From family favorites to seasonal classics, Cedars writers share their top Christmas movies

Compiled by Janie Walenda

As Christmas break begins, so do the Christmas movie marathons.  Whether you prefer Hallmark rom-coms or classic movie musicals, charming family entertainment or uproarious comedies, there’s a Christmas movie for you.  Oftentimes these movies become part of holiday traditions.  Everyone has a favorite Christmas movie, and some of our Cedars Arts and Entertainment writers have taken this opportunity to share their favorites with you.    

Caroline Stanton: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”

This movie is one of my all-time favorites in general, but it is always my favorite movie to watch during the Christmas season. I’m not usually a girl who laughs at movies, but this one has me laughing so hard every time I watch it. It’s so relatable, as it tells the story of the awkward family dynamics that can happen around Christmas time and the patience that is often needed in order to experience the magic of the holiday season. The main character, Clark Griswold, is played by actor Chevy Chase, who is often deemed as the “funniest man in America.” Chase certainly does not disappoint in humor or quality acting in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” It’s classic, witty, timeless, and a 10/10 from me. 

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” is currently streaming on HBO Max

Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

Sophia Monastra: “The Muppet Christmas Carol”

Not only is this movie an entertaining musical with catchy tunes and seamless integration between human and Muppet actors, but “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is one of the most book-accurate movies I have seen. Long sections of book dialogue are quoted, due to a brilliant artistic choice of using Charles Dickens (Gonzo the Great) and Rizzo the Rat (himself) as co-narrators who break the fourth wall with grace. The spirit and emotion of the timeless Christmas classic are preserved, yet balanced by the humorous, zany tone the Muppets are well-known for. 

“The Muppet Christmas Carol” is currently streaming on Disney+

Image courtesy of Jim Henson Productions

Kathryn McDonald: “White Christmas”

From the minute I watched this enchanting musical as a young girl, I was enthralled. It is filled with color, music, an all-star cast and a nostalgic, cozy spirit that reverberates with cheery Christmas joy. Set in post-World War II America, this movie tells the story of two singing duos that fall in love and live happily ever after. Well… maybe it’s a little more complicated, but what’s not to love about a plot like that? 

The sets, the costumes, the music and the chemistry all makes for a stunning Christmas classic – one that keeps me coming back again and again. If you have never seen White Christmas, this is your chance to discover my favorite American Christmas classic. Seriously, go add it to your Netflix queue!

“White Christmas” is currently streaming on Netflix

Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures.  

Katlynn Rossignol: “A Garfield Christmas Special”

Every Christmas season, my brother and I look forward to rewatching Christmas specials, one of which is “A Garfield Christmas Special” from 1987. This animated special is a hidden gem full of original Christmas music, classic jokes and family fun. The special is only 23 minutes long and has Garfield, Jon and Odie going to spend Christmas on the family farm. Hi-jinks ensue as Jon’s family prepares for the holiday, resulting in a charming and heartfelt family comedy. 

The classic frame-by-frame animated short was even nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program at the 40th Primetime Emmy Awards. 

“A Garfield Christmas Special” is available to watch on YouTube

Image courtesy of Christmas Specials Wiki

Janie Walenda: “Klaus”

“Klaus” tells the story of Jesper Johansen, voiced by Jason Schwartzman, who gets assigned as the postman to the distant town of Smeerensburg.  Through various misadventures, he slowly befriends a reclusive toymaker known only as Klaus, voiced by J.K. Simmons.  Desperate to boost the amount of mail sent in Smeerensburg from none to six thousand letters a year, Jesper hatches a plan.  

“Klaus” is a creative and heartfelt reimagining of the Santa Claus mythology, with plenty of laughs along the way. The character growth throughout the movie is heartwarming, and along with the stunning animation is my primary motivation to revisit the movie year after year.  It’s hard for me to believe that this will only be the fourth year since the movie came out, as it’s already become an essential part of my Christmas experience. 

“Klaus” is currently streaming on Netflix

Image courtesy of Netflix 

Janie Walenda is a sophomore Global Business major and the A&E editor for Cedars. She is passionate about musicals, animation and cold brew.

Header image courtesy of istockphoto

1 Reply to "From family favorites to seasonal classics, Cedars writers share their top Christmas movies"

  • comment-avatar
    Tom T December 17, 2022 (5:35 pm)

    1. Elf
    2. A Christmas Story
    3. Hoosiers

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.