Christmas is right around the corner, and you know what that means – Black Friday deals, snuggly scarfs, decorations and “Jingle Bell Rock” on the radio. But forget all of that, because for me, the best part about the weeks leading up to Dec. 25 is that it’s finally socially acceptable to watch Christmas movies. Hooray!
To help you become the couch potato you were always meant to be, I’ve compiled a list of my 12 favorite Christmas movies (in no particular order) so you won’t have to waste time scrolling through Netflix and Hulu. Some of these are classics we all know and love, while others are probably not on your must-watch list, but they should be. Consider this my gift to you.
1. “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Not Rated)
Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore
Synopsis: An angel is sent from Heaven to show George Bailey, a frustrated businessman with a good heart, what life would be like had he never existed.
Why I like it: It reminds me to appreciate what I have and how each person’s life touches so many others.
2. “Elf” (PG)
Cast: Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel and James Caan
Synopsis: After discovering he’s a human, Buddy the Elf travels from the North Pole to New York City to find his real father.
Why I like it: Will Ferrell in yellow tights is comedy gold. End of story.
3. “Christmas with the Kranks” (PG)
Cast: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Aykroyd
Synopsis: The Kranks decide to skip Christmas and go on a cruise. But when their daughter comes home at the last minute, they have to rush to celebrate the holiday.
Why I like it: It makes fun of how crazy some people can get around the holidays.
4. “Arthur Christmas” (PG)
Cast: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy
Synopsis: Santa’s clumsy son Arthur goes on a mission with his grandfather to deliver a misplaced present to a child before Christmas morning.
Why I like it: There aren’t many animated Christmas movies adults can truly enjoy, but this is one of them. It’s funny, sweet and the elves are like little secret agents.
5. “Jack Frost” (PG)
Cast: Michael Keaton, Kelly Preston and Joseph Cross
Synopsis: A father who can’t keep his promises dies in a car accident. He later returns as a snowman to set things right with his son.
Why I like it: It makes me cry, but in a good way. Tears are one of the main ingredients of a great Christmas flick.
6. “The Night Before” (R)
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Jillian Bell, Anthony Mackie and Michael Shannon
Synopsis: On Christmas Eve, three longtime friends spend the night in New York City looking for the ultimate Christmas party.
Why I like it: The cast is stacked and the premise is fresh. Plus, I like Seth Rogen in pretty much everything.
7. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (PG)
Cast: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jessica Biel, Gary Cole and Adam LaVorgna
Synopsis: A college student tries to make it home for Christmas despite being stranded in the desert, thousands of miles away, with no money.
Why I like it: As a child of the 1990’s, Jonathan Taylor Thomas was my celebrity crush.
8. “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (G)
Cast: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire and Frank Oz
Synopsis: The Muppet characters tell their version of how old and bitter Ebenezer Scrooge finds redemption on Christmas Eve.
Why I like it: It’s a fun take on a classic tale and I know the words to all the songs.
9. “The Santa Clause” (PG)
Cast: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd and David Krumholtz
Synopsis: After causing Santa to fall off his roof, a man is reluctantly recruited to take his place.
Why I like it: Nothing says Christmas like Tim Allen growing a big belly and white beard.
10. “The Family Stone” (PG-13)
Cast: Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson, Dermot Mulroney and Craig T. Nelson
Synopsis: An uptight, conservative businesswoman spends Christmas with her boyfriend’s eccentric and free-spirited family.
Why I like it: It’s awkward and uncomfortable, but has a happy ending.
11. “The Christmas Chronicles” (PG)
Cast: Kurt Russell, Darby Camp and
Synopsis: After accidentally crashing Santa’s sleigh, a brother and sister pull an all-nighter to save Christmas with a savvy, straight-talking St. Nick.
Why I like it: It’s a funny and unique. Santa even gets arrested for grand theft auto.
12. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (PG)
Cast: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor, Molly Shannon and Christine Baranski
Synopsis: Fueled by revenge, the Grinch carries out a plan to ruin Christmas for all the Whos of Whoville.
Why I like it: Do I really need to explain?