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25 Days of Christmas Movie Bucket List (with FREE Top 10 Printable)

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There’s nothing like Christmas movie night!

This time of year brings out all the chunky knit blankets, hot cocoa, and some seriously cozy vibes. So which popular holiday movies are worth watching in December? Whether you’re borrowing from the library, renting, or buying movies for your own collection, here’s Hip2Save’s Christmas movie bucket list, including our Top 10!  

The Timeless Classics


1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

25 days of christmas movies — national lampoon christmas vacation

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

This Christmas, America’s most dedicated dad, Clark Griswold (played by Chevy Chase), is determined to stay at home to create “the most fun-filled old-fashioned family Christmas ever”. This Christmas comedy classic is a must watch!

Released in 1989, rated PG-13

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

This Classic Dr. Suess book turned movie is one everyone will love! Watch to see how the Grinch tried to steal Christmas from “Whoville”.

Released in 1966. Rated G

Hip Tip: Plan a movie night with the family to watch this movie (and so many more) with Freeform’s Kickoff to Christmas guide.

3. A Christmas Story

best christmas movies — a christmas story

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift. We think this charming Christmas classic is one you won’t want to miss!

Released in 1983. Rated PG

4. White Christmas

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart  •  Watch it FREE with Netflix

Be sure to add this movie to your annual Christmas classics must watch list! When a successful song-and-dance team becomes romantically involved with a sister act, they team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.

Released in 1954. Rated G

5. Miracle on 34th Street

miracle-on-34th-street Christmas movie

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

This is another movie to add to your classic Christmas capsule! When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

Released in 1947. Rated G

6. A Charlie Brown Christmas

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

This is a true classic that everyone’s probably seen at least once. A Charlie Brown Christmas is a 1965 animated television special based on the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.

Released in 1965. Rated G

best christmas movies — rudolph the red nosed reindeer

7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

We think this charming classic Christmas movie featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the most beloved special of all time! Packed so many memorable songs and unforgettable characters, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer lights up the hearts of us all.

Released in 1964. Rated G

8. It’s a Wonderful Life

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart  •  Watch for FREE with Amazon Prime

The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who’s given up his dreams in order to help others, and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers). Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched, and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be if he had never been born.

Released in 1946. Rated PG

Our Pre-2000 Favorites


9. Home Alone

Home Alone Christmas Movie

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

Eight-year-old troublemaker Kevin must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

Released in 1990. Rated PG

10. Home Alone 2

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

One year after Kevin was left home alone and had to defeat a pair of bumbling burglars, he accidentally finds himself in New York City, and the same criminals are not far behind.

Released in 1992. Rated PG

11. Jack Frost

best christmas movies — jack frost

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

We recommend getting the tissue box for this Christmas movie! A year after the tragic death of Charlie’s dad, Jack, he plays a mournful tune on his father’s harmonica Christmas Day. Much to his surprise, his dad is magically brought to life as a snowman in the front yard! Given a second chance, Charlie and Jack struggle to make up for lost time.

Released in 1998. Rated PG

12. The Santa Clause

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

Go on a journey with a divorced dad Scott (played by Tim Allen). After the real Santa falls off of his roof and disappears, Scott and his son are magically transported to the North Pole, where an elf explains that Scott must take Santa’s place before the next Christmas arrives. Watch this movie to find out if Scott is really turning into Santa or if it was all a dream!

Released in 1994. Rated PG

“This movie is super fun! It’s so great seeing Christmas change the spirit of characters in movies.” – Jamie

13. The Nightmare Before Christmas

best christmas movies — nightmare before christmas

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart  •  Or watch it FREE with Hulu

Bored with the same old scare-and-scream routine, Pumpkin King Jack Skellington longs to spread the joy of Christmas. But his merry mission puts Santa in jeopardy and creates a nightmare for good little boys and girls everywhere!

Released in 1993. Rated PG

Our Favorites from 2000 to Now


14. Elf

best christmas movies — elf

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

This hilarious Christmas film tells the tale of a young orphan child, Buddy, who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts on Christmas Eve and is transported back to the North Pole and raised as an elf. Years later, Buddy learns he’s not really an elf and goes on a journey to New York City to find his true identity and family!

Released in 2003. Rated PG

15. Christmas with the Kranks

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart  •  Watch it FREE with Amazon Prime

Alone for the Holidays? Invite some friends over and watch this hilarious Christmas comedy when the Kranks decide to skip Christmas altogether. That is, until their daughter decides to unexpectedly come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holiday at the last minute.

Released in 2004. Rated PG

16. The Polar Express

the polar express christmas movie

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

We love the classic Christmas book-turned-movie, The Polar Express. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

Released in 2004. Rated G

17. Arthur Christmas

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

This is one we think your kids are sure to love! Santa’s clumsy son, Arthur, sets out on a mission with St. Nick’s father to give out a present they misplaced to a young girl. Watch this fun Christmas movie to see their very high-tech operation beneath the North Pole and see if they get the mission accomplished in time!

Released in 2011. Rated PG

18. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

best christmas movies — how the grinch stole christmas

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart  •  Watch it FREE with Netflix

Jim Carrey stars in this more modern twist to the classic Dr. Suess book. Watch this movie and how the Grinch tried to steal Christmas from “Whoville”.

Released in 2000. Rated PG

PG-13 & Rated R Hits


19. The Holiday

best christmas movies — the holiday

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

Watch The Holiday, a comedy-drama-romance perfect for Christmas. When two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other’s countries, they each meet a local guy and fall in love.

Released in 2006. Rated PG-13

20. The Family Stone

Available at: Amazon | Best BuyWalmart

An uptight, conservative businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family’s annual Christmas celebration and finds that she’s a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.

Released in 2005. Rated PG-13

21. Love Actually

love actually christmas movie

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart  •  Or watch it FREE with Netflix

This is the perfect movie to grab some wine and curl up with your significant other! Watch this movie about nine intertwined stories, and examine the complexities of the one emotion that connects us all: love.

Released in 2003. Rated R

22. Die Hard

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart  •  Or watch it FREE with Hulu

Who doesn’t love a low key Christmas story? Haha! John McClane, an officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. This is one even your husband will be sure to love!

Released in 1988. Rated R

“Alan Rickman’s film debut as baddie Hans Gruber is worth the watch alone! We love it.” – Jamie

23. Scrooged

best christmas movies — scrooged

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

In this take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Frank Cross (Bill Murry) a selfish, cynical television executive, is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

Released in 1988. Rated PG-13

“I remember watching this every Christmas with my Dad growing up. The fairy Godmother actress always cracked us up!” – Sara

24. Four Christmases

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

When their plans for an exotic vacation fall apart, unmarried couple Brad and Kate must spend Christmas Day going to all the family get-togethers they were hoping to avoid. While Brad counts the hours until he can escape the onslaught of crazy relatives, Kate begins to wonder about her own choices and ponders whether her family members aren’t so crazy after all.

Released in 2008. Rated PG-13

“Ummmm… the TABOO scene. BEST Part of the movie! lol” – Collin

25. The Family Man

best christmas movies — the family man

Available at: Amazon | Target | Best BuyWalmart

Jack, a fast-lane investment broker offered the opportunity to see how the other half lives, wakes up to find that his sports car and girlfriend have become a mini-van and wife. We love this Christmas movie, and it proves that life really is about family and the little things! After watching this movie, I’m always left feeling extra thankful for so much!

Released in 2000. Rated PG-13

“LOOOOOVE this one!! It’s one of my fav movies to watch during Christmastime! It’s about how incredibly special family is.” – Collin

Which Christmas movies are on your must-watch list?

Please let us know in the comments!


Join The Discussion

Comments 41

  1. Me

    Thank you! I really want to watch some Christmas movies this season and this is a great list. Just what I needed! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh good! You’re very welcome! Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving too!

  2. Casey

    I love Fred Claus. It’s become one of my favorites.

  3. Melissa

    A few to add. In some, Christmas is the setting for part of the film, but we include it in our Christmas video watching. Older movies: Christmas in Connecticut, The Shop around the Corner, Bachelor Mother, My Favorite Wife. Newer films: Fred Claus, Funny Farm, New in Town, While You Were Sleeping.

    • Melissa

      I left off The Christmas Card. I think it might be a Hallmark movie.

    • hbee

      I second While You Were Sleeping. Its ine if the first movies we see during the holidays.

    • Ashley

      Christmas in Connecticut is one of my favorites! Glad to see another fan! Holiday Inn is another classic can’t-miss.

  4. Marie

    Oh my gosh! I love this! Thank you so much!

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      You’re welcome, Marie!

  5. Loretta

    My favorite Xmas movie is The Bishop’s Wife. Not the one with Denzel Washington but the 1947 movie. This movie stars Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven.

  6. Rachel

    The Preacher’s Wife is one of our favorites! I cry every time and Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington are fabulous. Love love love ❤️

  7. Deb

    1951’s “Scrooge,” with Alastair Sim.

  8. Jen

    The Santa Clause- the 1st one!

    • Rebecca


  9. Tia in FL

    I need to rewatch Home Alone 2. I don’t remember it being that good.

  10. Happy Aunt

    Prancer is another favorite of mine!

    • Casey

      I love Prancer!!

  11. Rebecca

    For those not easily offended, our favorite is Bad Santa! #2 doesn’t quite live up to it but…..Kathy Bates! Worth a watch just for her lol. To watch with the kids, we all enjoy Elf, Arthur Christmas, Charlie Brown of course, the Santa Claus, Christmas with the Kranks too!(Anything with Tim Allen I guess? Lol) There’s a Toy Story Christmas short which is cute, and an elf cartoon that come on cable every year, blanking on the name…Also I must be the only person who never liked Home Alone?? Didn’t as a kid and don’t now, of course rest of family does!

  12. tracey

    Jingle All the Way (Schwarzenegger)Deck the Halls (Matthew Broderick)!

    • tracey

      Steve Martin in Mixed Nuts…Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby is another old one. I’ll keep brainstorming!

      • tracey

        Holiday in Handcuffs and Snowglobe are cute ABC family movies.

  13. Melanie

    I love to watch Scrooged with Bill Murray and one magic Christmas was always my favorite growing up. Also we count Gemlins as a Christmas movie because our family is weird and demented that way lol

    • Suzanne

      LOL I was going to comment that we watch Gremlins every year around Christmas! Glad to know we aren’t the only ones! My daughter does her best Gremlin impression saying, “Yum, Yum!”

  14. Melissa

    All versions of A Christmas Carol are good, but I especially like the animated 2009 version with Jim Carrey. Gary Oldman, Colin Firth. Andrea Bocelli singing. Beautifully done!

  15. Mary

    Elf is my absolute favorite! Miracle on 34th Street… *sigh* love it but has to be 1973 version with Maureen O’Hara. It just doesn’t feel like Cristmas without them. 🌲

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yes! I like watching those each year too!

  16. Tracy

    Prep and Landing is a really good animated short. Shrek the Halls is funny.
    We also watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles every Thanksgiving. Gobble Gobble

  17. Anna

    Bob Hope in Lemon Drop Kid. That’s where song “Silver Bells” first came from- from Santas ringing bells like for Salvation Army. Funny and heartwarming Christmas movie!!! On youtube:

    • Melissa

      Lemon Drop Kid is a very funny movie. Unfortunately, most people these days have never seen it.

  18. MelRox

    A new adult fav… Daddy’s Home 2

  19. Mrs BK

    If u can find it I recommend Three Days starring Kristin Davis. Will definitely tug at your heart ❤️

  20. Renee

    Thanks for the list. In addition to the ones you listed, I also love Surviving Christmas (Ben Affleck), The Ref, Mixed Nuts (Steve Martin), Deck the Halls (Mathew Broderick), Holiday in Handcuffs, Trapped in Paradise.

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      You’re welcome, Renee! Thanks for sharing your favorites with us!

  21. riss

    Elf!!!! When Will Ferrell tried to hug the raccoon! 😂🤣

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)


  22. Paulina

    The Christmas Project is a nice movie to watch with the kids. We love it.

  23. Sara

    Last Holiday

  24. Angela

    This Christmas with Loretta Devine

  25. KateT

    I discovered Love the Coopers last year and I loved it!!

  26. Debbie

    Fred Claus is a super cute Christmas movie!

  27. Amy

    This Christmas is a great movie, but it’s not for kids.

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