Top Movie Picks For All Tastes This Holiday Season

With Christmas right around the corner, there is no better way to get in the celebratory spirit than by watching a favorite holiday movie. This Christmas break, be sure to set aside a snowy evening and settle in with some hot cocoa and the holiday film of your choice. Whether you prefer raunchy comedy, sultry romance, or childish fun, there are plenty of great Christmas movies for you. The following are three suggestions to add some more festive fun to your winter break!

A Christmas Story It would be hard to find a list of favorite holiday films that doesn’t include this popular children’s Christmas movie. As corny as it sounds, A Christmas Story really is a film for audiences of all ages. It tells the simple story of Ralphie Parker, an ordinary kid in 1940’s small town America. Despite repeated warning from numerous adults that he will “shoot his eye out,” all Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun. The film chronicles Ralphie as he attempts to fulfill his Christmas wish, as well as including many entertaining subplots about the adventures of the Parker family during that Christmas season. Annual viewers of the yearly television showing of A Christmas Story would likely agree that among the most memorable scenes are those involving Ralphie’s father and his prized possession, a lamp in the shape of a woman’s leg. In addition, audiences are treated to Ralphie’s first comedic encounter with the, and I quote, “F-dash-dash-dash word,” as well as an amusing incident involving a child’s tongue and a frozen flagpole!

A Christmas Story is narrated by Jean Shepherd, who also wrote the film, which is loosely based on his childhood. Shepherd’s dry humor in the narration, coupled with young Peter Billingsley as the adorably believable Ralphie, makes for a holiday classic that will have you and your friends thinking back to the days of Santa Claus and Christmas wishes.

It’s a Wonderful Life A true Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life dates back to 1947 and was directed by Hollywood legend Frank Capra. The story is a dramatic one, with the majority of the film taking place after small-town man George Bailey contemplates jumping off a bridge to end a life that he feels has become worthless. He had spent his life waiting to leave his hometown and make a difference in the world. However, due to the wrath of the town’s villainous millionaire Mr. Potter and the death of his father, George is forced to stay and take over the family business. In the true Christmas spirit, George’s guardian angel, Clarence, comes to his rescue and proceeds to show George what life would have been like for all those in his town, Bedford Falls, had he never lived.

James Stuart and Donna Reed star in this black and white tearjerker that is based on a story entitled “The Greatest Gift,” which was first printed on the inside of a Christmas greeting card. Although it received five Academy Award nominations, It’s a Wonderful Life was originally a box-office flop! It wasn’t until the film was released on television in the 1970s that it gained popularity as one of the most memorable Christmas movies of all time. Since then, this classic film has had generations of audiences contemplating not only the meaning of Christmas, but the meaning of life.

Elf Though it will probably never reach the classic film status of A Christmas Story or It’s a Wonderful Life, this Christmas comedy was released in 2003 and proved to be a box office smash. Elf tells the story of Buddy, a boy who, due to a mishap only Hollywood could magically create, crawls into Santa’s bag one Christmas Eve and is raised as an elf at the North Pole. As an adult, Buddy is a misfit among the elves and treks to New York City to trace back his roots and rediscover his real human family while instilling the true meaning of Christmas in those who seem to have forgotten what the holiday season is really about. These noble motives are hilariously overshadowed by numerous mishaps that are bound to occur when a man raised as an elf is on the loose in New York City.

With Saturday Night Live alum Will Ferrell in the starring role, Elf is a holiday movie with just the right amount of crude humor and sappy moments to appeal to college students and elementary school kids alike. Ironically, Billingsley of A Christmas Story appears in an uncredited role in this film as an elf at the North Pole! For those of you who’ve already seen Elf, try watching it again to spot Billingsley in his cameo appearance, while also enduring a second round of Ferrell’s comic mischief in this humorous Christmas tale.