Ranked: Top 10 Christmas Movies to Watch This 2020

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Rachel Foster, Staff Writer

10. Elf 

Elf follows a man named Buddy who was accidentally taken to the North Pole as a baby and now believes he is an elf. Buddy soon learns that his true father, Walter Hobbs, lives in New York City. After discovering that his father is on the naughty list, he sets out to meet him and get him off. Along the way, he meets new friends, falls in love, and saves the Christmas spirit that has been lost around the world. 

Why it’s so great: Despite the fact that Elf only came on the scene recently, it became a cult classic almost overnight, with many tuning to see why it was so good. If you haven’t watched Elf, you must be living under a rock. 

Where to stream: Hulu, Starz, Sling TV, fuboTV, Amazon Prime Video, Philo

Photo courtesy of popsugar.com 

 

9. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph, a reindeer living in the North Pole, has a glowing red nose and is made fun of by the other reindeers for his deformity. Feeling like an outcast, he runs away and meets Hermey the elf and Yukon Cornelius, a miner, and the trio escapes the North Pole. As they are being hunted by an abominable snowman who stalks the land, they run to the Island of Misfit Toys. When a great snowstorm hits on Christmas, Rudolph must return to the North Pole and use his nose to help Santa guide his sleigh. 

Why it’s so great: For anyone who has ever felt like a misfit, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer teaches us that our quirks actually make us very special. The film also has fun musical numbers and is a family favorite all around. 

Where to stream: Vudu

Photo courtesy of vulture.com

 

8. White Christmas

Following WW2, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis leave the army to pursue a successful career in show business. While the pair are in Florida, they meet sisters Betty and Judy Haynes, who are  interested in show business as well and have a sister act together. Instantly attracted to Judy, Phil convinces Bob to travel up to Vermont with the pair to perform a giant show at a dying ski lodge. 

Why it’s so great: Even though it’s on the older side of these films, it still holds up to this day. It’s very charming and has fun musical numbers that will make you want to get up and dance. 

Where to stream: Netflix, fuboTV, Philo, YouTube, Google Play Video, Vudu

Photo courtesy of themarysue.com

 

7. Little Women(2020)

An adaption of the classic 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women follows the journey of the March family, but more specifically Jo March, as she strives to become an important writer. Jo and her sisters experience everything from romance to family conflict in this coming of age story.  

Why it’s so great: Little Women isn’t your traditional Christmas film. It’s definitely much more cinematic, and features a star-studded cast. The story itself is timeless, and the film creates a sense of family unique to the holiday season.

Where to stream: Hulu, Starz, Sling TV, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play Video 

Photo courtesy of pinterest.com

 

6.  A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story is told from the point of view of a young boy named Ralphie, and follows him as he recounts his experiences through the holiday season with his family. Throughout the film, all he wants is to persuade his parents and Santa to get him a Red Ryder BB for Christmas. 

Why it’s so great: A Christmas Story is the movie that almost everyone has playing somewhere on Christmas morning. It’s another movie that’s a popular family tradition to watch together, and the lack of story-line, besides what it means to be a family on Christmas, really works for the film’s structure. 

Where to stream: Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube, Vudu, iTunes, Google Play Video

Photo courtesy of marvelpresentssalo.com

 

5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

The Griswold family always seem to be getting themselves into  crazy situations fueled by bad luck, and this bad luck is heightened by the arrival of their extended family for Christmas. Clark Griswold, the father, is just trying to survive the season and make it special, and he hopes that he will receive a Christmas bonus to make the holidays improved. 

Why it’s so great: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a hilarious family comedy and is easy for those who feel they have a crazy and embarrassing family to relate to. The film relies on irony to deliver jokes, and it works magic for the film. 

Where to stream: Sling TV, fuboTV, Amazon Prime Video, Philo, YouTube, Vudu

Photo courtesy of avalontheatregj.com

 

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas(1966)

The Grinch is heartless and despises everything about Christmas and how the Whos celebrate it. With hatred in his heart, he disguises himself as Santa Clause and goes down to Whoville to steal their Christmas away. 

Why it’s so great: With three adaptations of the story from the Dr. Seuss book, the original animated 1996 version is probably the best one. With fun colors and a great soundtrack, this film never disappoints. It feels so authentic in a market that has been saturated with such similar Christmas stories. 

Where to stream: YouTube, TNT

Photo courtesy of decades.com

 

3. Home Alone 

The McCallister family is preparing for a holiday trip to Paris, but make a grave realization as their flight departs: they left their youngest son, Kevin, at home. While he’s home alone, Kevin unearths the schemes of two robbers, Harry and Marv, who plan to rob his house on Christmas Eve. Armed with his own clever booby traps, Kevin must use his wits to protect the house. 

Why it’s so great: Home Alone is definitely one of the funniest Christmas movies ever, and the hilarious antics of Kevin McCallister seem to never get dull. Upon first watch and rewatch, the chase between Kevin and the burglars will never not be funny. 

Where to stream: Disney+, YouTube, Google Play Video, Vudu, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video

Photo courtesy of weheartit.com

 

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas 

Charlie Brown is depressed by the materialism of Christmas, and his friend Lucy suggests that he steps up as the director of the school christmas play to rediscover the true meaning of the holiday. He struggles to take on this role, and tries to improve his spirit by restoring a sad Christmas tree, but really looks to his friend Linus to learn the true meaning of Christmas. 

Why it’s so great: Not only is its animated style so charming, but A Charlie Brown Christmas has a really simple message: appreciate those around you and don’t buy into the consumerism surrounding Christmas. Additionally, the character of Charlie Brown is easy to identify with, as many struggle to enjoy the holidays as well. 

Where to stream: Apple TV+

Photo courtesy of townandcountrymag.com

 

1. It’s A Wonderful Life 

George Bailey has spent his entire life dedicated to Bedford Falls in order to prevent Mr. Potter, a corrupt richman, from taking over the town. All that allows him to do this is his building and loan company, but when his uncle makes a fatal business mistake and Potter capitalizes on that, Bailey fears that he will take the blame and contemplates death. Believing that others will be better off with him dead, Clarence, an angel, visits him to earn his wings and show him how meaningful his life is. 

Why it’s so great: It’s A Wonderful Life is the epitome of a Christmas classic. It’s a story of love, family, and how much you can affect people without even knowing it. It embodies fully the love and warmth of the Christmas season and what the holidays are genuinely there for. 

Where to stream: Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play Video, Vudu, iTunes

Photo courtesy of whatisgreatcinema.com

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