Holiday Movie Must-Watch List

I have a list of must-watch films for the holiday season each year. This list is non-negotiable. If I have to stay up all night after Christmas dinner to cram in the last stragglers, I will do it.

I also have some bonus picks that can be included, but are optional and usually vary year-to-year.

Here are those lists in no particular order. Dabble along, won’t you?

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The soundtrack alone is worth the watch! Something about that jazzy Vince Guaraldi Trio just puts me in the perfect spirit.

My Favorite Part


I absolutely love when Linus recites the Christmas story.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:8-14, KJV

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Again, the soundtrack is really where it’s at. I love every verse of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Thurl Ravenscroft.

My Favorite Part


Any that involves Max, the Grinch’s dog. Max is just so happy and completely oblivious to the Grinch’s bad deeds and attitude.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

What’s not to love? Clunky classic claymation, a tale of “misfits” rising to the top of the importance ladder, and again, another great soundtrack. Burl Ives’ songs are a complete delight.

My Favorite Part

Yukon Cornelius

Yukon Cornelius just cracks me up. I love any time he talks about the Bumble.

I tell you, you’re lookin’ at a mighty humble Bumble!

Yukon Cornelius

Didn’t I ever tell ya about Bumbles? Bumbles bounce!

Yukon Cornelius

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

This one is watched at least once every year, but it usually ends up playing several times throughout the season. I have seen this one so many times that I can practically recite the entire thing from start to finish.

My Favorite Part

Clark Griswold

Oh, there are so many! I love the sentimentality when Clark is watching old Christmas home film reels while stuck in the attic. Now that I’m older, I appreciate and relate to that scene so much more than ever before.

But I have to admit that Clark’s complete nervous breakdowns toward the end crack me up every single time. I am guilty of wanting everything to be perfect and not tolerating it well when nothing seems to go according to plan.

The entire rant scene about Clark’s boss, Frank Shirley is the best, and so is his crazed epilogue.

Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together! This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on and we’re gonna have the hap-, hap-, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny f*%&in’ Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat, white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.

Clark Griswold

P.S. I’ve never seen White Christmas. 😬

The Santa Clause

It certainly doesn’t hurt that the film begins with my favorite Christmas song, “Carol of the Bells,” in its original a cappella arrangement. Chills. Yes! Not to mention the quick glimpses of elves around the village square if you pay close enough attention.

My Favorite Part

E.L.F.S. Leader

When the Effective Liberating Flight Squad (E.L.F.S., aka “Elves With Attitude”) are deployed to spring Santa from the clink.

P.S. Santa in jail seems to be a common theme (see below).

Bonus Picks

It’s a Wonderful Life

I love the era that the film is set in and it’s a good reminder to focus on what is important in life—family & friends. Also, to remember that everyone’s life has value and impacts so many others.

Home Alone

So many good quotes, so little time. But we have to talk about the high-pitched scream heard ’round the world when the tarantula is placed on Marv’s face.

Marv Murchins

And yes, I would scream just like that if it happened to me.

Jingle All the Way

Haters gonna hate.

But come on. What’s Christmas if we can’t make fun of the commercialism of the season and parents trying to score the best gift of the year for their kid? There’s also the Schwarzenegger/Sinbad duo. Gold.

Ernest Saves Christmas

Haters gonna hate some more. Sorry not sorry.

This one is just good fun that shares something with The Santa Clause: the next generation of Santa Claus is taking over. Jim Varney’s characters are hilarious and Auntie Nelda is my favorite!

This is another film where Santa ends up behind bars.

Honorable Mention

The Christmas Chronicles

Since I am so attached to the classics, I can be resistant to new holiday films. This one was totally worth it though! It was a fun adventure that I’ve already watched twice this year…and I would watch it again.

Oh, and you guessed it! Santa finds himself in the slammer yet again! What’s up with that?

What are your favorite holiday films? Which must you see every year without fail?

 🎶 Today’s Jam 🎶

So, so, so good. Merry Christmas and happy holidays, Dabblers!


4 thoughts on “Holiday Movie Must-Watch List

Add yours

  1. My favorite has always been Miracle on 34th Street. I don’t even mind that it’s in black and white. In fact, it plays better this way. I’m not even sure how I came to watch it all those years ago, since I wasn’t raised celebrating Christmas. Maybe, because I sneaked it in. I will not sit here and pretend that I watch it every year, but I definitely think about how it made me feel the first time I ever did, which was a long time ago, but still fresh in my mind. Maybe, I’ll sneak it in this year too!

    I was thinking about watching “The Christmas Chronicles” just the other day, and may just watch it this year, not just because of Kurt Russell either. But he is one of my favorite actors!

    Loved the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Jazzy! Happy Holidays and enjoy watching your flicks. The funniest two you’ve listed are one’s I have seen a time or two myself. Both are repeaters for sure!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I need to give Miracle on 34th Street another shot. I’m not even sure if I’ve ever seen that one in its entirety. I don’t believe I have, actually.

      Your mention of black & white reminded me that I meant to blog that I have the color and black & white versions of It’s a Wonderful Life, and I enjoy both. I think the colorization is excellent and feels authentic and true. Though I agree that the original black & white production seems to play better, since that’s the way it was filmed.

      Do give The Christmas Chronicles a try. Let me know what you think. There is a bit of a surprise at the end that just makes it all the better!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Rob Rehburg Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: