Tim Burton brings his special brand of creepy to a holiday story that lives on the threshold between Christmas and Halloween. The movie is more sweet than scary and it's fun to see the characters from each holiday learn to appreciate the other.
9. Mickey's Christmas Carol
It was a close battle between this and Muppet Christmas Carol, but ultimately Mickey won out. I'd seen Scrooge McDuck in "Duck Tales" throughout my youth and was always a fan of Mickey, so this classic Dickens tale, played through these characters, has a special place in my heart.
8. The Santa Clause
In what is arguably the best performance by Tim Allen (I know that's not saying much, but can you think of a role in which you liked him more?) "The Santa Clause" was one of the better Christmas movies made in the 90's. The sequels, however, absolutely suck.
7. Miracle on 34th Street
I've seen both versions of this movie and they're both well-made and fun to watch. Richard Attenborough (the old guy from Jurassic Park) is a fantastic Santa in the new version, but Mara Wilson (little girl from Mrs. Doubtfire) was a little too much... then again, she always is. :)
6. Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
This movie is indispensable as holiday viewing. You've got an elf that wants to be a dentist, a prospector that sings about silver and gold, and a reindeer with a nose that makes a weird noise when it glows (why the creators thought it had to make a noise is beyond me...) but this movie is absolutely charming.
Elf is the best Christmas movie made in the last decade. Will Ferrel was born to play this role, and Zooey Deschanel compliments the film nicely. There are so many funny moments in this movie and you've gotta love the tribute to Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
4. It's a Wonderful Life
Likely the most heartwarming of all Christmas movies. It spins a tale of hope and love in the terrifically dark times of the great depression.
3. Christmas Vacation
This movie still brings me to tears laughing. I'll argue up and down that this is the best "Vacation" movie out there. So many classic scenes in this movie... the squirrel in the tree, the turkey dinner, putting up the lights, the snotty neighbors, Eddie, the home movies, the cigar explosion... it's all comic genius...
2. Home Alone
"Home Alone" resonates so well with me because I was the same age as Kevin when the movie came out. I remember distinctly thinking about what it would be like to spend the holidays alone and loved the tactics used to keep his house safe from burglars. The scene where he becomes friends with the scary old man was eye-opening for me. Honestly, the film embodied everything that Christmas should be to a child - the friendship, the wonder, the comfort of family. I LOVE this movie.
1. A Christmas Story
No Christmas movie will ever surpass this movie for me. No, not even "Home Alone." This movie IS the essence of Christmas. If you could take all the experiences you had as a child during the Christmas season, and you threw them into a jar, you would have this movie. Everyone stood in line with some annoying kid who wouldn't leave you alone as you tried to remember exactly what you were going to say to Santa. Every kid had the bullies that would terrorize you in the snow. Every kid had the dumb friend that would stick his tongue to a pole. Every kid did something bad (along the lines of saying the queen mother of all swear words) in the weeks leading up to Christmas where you feared not for your life.. but WORSE... that you wouldn't get presents from Santa! And every kid woke up on some Christmas in their childhood to find the perfect present - exactly what they'd wanted... and didn't think they'd get - under the tree. This movie tells the story of Christmas as we've all lived it - the good moments and the bad moments - and for that reason it is the greatest Christmas movie ever made.