Top 5 Christmas Movies and When to Watch Guide!

Five Friday Favorites CHRISTMAS MOVIES

Aren’t Christmas movies simply the best? Whether they are silly, sad, funny, touching, made for children, or made for adults they always hold the power to warm my heart. All year I look forward to watching my favorite Christmas movies while my tree twinkles, candles are burning, and I have a spiked hot chocolate in my hands.

Yes, I have almost every line memorized. Yes, I always know how they will end. There are no surprises.

But that’s where the joy is, they are as familiar and comfortable as my softest PJ’s.

Yet, holidays are a crazy and sometimes stressful time. It’s hard to fit in everything you want to do. I’m here to help! Because you simply cannot miss not watching your favorite holiday films!

Below, all in good humor, I list my top 5  favorite Christmas movies and when to watch them throughout the season! Joy!

christmas with the kranks

 1. Christmas With the Kranks

Feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed by all of the “work” that goes into getting prepared for the holidays? Pop in this silly Tim Allen flick and replace your anxiety over Christmas with excitement and the desire to do it all!

Christmas with the Kranks is based on the book “Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham. When Luther and Nora Kranks daughter join announces she won’t be home for Christmas this year, they decide to skip the commercial side of Christmas, and use the money to go on a cruise. But, when their daughter calls and says she’s making a surprise visit home, they have 12 hours to get Christmas set up and realize what they were missing all season long.


 2.  Love Actually

So, now that you’ve decided to embrace Christmas, and all of its cheesiness and commercialism, it is time to soak in some LOVE.

This movie reminds us that love is all around and that no matter your social class, ethnicity, background, or age, love is the same. Love Actually has moments of sadness, nostalgia, hope, silliness, and laughter. Feeling like everyone is out to get you while shopping at the overcrowded mall? Want to strangle your in-laws or scream at your boss? You will be reminded to be kind to others during this busy season and to accept love yourself.

A Christmas Story

3. A Christmas Story

Ok, now that you’ve decided to be kind and loving and all that jazz, it’s time to have some fun! Who doesn’t love the story of Ralphie and his quest to get a Red Rider BB Gun? There are so many laugh out loud moments that never get old to me, the bunny suit, the leg lamp, the Chinese restaurant on Christmas day, the “how do the little piggies eat?” scene.

But this movie also touches the heart with its nostalgic family scenes, reminding us that yes, the holidays are crazy but these moments with our families provide us with the memories we will cherish for a lifetime.

You are now ready to celebrate with your crazy family, with these nostalgic memories as your fuel.


4. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

Clark Griswold is DETERMINED to give his wife and kids an old-fashioned “Griswold Family Christmas”. He has big plans and has invited his parents, his in-laws, and his great-aunt and uncle in for the holidays. Of course, nothing goes has planned.

This movie is perfect to watch on Christmas Eve, after most of your holiday stress is behind you and you’re ready to kick up your heels before the big day.

 Clark is like most of our dads – a slightly dorky middle-aged man simply wanting to give us the best and to be remembered as a great father.  The mini disasters of Clark Griswold cause a domino effect of crazy and trouble. Hilarity ensues. Start pouring the egg nog!

It's a Wonderful Life   5. It’s a Wonderful Life

This classic is perfect to watch on the evening of Christmas, as you lay back by the tree, soaking in the joy of a beautiful day. (Even if you day was less wonderful and more Christmas Vacationish)

How could the touching story of down on his luck George Bailey NOT remind you that you have it pretty darn good. Yes, things aren’t perfect, you may have received more socks and underwear rather than what you really wanted. Your family may have driven you crazy. Your boss may be a Scrooge and only gave you one day off. But, after this movie you simply cannot say, damn my life IS pretty good!

Cue ugly cries!

And that’s a wrap! I’m kicking off my holiday watching tonight! What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?

xoxo katie

  • Pat (mom)

    #6. White Christmas. I watch this when I want to rekindle childhood memories of watching this classic movie with my family and friends on our black and white television set. Yes, I’m that old. I love to sing along to all of the songs and remember singing them with Nancy, especially ‘Sisters’.
    #7. Miracle on 34th Street. I like the theme of this movie: always believe in Santa.

    • kwalshmac

      I’ll always think of you when I see or hear White Christmas! And I also love Miracle on 34th Street, so hard to pick only 5!

  • It’s not Christmas without “It’s a Wonderful Life” – my family has watched it every year together since before I can remember. I ugly cry every time!

    • kwalshmac

      I love traditions like that!

  • Hi Katie! Your post definitely put me in the Christmas spirit! I love all your picks.:) My top pick for fave Christmas movie would have to be Home Alone. I watched it every Christmas when I was younger and I still do. Thanks for sharing! Now I need a cup of hot chocolate:) be right back…. lol

    • kwalshmac

      Ah yes, Home Alone is a classic too! There are way too many out there that I just simply LOVE! Happy viewing! 🙂

  • a christmas story is so classic. we even used to watch it school every year. on the last day before christmas vacation 🙂

    • kwalshmac

      Oh wow how fun! I was late to the Christmas Story party, I first saw it when I was in high school!

  • All of these are some of my favorites, but I have never seen Christmas With The Kranks. I did recently add it to my Netflix cue so now I’m excited to watch it. A couple of my other favorites would be Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause, Elf, and Bing Crosby’s White Christmas.

    • kwalshmac

      Elf never gets old! And this is a sin, because it is my mom’s favorite Christmas movie, but I’ve never seen White Christmas the whole way through! Gasp! It’s on my list to watch this year though.