It’s the beginning of December and that means that there are hundreds of Christmas movies and shows on for you to watch. You can’t possibly watch them all in just one short month. So, the Dogwood crew decided to do the hard work for you and create a list of our top must-watch Christmas movies.
It’s a Wonderful Life
First on the list is this 1946 classic It’s a Wonderful Life. If you haven’t seen it, you’ve at least heard about it and you probably even know a quote or two from it. Ever heard someone say, “Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings.” Yep, that’s from It’s a Wonderful Life.
The movie focuses on businessman George Bailey and his life. It goes through several difficult and often unfair situations in George’s life leading up to the moment where a cruel and villainous rival takes advantage of a mistake and almost puts George out of business. Obviously distraught by this George lashes out at his family and friends and leaves his house planning to take his own life. Lucky for George an angel is sent to show him why his life has always been worth living.
This is one of those stories that warm your heart and maybe even make you tear up a little. 10 out of 10 should definitely give it a watch!
Next up we have another classic, this time released in 1954, White Christmas. If you immediately started singing, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” there’s a reason. The movie stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen, and is full of upbeat music, fun dance numbers, true love, and best of all Christmas cheer!
A successful song-and-dance team, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, become romantically involved with a sister act, Betty and Judy. The four of them team up to save a failing Vermont inn that they discover is owned by Phil and Bob’s former commanding army general. They try to bring in revenue for the General by practicing their show at the Inn. Of course, misunderstandings happen, and feelings get hurt, but love always prevails.
The story is cute, and the music is fun, catchy, and dreamy! If for no other reason, you should give it a watch to see Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas.” Nothing feels more like Christmas than that!
A Christmas Story
This is another one of those movies that even if you’ve never seen it you probably know what it is. “You’ll shoot your eye out” is a pretty famous line for fans and non-fans alike. A Christmas Story came out in 1983 and follows the story of Ralphie as he tries to figure out how to get the one gift, he wants more than anything else.
Ralphie is a young boy who wants an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle, with a compass in the stock and “this thing which tells time” for Christmas. He tries telling his parents and they quickly inform him that he can’t have it because it’s dangerous. Ralphie does everything he knows to do to try and get the gun and of course, chaos and hijinks ensue.
You’ll have to watch the movie to know if he gets the gun or not but all in all, it’s a cute movie. Not a Christmas movie with a deep moral but it’ll give you a good laugh.
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
If you’re looking for a bit of irreverent humor and want to feel better about your own “dysfunctional family,” National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is the Christmas movie for you. It was released in 1989 and follows the Griswold family as they plan for a big Christmas get together.
The Griswold family is anything but normal and things never go smoothly when they’re involved. Clark and Ellen Griswold try to be gracious hosts to their extended family this Christmas but that’s a lot easier said than done. The one thing that keeps them going is the promise of a Christmas bonus.
This movie is hilarious, but you have to be in the correct frame of mind to really appreciate it. If you’re wanting to feel the Christmas magic, then this isn’t the time to watch Christmas Vacation. If you’ve never seen it, you’ve got to watch it just to say you have. Believe me.
Last but certainly not least, the most agreed upon Christmas must watch from the Dogwood crew is Elf. This movie screams Christmas, literally. Who doesn’t love the always cheerful Buddy the Elf and all his crazy antics? Elf came out in 2003 and is definitely one of the most widely loved and anticipated Christmas movies every year.
If you haven’t seen it, it follows the story of Buddy the Elf, a human who was adopted and raised in the North Pole as he seeks out his biological father in New York City. As Buddy searches for his dad he also is exposed to the real world for the first time and finds that it might not be as magical as the world he’s used to. Somehow, Buddy finds a way to bring his own brand of Christmas cheer to NYC and endear himself to the family he never knew he had.
Even if you’ve seen this movie 100 times it’s still worth a watch! If you want to feel some extra Christmas spirit, sing along to the songs because we all know that “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
This is our list of must-watch Christmas movies. Is your favorite on the list? We’d love to hear from you.