christmas carol


bruno on Dec 06, 2017:

Elf. And I think a lot of people will be upset that Home Alone and Love Actually aren't on here. And then again, a lot of people would be upset if they *had* been on here.


PlaidFlannelGuy on Dec 05, 2017:

Christmas Vacation, hands down!


Anonymous on Dec 05, 2017:

Cristmas Vacation and Elf