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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
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
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
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
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
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
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
Released in 1993. Rated PG
Our Favorites from 2000 to Now
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
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
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
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)
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
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
Hip Tip: Want more Christmas Rom-Coms? Check out Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas programming guide!
20. The Family Stone
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
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
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
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
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
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!