Movies Recommend to Watch on Christmas Day

As the holiday season approaches, there’s nothing like cozying up under a warm blanket with a cup of hot cocoa, basking in the glow of twinkling lights, and immersing ourselves in a heartwarming Christmas movie. With so many festive films to choose from, it can be a challenge to find the perfect pick for your family or friends to enjoy.

I am a huge fan of Christmas movies, and I believe that they are an essential part of the holiday season. I have found a range of great Christmas movie options which include classic and unexpected ones to suit any taste this holiday season. These films bring joy and warmth to people’s hearts, helping everyone get into the Christmas spirit. 

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the enchanting world of these delightful Christmas movies, guaranteed to add a touch of magic to your holiday celebration! 

Classic Christmas Movies

There is nothing more nostalgic and heartwarming than curling up on the couch to watch a classic Christmas movie. Their charming stories of finding meaning, belief, and connection resonate as much today as when they were made decades ago.

Watching these timeless classics reminds me of cherished childhood memories watching them with my family. The nostalgia provides a sense of comfort and tradition that new movies simply cannot replicate. Their gentle humor and life lessons remain timeless. They transport me back to simpler, more innocent times. 

In this section, I’ll be sharing some of my old-time favorites.

Christmas Carol Adaptation——Scrooge (1951)

This adaptation has developed a reputation over the years as being the definitive version of Dickens’ iconic holiday tale, and I completely understand why after seeing it. From the spot-on casting to the Gothic atmosphere, it captured the spirit of the book remarkably well.

Alastair Sim is simply perfect as Ebenezer Scrooge. In the early scenes, his Scrooge comes across as a reserved, disciplined miser rather than an over-the-top villain. Yet you still believe his callousness completely. And when Scrooge transforms at the end, Sim plays it with such infectious, almost manic joy. His wide-eyed excitement feels very genuine.

The cinematography also contributes greatly to the film’s atmosphere. There are so many artfully composed shots full of looming shadows and silhouettes that evoke the gloomy tone of the book. Scrooge wandering the creepy streets as Marley’s ghost approaches still gives me chills. And the surreal, dreamlike effects during the ghostly visitations capture the spirit world vividly.

The story and themes resonated strongly with me. It has some minor dated elements which I like the most. By the end, I was moved to tears by Scrooge’s emotional redemption. This version will now be my go-to adaptation to watch every holiday season. I highly recommend it to any fellow Christmas movie fans looking for a faithful, well-made version of this classic tale. Alastair Sim’s performance alone makes it well worth watching!

Old-Time Favorites

There are plenty of other classic Christmas movies that have stood the test of time, becoming favorites for many of us. Here are three old-time favorites that I think deserve a spot on everyone’s watch list during the holidays:

White Christmas (1954)has endured as a Christmas favorite for over 60 years!

The highlight is definitely the music by the legendary Irving Berlin. Hearing Bing Crosby croon the title song “White Christmas” still gives me chills every time. His voice is so smooth and comforting. And the rest of the soundtrack is fantastic too, especially fun numbers like “Sisters” and “Snow.” The choreography is simple but very impressive, especially the dance solos by Vera-Ellen.

Of course, the cast is perfect. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye have effortless comedic chemistry as Army buddies turned musical duo Bob and Phil. Their banter and hijinks constantly made me laugh. The supporting cast is wonderful too, especially Dean Jagger as the cherished General Waverly.

The story is sweet and heartwarming, capturing the nostalgia of the era so well. I love how Bob and Phil try to help out their former commander. The romantic plot between Bob and Betty is adorable too.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is so charming and heartwarming – it left me filled with Christmas spirit!

The premise follows Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn), who gets a job as the Santa Claus at Macy’s department store in New York City. He claims to be the real Santa Claus, which leads to a court case to determine his mental health. This simple concept allows the film to explore beautiful themes of faith, belief, and the importance of imagination.

Edmund Gwenn is absolutely perfect as Kris Kringle. His warm, twinkling portrayal makes you want to believe he really is Santa. His chemistry with little Natalie Wood as the skeptical Susan is delightful. Their scenes slowly melting Susan’s cynicism are my favorite parts of the film.

The story masterfully blends whimsy, humor, and emotion. Watching Kris win over the jaded Doris and Fred with his kindness and conviction is so heartwarming. I love the sense of wonder he brings out in people. And the courtroom climax had me on the edge of my seat, hoping for a Christmas miracle.

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946): At its core, It’s a Wonderful Life is about appreciating the value of one’s own life and the positive impact we can have on others. James Stewart is absolutely fantastic as George Bailey, capturing his frustrations, regrets, and ultimate redemption perfectly. I felt deeply invested in George’s story as he constantly puts aside his dreams for the good of his community in Bedford Falls.

The film poses powerful questions about purpose and meaning through George’s crisis on Christmas Eve where he wishes he was never born. The alternate reality sequence where the angel Clarence shows George a world without him is incredibly impactful. Seeing how much worse off the town and his loved ones would be without him makes George realize how essential his sacrifices have been. It’s an incredibly moving testament to how even ordinary people shape the lives around them for the better.

Non-Traditional Christmas Movies

While most associate the holidays with family, cheer, and coziness, the darker days of December are also the perfect time to indulge in horror films. From classics like Black Christmas to hits like Die Hard, Christmas horror combines tension and jump scares with yuletide imagery for a perversely entertaining escape.

One of my favorite unconventional Christmas movies is Die Hard. More than just an action film, it uses the backdrop of a Christmas party at a Los Angeles skyscraper to tell the story of one man’s battle against ruthless criminals threatening the lives of innocent people. Bruce Willis delivers an all-time great performance as John McClane, an everyman who must dig deep within himself to save the hostages. The tension-filled climactic scenes leave you on the edge of your seat.

The action scenes are truly incredible. Right from the start, when Hans Gruber and his team of terrorists take over the Nakatomi Plaza, the intensity never lets up. Some of the highlights for me were McClane crawling through the ventilation shafts, the brutal fist fights with the villains, and the explosive finale on the roof with the hostages. The stunts and practical effects still hold up remarkably well even decades later. Director John McTiernan really knew how to choreograph action for maximum impact.

Although it is not being a typical holiday film, it has plenty of heart and entertainment value to watch year after year. 30 years later, it still holds up as one of the best action movies ever made. If you love action films and great characters, do yourself a favor and watch Die Hard this holiday season!

Are you looking to spice up your holiday movie lineup with a suspenseful thriller? Then consider adding the 1974 slasher film Black Christmas to your viewing options. This 1974 slasher film is credited as one of the earliest examples of the genre. It follows a group of sorority girls stalked by an unknown killer during the holiday break. Jumpy scenes and an unnerving score heighten the suspense in this chilling tale.

The way the camerawork builds up tension and suspense throughout is fantastic. Even though there’s minimal on-screen violence, the movie still terrified me thanks to the atmosphere.

The threatening phone calls from the killer “Billy” are bone-chillingly disturbing. The deranged and manic voices he uses sent shivers down my spine. 

The performances are also top-notch, especially from Olivia Hussey as Jess. She’s a complex final girl dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. Margot Kidder is also memorable as the drunk, sassy Barb. And that Mrs. MacHenry’s housemother cracks me up!

While the identity of the killer stays ambiguous, it works to the film’s advantage in my opinion, adding to the creepiness and dread. This movie pioneered so many slasher tropes that became commonplace in the decades after its release. It deserves to be regarded as one of the all-time Christmas horror greats.

By now, you’ve likely selected the perfect movie to enjoy on Christmas Day. Before settling in to watch, be sure everything is in place for an exceptional viewing experience. Stock up on festive snacks like popcorn, candy canes, and eggnog. Lay out cozy blankets to cuddle under. Test that your HDMI cables are connected and speakers are set up for optimal sound. Make a checklist of any other accessories you may want on hand, like extra charging cables. With the right movie playing and a comfy setup complete with all the trimmings, you’ll be all set for a wonderful night immersed in the glow of the screen. I hope you and yours have a very merry Christmas filled with joy, family, and your favorite film.

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