Luke Reeder, 9
Regardless of when the “Christmas Season” starts (it’s immediately after Thanksgiving, in my opinion), we all know what it involves. Decorating, music, and of course, movies, which are arguably some of the best of the year. However, while we all have our favorites, ranking them can become a controversial issue. I’ll be ranking (in no particular order) the top 5 Christmas movies or specials of all time and ones that you should add to your list of movies to watch this holiday season.
First up is It’s A Wonderful Life, which is one of the greatest Christmas classics of all time. If I did rank them in order, there’s a strong chance this might take the No. 1 spot. If somehow you haven’t seen the movie, it’s about a man, George Bailey who, at a low point in his life, wishes he had never been born. His guardian angel, Clarence, who is on his own mission to earn his wings, grants his wish and allows George the chance to visit the bleak reality in which the people and places he knows would have never felt his impact. He sees that even though he didn’t think his life meant that much, the change he created was immeasurable. It’s a great story about the importance of a life, and it will forever be hailed as one of the best movies ever made.
Next is Elf, starring the immensely talented Will Ferrell. When I talked to other students at James River about Christmas movie rankings, Elf was a must-add. It is about Buddy the Elf’s adventure to meet his dad and prevent him from being on Santa’s naughty list. Along the way, he learns the he is, in fact, not an elf, and ends up saving Christmas itself. Its clever comedic style mixed with the fun adventure Buddy is sent on makes it a movie staple.
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer is a timeless family classic and has been one for generations now, coming out in 1964. It tells the story of Rudolph, a misfit reindeer, who becomes a hero and saves the holiday. Nearly everything about this movie is perfect, from the memorable characters, music, and quotability. It’s a heartwarming story that never seems to get old. Remember, bumbles bounce!
No list would be complete without A Christmas Story, the incredible holiday movie that became a sub-par live TV event. The movie is about Ralphie Parker and his most memorable Christmas with his family. Ralph only wants one thing for this Christmas, but only one thing stands in his way: a saying that every mother has used at least once since the movie came out: “you’ll shoot your eye out!” It’s an unforgettable movie classic that is perfect for any Christmas movie binge.
Lastly is A Charlie Brown Christmas. The beloved series most known for its holiday specials has one of the most famous entries for the Christmas holiday. It follows Charlie Brown and his friends during the buildup to the Christmas season and how Charlie Brown can’t seem to cheer up, despite the happy times ahead, a theme common for the series. He ends up discovering the true meaning of Christmas with the help of his friends, and turns a certain iconic scrawny twig with needles into a big beautiful Christmas tree. It is a family classic that continues to hold the test of time each holiday season.
Narrowing a category as broad as Christmas movies into a list of five definitely means very good ones will be left out. In my honorable mentions section with movies that didn’t quite make the cut is: Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, other animated classics like The Grinch, the Rankin Bass classics like Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and The Year Without a Santa Claus, Scrooged, The Polar Express, Miracle on 34th Street, and Die Hard. Yes, Die Hard is a Christmas movie.
In my list of movies that weren’t even close to making the final 5 are The Santa Clause with Tim Allen (and all the Hallmark movies).
Regardless of what your list looks like, I hope you enjoy all of your favorites this holiday season!