Christmas Classics: Five Must-Watch Movies for the Holiday Season

by Sam Acosta

After what’s most certainly been a long year for us all, it’s once again the holiday season, and we are all in need of some long-awaited rest and relaxation. What better way to do that than to gather around the TV with your family and watch the perfect Christmas movie? If your family is at all like mine, however, you might have some trouble finding a movie your whole family can agree on. So here are five Christmas classics you and your family can watch this holiday season.

  1. “Elf”

If you’re looking for a good laugh, then all you need to do is pass through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops, and then walk through the Lincoln Tunnel. There, you’ll find Buddy the Elf (played by the hysterical Will Ferrell), a human orphan raised in the North Pole believing he was just another elf (albeit an extremely tall one). After finding out the truth, Buddy embarks on an epic journey to New York City to find his family and discover where he really belongs. 

With the help of some stellar co-stars, including James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, and Bob Newhart, the knowingly giddy Ferrell will have you bending over with laughter, while the heartfelt story about family and belonging will leave you with warm fuzzy feelings by the time the credits roll. So sit back, relax and remember: the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

  1. “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

This animated special from 1966 has stood the test of time as the definitive telling of the Grinch’s plot to steal Christmas from the unsuspecting citizens of Whoville. With a runtime of only half an hour, this film is a simple but entertaining story thanks to its gleefully villainous protagonist and its earnest message. 

We watch as the Grinch (voiced by British acting legend Boris Karloff) learns that it’s not the stuff you get on Christmas but the people you are with and the love that you share that makes the day so special. So take a short break to watch this holiday classic and then try to carry on with your day without randomly humming the melody to “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

  1. “White Christmas”

Even if you don’t like musicals, you won’t be able to help but enjoy this delightful Christmas classic. Follow Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) as they travel to snowy Vermont after discovering that their old general from the war (Dean Jagger) needs help running his failing inn. On their way up, they meet the Haynes sisters (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen), and together the four entertainers decide to put on a show to save their commanding officer’s business. 

You will find yourself singing along to the iconic soundtrack from the brilliant Irving Berlin, which includes such classics as “Count your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “Sisters,” and most importantly “White Christmas.” It’s the perfect film to watch before falling asleep and dreaming about waking up to a freshly fallen blanket of snow. 

  1. “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown! In what I would argue is the best Peanuts movie of all time, we join the gang as they fight against one of the greatest enemies of the holiday season: the over-commercialization of Christmas. As Charlie Brown directs his school’s Christmas play, he must figure out how to pull a rowdy Peanuts gang together and, more importantly, figure out what Christmas is all about. 

From the doghouse decorating competitions to the small, sickly Christmas trees, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will make you smile without fail every time you watch it. There is tons of laughter and heart waiting in this must-see. So bring your hot water, disinfectant, and iodine (you never know when you might get kissed by a dog) and prepare to follow Charlie Brown as he learns the true meaning of Christmas.

  1. “It’s a Wonderful Life”

As a film with an incredibly powerful message that can speak to us year-round, this holiday classic shows us the impact that we have on the lives of others. Follow the life of George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), as he struggles to balance the size of his ambition within the constricting circumstances of his hometown, Bedford Falls. 

When George hits rock bottom, he makes a strong claim: that everyone would be better off if he had never been born. His guardian angel Clarence (Henry Travers) is sent to help show George that, no matter how dark things may get, his life has changed the world around him for the better. Not only does this make for an amazing Christmas movie that leaves you feeling grateful for your loved ones, but it is also a story with a lesson that will stay with you year-round.

Sam Acosta is a Sophomore Theatre Comprehensive Major and an A&E writer for Cedars. He likes spending his time watching movies, drinking Dr. Pepper, and writing plays.

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