Christmas Movies: Ranking The Good, The Bad & The Fantastic

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This post could be a little controversial, we’re ranking classic films as the good, bad, or best Christmas movies ever made! Agree? Disagree? Tell us!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the smells, the sounds, the sights…so many things go into making the holiday season what is it, but our favorite? Why, it’s the Christmas movies, of course! And today, I will be ranking (in no particular order) the good, the bad and the absolute best of these holiday films, so get ready!

The Good, the Bad, and the Best Christmas Movies

best Christmas movies - Splendry

THE GOOD

  • Jingle All the Way (1996): This film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a father who vows to get his son the coolest toy of the season. His struggle is real, but – of course – there’s a happy ending.
  • Miracle on 34th Street (1947): A nice old man with a white beard says he is Santa Claus. After being institutionalized for this claim, only a miracle can save the day. (Also, the remake from 1994 is good, too…but originals are almost always better!)
  • I’ll Be Home for Christmas (1998): In this funny flick, Jonathan Taylor Thomas’ character just wants to get home for the holidays, to his family and to his girlfriend, who is played by Jessica Biel. With everything working against him, will he make it in time for Christmas?
  • Christmas with the Kranks (2004): The Kranks are known for going all out during Christmastime, but then they say they are skipping Christmas. However, their daughter decides to come home for the holidays, and they immediately regret their decision. Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis are hilarious in this!
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000): Dr. Seuss’’ classic tale about the grouchy ol’ Grinch is full of lessons for all of us, and while we do love the original animated version, Jim Carrey brings the story to life in a whole new way.
  • Home Alone (1990): And, of course, in this movie, Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin) must protect his house from a pair of burglars after being left home alone!

THE BAD

  • Die Hard (1988): There’s nothing like a hostage situation during a Christmas party…Is this even a Christmas movie? Some people may be into the action of this flick, but I am listing Bruce Willis’ work on the “bad” list. Sorry!
  • The Night They Saved Christmas (1984): Those who haven’t seen this piece need to go watch it now! An oil company’s work disturbs the North Pole, and Jaclyn Smith’s character, along with children and a strange-looking elf, must save Christmas.
  • The Santa Clause 2 (2002): This movie is set nearly a decade after the original film in this series…and it took a wrong turn. That fake Santa – Yikes! At least the third one was a little bit better.
  • The Night Before (2015): This is one of those that’s so bad that it’s good. It’s not that bad, but it’s not the traditional holiday film. How could it be, with stars like Seth Rogen and Jillian Bell?! It provides a few laughs, though, while telling about three friends looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.
  • Christmas in Connecticut (1945): This black-and-white story is all about a writer who stretches the truth, all for good stories that entertain her readers. When her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for Christmas, though, she must learn to be a real housewife.
  • Gremlins (1984): Everyone knows about these little monsters that terrorize a small town on Christmas. But how many knew that there’s an upcoming sequel/reboot?
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989): The Griswold family’s film definitely belongs on this list, too.

While these not-so-great examples are, well, not so great, they are still staples during the holiday season!

THE FANTASTIC

  • The Santa Clause (1994): As mentioned, Tim Allen becoming Santa Clause is a truly fun film!
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964): The style…The story…The silly characters…This is a classic!
  • White Christmas (1954): A song-and-dance team becomes romantically involved with a sister act in this amazing movie starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen!
  • The Polar Express (2004): This animated movie gives a magical look at the North Pole and the spirit of Christmas!
  • Elf (2003): Those who haven’t seen this are cotton-headed ninny-muggins, and those who watch and adore this film know the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by enjoying Will Ferrell in this!
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946): And last but not least, there is this heartwarming movie about an angel teaching George Bailey (played by James Stewart) to be grateful for his wonderful life.

Agree? Disagree? Now it’s your turn to share! What’s on your list when it comes to the best Christmas movies?

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Bri
From a Texas town of 300, I made my way to the University of Texas at Austin to study journalism, which spurred me on to write for publications like Us Weekly and to cover events such as New York Fashion Week. When I'm not writing, I'm playing with my cat, vacationing with my family or watching Netflix with my husband.
Bri

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