Classic Holiday Movies & New, Modern Classic Holiday Movies

I reviewed a lot of “Top Holiday Movies” lists and came up with 5 that were on every single one of them. But I also wanted to mention some of the most modern and current holiday movies that could be considered the “New Classic Holiday Movies.” Enjoy! And Leave your Comments below! Happy Holidays!

Mentioned on every single list I checked was our top movie: "It’s a Wonderful Life." This movie from 1946 stars James Stewart and Donna Reed and has touched holiday hearts for decades. It’s a classic because it combines learning a life lesson with the love of family and friends (and a cute kid) to spread the warmth of the Holidays to many generations.

Second most mentioned movie, is "Miracle on 34th Street" – the original. A little girl wants to believe in Santa, but her mom is raising her on more practical sentiments. The girl is intrigued by the Santa at Macy’s, a man named Kris Kringle, who tells her he is Santa, which leads to the accusation that Kringle is mentally ill. The movie captures childhood curiosity of Santa as well as the grown up inner child wanting there to be a Santa. Kringle demonstrates that there is good in people and combined with that inner child feeling “Miracle” is a favorite for many – young and old, believers and want-to-be-believers.

Number 3 most listed Christmas movie – "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." I was surprised how frequently this one appeared on the Top lists, but I guess people like to keep a sense of humor around the holidays. This is one of my personal favorites because it keeps the National Lampoons style and adds a dash of Christmas cheer (towards the end anyways).

Like "Miracle," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" has an original and a remake and is #4 on our list. What a perfect villain, the creature that wants to take Christmas away from innocent, weird looking kids. But a terrific lesson is learned - that lots of gifts are not what make up Christmas. It’s that Holiday spirit those Whos down in Whoville (and all of us) have so much of that makes the real meaning of the Holidays. Silly Grinch.

Cable channel TBS makes sure everyone has the opportunity to catch this next film. “A Christmas Story” airs for 24 hours starting December 24th. Why this movie to run for an entire day? Because it’s the epitome of a classic Christmas movie and no one should miss the chance to celebrate with little Ralphie and his family as they count down the days to the big event that is Christmas. Reliving childhood memories of excitement and anticipation to Christmas is something that anyone who celebrates this holiday can relate to. From picking out a tree to writing papers about Christmas in school, to the ever frightening day when you have to sit on Santa’s lap – it’s all there in this movie and even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s a childhood-story movie everyone should see.

Now the more up to date, modern Holiday movies top 5. Drum roll please…

Love Actually – In an opening narration Hugh Grant states that “love is all around us” setting the mood for this touching movie. The many different scenarios “Love” explores is the beauty of this film. Everything from a grieving step father and son, to a crush in the Prime Minister’s office, to love transcending language barriers, to the down falls of marriage, and even two porn stand ins falling into love at first sight (wink). This movie really captures the true meaning of the Holiday season and that’s love and what it means to the human race.

Elf – “Elf” is a Holiday favorite because of real life man-child and star, Will Ferrell, who gets to play throughout the movie (doing what he does best). I mean, is it even possible to resist the full grown Santa-helper? We also get to see the talents of Zooey Deschanel who shows off her singing abilities with a couple of solos.

The Holiday – “The Holiday” features four of the biggest names in the biz – Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet who portray our leading ladies and Jack Black and Jude Law who are the handsome gentlemen entwined in our story. Getting away from the stresses of life, Winslet and Diaz switch homes – Diaz to wintry England and Winslet to toasty LA. Love, families, and attractive people – what more does a Holiday movie need?

The Polar Express – A bright-eyed child searching for the true spirit of Christmas – could a Christmas movie be any more perfect? Taken on an adventure to the North Pole the main character is joined by other children seeking the same answers and ultimately gets to meet the big man himself - Santa. It’s a night, and lesson, these children will never forget. Plus, Tom Hanks is there, which is just awesome.

Last Holiday – “Last Holiday” is a fun movie, despite the title. It’s also a heart-warming movie about love and living life to the fullest. Diagnosed with multiple brain tumors the main character decides to liquidate her assets and live out the rest of her life by living it up in the Czech Republic. She gets to experience many new adventures and live without money worries or apprehensions. Along the way she inspires many people and, in the end, finds true love – and life. All together now, “aawwww.”

What are some of your favorite Holiday movies?

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra
So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

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