10 Christmas Movies to Watch This December

Can you imagine December is next week? Despite the approaching holidays, the holiday spirit isn’t in the air, even if public places have put up their Christmas decor. If you’re not feeling the spirit yet, we have 10 Christmas movies to get you in the mood for tinsel. It’s a merry mix of action, romance, stoner comedy, and animation, so we have something for everyone on our list:

tim burton the nightmare before christmas

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas starts out as a Halloween movie. We are introduced to Halloween Town, whose residents are monsters, witches, ghosts, zombies, mummies, and werewolves. When Jack Skellington, one of the town’s most prominent citizens, accidentally discovers Christmas Town, he is determined to recreate the holidays with his own macabre twist.


2. Love Actually (2003)

Love Actually is a film with 10 interconnected stories set in the days leading to Christmas. There’s the story of rock legend Billy Mack, who hopes to create a hit record; a love triangle between Juliet, Peter, and Mark; the budding romance between writer Jamie and his Portuguese housekeeper Aurelia; the marriage between Harry and Karen; and many more. It all culminates in the month after Christmas, and how their romances have played out.


3. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

The Grinch is a story written by Dr. Seuss, so expect a lot of fun and whimsy. Like the rest of the world, the people at Whoville (known as Whos) love celebrating Christmas, except the grouchy Grinch. Played to the hilt by Jim Carrey, he plays dangerous practical jokes on the Whos. He is not liked in Whoville, but a young girl named Cindy Lou gets to know his tragic past and hopes to change his hatred for the holidays.


4. Home Alone (1990)

Young Kevin McAllister is accidentally left behind by his large family, who plan to spend the holidays in Paris. He initially enjoys having the house to himself, until he encounters two burglars who attempt to rob his house. Hilarity ensues, but the strangest thing is that Kevin was left behind again in the sequel. The sequel is also worth watching, and follows Kevin getting lost in New York.


5. Jingle All the Way (1996)

Once upon a time, Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in a Christmas comedy called Jingle All the Way. In it, he stars as Howard, who battles it out with another father to get the last Turbo-man action figure while shopping on Christmas Eve. It may sound thin, but it’s a satire on the commercialization of Christmas, and real-life sell-outs for toys like the Cabbage Patch Kids and Power Rangers.

10 Christmas Movies to Watch This December 6

6. The Polar Express (2004)

The Polar Express is based on a 1985 children’s book of the same name, and follows a young boy who goes on an adventure on the Polar Express, headed straight to the North Pole. It is an impressive 3D animated film featuring human characters animated using the live action performance capture technique, cementing its status as the first all-digital capture film.

10 Christmas Movies to Watch This December 7

7. A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (2011)

A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas is the third installment to the successful Harold & Kumar series, which follows two stoner friends who go on unusual adventures. The first one followed them as they searched for White Castle burgers after seeing a TV commercial, while the second followed the duo as they attempt to escape the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. For their Christmas initiative, they try to find a new Christmas tree after Kumar destroys the first. It may sound weird, but critics have called the film “raunchy” and “irreverent.”


8. Elf (2003)

Elf is the story of Buddy, a rather-tall elf in the North Pole who discovers he is not really an elf but a human. He embarks on a journey to New York City to meet his biological father. The contrast between Buddy’s jolly nature and the New Yorkers’ cynicism is an entertaining watch. And oh, Buddy is played by the hilarious Will Ferrell.


9. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

While not exactly a movie (it only clocks in at 25 minutes), A Charlie Brown Christmas is loved for its examination of the true meaning of Christmas using the cast of Peanuts. It was the little film that could: everyone thought it was going to be a disaster, until positive reviews came pouring in. It has become so popular that it is aired every year during the holiday season.


10. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Similar to A Charlie Brown Christmas, the Muppets tackle the holidays by adapting the classic A Christmas Carol. In the film, the Muppets recreate the 1843 Charles Dickens novella A Christmas Carol, which tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge (played by Michael Caine), a bitter old miser who is visited by the ghosts of his former business partner and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. From them, he learns the true meaning of Christmas.

Do you have other recommendations? Share them below!

Follow When in Manila Koji for more stories like this!