Your Favorite Christmas Movie?

Gary David Stratton asks his audience what is their favorite Christmas movie, and he has a nice breakdown.

What is yours? Why? What makes it so good?

What better way to get in the holiday spirit than to fire up the DVD, Blu-Ray, Tivo, Wii, XBox, Laptop, IPad, or Smart Phone and watch your favorite Christmas movie.

Here are a few of mine.  I divided them between ‘sacred’ views of Christmas focused more on the birth of Jesus, and ‘secular’ versions focused more on Santa Claus.  I then listed them chronologically within each category. I hope they inspire some holiday cheer.

Compare it to your favorites and enjoy!

Tis the season,

Gary

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://www.pastormattblog.com Pastor Matt

    Black Christmas (1974). Best Christmas horror movie ever!

  • http://theeagleandchild.com Marc

    A Charlie Brown Christmas is just about perfect. It’s funny and warm, has a great soundtrack, and deals with consumerism and the real meaning of Christmas.

    Elf is also quickly becoming a favourite.

    Christmas Vacation (with Chevy Chase) used to be a favourite, but every year I like it less.

    I noticed at least one omission from Gary’s list, under “great movies set during the Christmas season”: The Family Stone.

  • Ernest Manges

    Our family’s favorite, which we watch every year: Muppets Christmas Carol.

  • John W Frye

    The classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart because of the imaginative and magical “what if” of the story.

  • RJS

    The original Grinch (ok not a movie).
    A Christmas Story
    It’s a wonderful life
    The Patrick Stewart version of A Christmas Carol (“made for tv”)

  • Sherman Nobles

    All time favorite – “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
    2nd favorite – “The Fourth Wise Man”.

  • Terry

    The lists so far could certainly be mine. Except for Elf. I pray for Will Ferrell, and I’ll pray for Marc too…
    Yes and Amen to A Charlie Brown Christmas,
    And I’ll second the original Grinch,
    RJS is spot-on with Patrick Stewart’s A Christmas Carol,
    1972′s A House Without a Christmas Tree continues to grab my attention every year for its reality to this former child,
    I’ve recently enjoyed The Nativity Story,
    And perhaps from the sad but true department, The Santa Clause. A little magic is good for what ails…
    And I know I’m a sap, but the 1964 Rudolph is a an absolute must. Call it an ongoing mid-life crisis.

    I am sure it’s obvious by now I kinda like Christmas movies. “A” favorite is about impossible.

  • http://www.highrockquincy.org S. Sharkey

    If you’re willing to get passed the awkward nude scene near the beginning, the movie “Love Actually” is one of my favorites. It’s an ensemble including about 10 intertwining stories (ranging from sweet to comical to real and depressing), If follow all the stories through the movie, the pay off at the end is like getting 10 happy endings for the price of one. Very artful, very creative.

  • http://www.thefaithlog.com Jeff Doles

    My Christmastime movies include:

    We’re No Angels (Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, Aldo Rey, Leo G. Carroll)

    The Bishop’s Wife (David Niven, Cary Grant, Loretta Young, Monty Woolley)

    The Man Who Came to Dinner (Monty Woolley)

    The Family Man (Nicholas Cage, Tea Leone, Saul Rubinek)

    Miracle on 34th Street (Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, Natalie Wood)

    Scrooge (musical, Albert Finney)

    A Christmas Carol (Alistair Sims)

  • http://morechrist.blogspot.com K.W. Leslie

    The last time I was asked this question, I included a lot of the movies above, but I surprised quite a few people when I threw in Die Hard. It does, after all, take place during an office Christmas party.

  • Susan N.

    Ditto on the “great” secular Christmas movie for ‘Elf’. I would also bump ‘Christmas Vacation’ from “good” to “great.” These movies make me laugh, year after year. We own both on DVD :-)

    One of my favorite “great” movies set during the Christmas season is ‘The Holiday’ with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and {Jack Black}<–adorable, like a teddy bear, in this film role. 'The Holiday' is re-run on cable *often* throughout the year. I watch it over and over, and my daughter thinks I'm nuts. "That movie AGAIN?!" It's more than a romantic story… There is sweetness, and adventure, and in the end, a hopeful, happy ending.

    It's a coinky-dink that Gary David Stratton came up on JC this week. My teen daughter has been watching LOST on Netflix (I catch an episode or two with her now and then), from the beginning, and I was just thinking of Gary David Stratton's blog series on that show… Just watched the episode with Mr. Eko (Fr. Tunde) when he comes nose to nose with The Smoke Monster. WHY didn't The Smoke Monster annihilate Mr. Eko in that encounter?! Was it his 'Jesus Stick' or that he was an "ordained minister" (protected status)? Interesting character (Mr. Eko) that I didn't focus on much the first time around. But I digress – NOT a Christmas movie! Will go look on Two Handed Warriors site now for LOST :-)

  • T

    Terry might be an angry elf :D

    Elf.

  • Susan N.

    An angry *South Pole* elf! That scene is my FAVORITE :D

  • Blake

    The Nightmare Before Christmas is my favorite movie to watch each Christmas season.

  • Terry

    (@12) From one T to another, I’m praying for you too. Gosh, with you liking Elf T I’m thinking perhaps I’ve misjudged.

    Nah.

  • discokvn

    oh who could forget the warmth and tenderness of die hard

  • http://LostCodex.com ΔΡΤ

    I must be a humbug, the only one I like is Christmas Vacation.

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    But I do like Rudolph, Bumbles Bounce!

  • Bet

    I have to confess that “Love Actually” is my favorite Christmas movie. It’s not family fare by any means, but it packs a fun, emotional, energizing punch.

  • Phillip

    1. It’s a Wonderful Life. A reminder of the cumulative effects of daily small good deeds, and thatnour calling may not be our first choice.

    2. A Christmas Story. It is just so funny.

    I also consider Die Hard a Christmas movie. Lethal Weapon too.

    I don’t like Rudolph. Santa is mean, and values Rudolph only for utilitarian reasons. The head elf is a tyrant.

  • Keith

    Not in any particular order:

    Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol
    Miracle on 34th Street (the original B&W version)
    It’s a Wonderful Life
    Emmett Otter’s Jugband Christmas

  • Dana Ames

    1. A Christmas Story
    Our family tradition is to watch this together Christmas afternoon or evening. ["You'll get worms!" "It's a Major Award!" "You'll shoot your eye out!" "Look! He's smiling!"]

    2. A Christmas Carol, Alistair Sim version

    3. It’s A Wonderful Life

    Dana

  • Jerry

    1. The Bishop’s Wife
    2. It’s a Wonderful Life
    3. White Christmas
    4. Miracle on 34th Street (the Original!)
    5. A Christmas Story

    I like most of the rest mentioned too.

  • reJoyce

    “Love Actually” for me, too.

    We also watch the cartoon version of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” every year.

  • Debbie

    The cartoon version of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” is simply the best. Love how the Grinch carves that roast beast! I also enjoy “The Christmas Story” with Ralphie and the BB gun.

  • http://mikesnow.org Michael Snow

    Joyeux Noel(2004), the story of the Christmas truce. [I would rate it R for one mild bedroom scene. But no profanity or gross violence.] You probably cannot watch it without tears.

    Like the classics, too, esp Dicken’s Christmas Carol with Geo. C. Scott.

  • http://garydavidstratton.com Gary David Stratton

    Awesome lists!

    Please follow Michael’s lead and chime in at http://garydavidstratton.com/?p=282 as well!

    Gary

  • http://www.chezman86.blogspot.com kevin

    “my mouth’s bleeding Burt, my mouth’s bleeding!!!”

  • Nathan

    Earnest Saves Christmas!!!

  • Wyatt

    Anything schmaltzy. You know, hazy camera shots, unsubtle manipulative storyline, a screenplay written by an 8-year old, talking animals (especially puppies), anything that makes you feel like a total loser if you have no family “to spend the holiday with.” That would be the manipulation I was referring to. Hallmark.

  • http://garydavidstratton.com Gary David Stratton

    Has anyone seen writer-director Robert Kirbyson’s “Snowmen’ yet? It just came out on DVD last week. Buy it and help a brother in Christ, Act One grad (and former staff director) out!

    http://www.dvdsreleasedates.com/movies/4971/Snowmen-2010.html

  • http://natomaschurch.wordpress.com Mike

    My favorite Christmas movie is called “Joyeux Noel” and is the true story of how, during World War 1, the Germans, British and French soldiers decided to stop fighting in the trenches and came out and shared Christmas together. It is a phenomenal movie.

  • Terry

    Mike @ 32, you’re absolutely right. Joyeux Noel is a wonderful film!

  • http://mikesnow.org Michael Snow

    I hope that while we all enjoy movies about Christmas that we will take time to think about sharing Christ with someone we know who is without Christ and a true Christmas. Maybe a gift of a movie or book can open the door for the conversation.

    My dog disappeared from the farm yesterday afternoon while I was away. I spent a lot of time looking for Niko and grieving over a lost dog. The question that our Lord impressed upon me was, “Do I do the same for those who are lost and do not know him?”
    http://sdcougar.startlogic.com/blog/?p=169

  • Darren

    A Christmas Story

  • http://cmbuzz.com Julie

    We have a family tradition of watching Christmas movies over the week leading up to the holiday. I would have to say my favorites are Elf, Home Alone, and Rudolf. Here is list and complete run down of my top 11 Christmas movies http://bit.ly/rzH23s


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