Top 10 Christmas Movies to Enjoy Over Winter Break

Nadia Geisser

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Nadia Geisser, staff writer

Over the three-week winter break, you may find yourself stumped about what to do to fill the time. Holiday movies are a great way to pass that time while staying in the Christmas spirit. They’re great to enjoy with friends, family, or even during a cozy night by yourself. So here are a few Christmas movies to enjoy during winter break.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

This fantasy drama was produced by Frank Capra, starring James Stewart as George Bailey. In the film, an angel saves a man in despair from his ongoing feeling of hopelessness by showing him how a world without him would affect his town and the people who love him the most. Maybe not the most common Christmas movie plot, but a beloved classic, and definitely a must-watch this holiday season.

2. Elf (2003)

This quirky comedy follows the story of Buddy, played by comedic genius Will Ferrell, a fun-loving elf from the North Pole who travels to New York City on a mission to find his biological father, and woos an unforeseen stranger. Elf is a perfect pick the entire family will love. Enjoy watching this rogue elf and his unexpected romantic endeavors this Christmas.

3. Love Actually (2003)

This popular rom-com includes nine intertwined couple stories that explore the complexities of love, and oh how common it actually is. With an amazing cast including Hugh Grant, Kiera Knightley, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, and more, you’re sure to feel a whirlwind of emotions after watching these beautifully relatable stories, and most importantly, fall in love with them. 

4. A Christmas Story (1983)

This beloved 1983 film starred the amazing Peter Billingsley. He follows a youngster in the 1940s, Ralphie, who must overcome a bully and his cranky father in order to make it to Christmas and hopefully get his ideal, and perhaps questionable, Christmas gift. I ‘triple-dog dare’ you to watch this fun-loving family comedy over the holidays.

5. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Everyone knows and loves the story of Rudolph and his glowing red nose used to guide Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. This animated stop-motion film puts together a beautiful message about the struggle of feeling like a misfit in a story based on the 1949 Christmas song. This movie is perfect to fill the air with a cheerful holiday spirit.

6. A Madea Christmas (2013)

There is no denying the holidays can be a bit stressful at times, but this utterly hysterical Tyler Perry film will undoubtedly put a smile on your face. This movie explores the struggles many families face when it comes to the holidays and learning to put aside your differences to appreciate the real meaning of family and celebration. With a rather touching message, Tyler Perry, and Madea of course, make this a truly with-your-while hilarious holiday film.

7. Home Alone (1990)

What is Christmas without this belovedly hilarious cult classic? This family comedy stars Macaulay Culkin who plays a bratty yet wildly clever 8-year-old, Kevin McCallister who is left by his family who mistakenly leaves for the airport without him to defend his empty home from two robbers. This is the perfect holiday film that will make the entire family laugh.

8. Krampus (2015)

 Krampus is very different from most other holiday films; this one is perfect for horror comedy lovers. This story with a horror twist follows a dysfunctional family who face the wrath of Krampus who comes from ancient European folklore. It shows them the consequences one must face when the spirit of Christmas is lost. This fanciful holiday film with the shadow of St. Nick will surely scare up your holiday spirit.

9. Happiest Season (2020)

This fairly new holiday film examines the true meaning behind undeniable love despite the pressure of your family’s values. This is a touching story of a young couple played by Twilight star, Kristen Stewart, and Mackenzie Davis who must find a way to get Harper’s conservative parents to approve of their marriage plans inconveniently during their annual holiday party. This romantic drama will leave you appreciating the gift of family a little more this holiday season.

10. Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

Where would we be this holiday season without the king of Christmas movies himself, Tim Allen? This chaotic, light-hearted film is about a couple who wants to venture away from their holiday traditions but soon must scurry to put together a Christmas party when they find out their daughter is coming home for the holidays. This heartfelt holiday comedy will leave you full of laughter and more appreciative when it comes to holiday season traditions.