Christmas-gasming: Holiday Movies Worth Watching

Confession: I suffer from a condition I made up which I dubbed ‘christmas-gasming’.

Christmas-gasm [kris-muh s-gaz-uh m], noun: the physical and emotional sensation experienced at the peak of holiday excitation.

Every November I eagerly await the day I can put up the tree, light my evergreen candles, pull out my glass ornaments and robustly shout “ho ho ho” without attracting ackward questions from friends, family and co-workers. I just LOVE Christmas.

And every December I unpack a very special box full of my favorite Christmas films to enjoy continuously until December 26th. There are so many fantastic Christmas films but I consider myself a conisseur of holiday cheer and so, for your benefit, I have compiled a list of holiday movies that are most worth watching. 

Holiday Movies Worth Watching This December

10. White Christmas: As a child, this was one of my favorite films. My sister and I have many memories of decking ourselves out in feathers and performing the “Sisters, sisters” song for our mom. As I’ve grown, I’ve learned to appreciate how well crafted anything Irving Berlin touched was – the costumes, songs and story are all superb in this film.

9. Christmas in Connecticut. This movie is so cute and is forties fashion heaven! Barbara Stanwyck has the chicest wardrobe in this film and her love story is so sweet.

8. Love Actually. I first saw this film on a flight to Paris when I was in high school and I made a grand fool of myself balling and sobbing for the entire last half an hour of the film. This is such a touching and bittersweet movie and I truly believe Emma Thompson should have won more awards for her performance. An added bonus: swoon-worthy Colin Firth has the most romantic proposal scene.

7. A Christmas Vacation. This is Ian’s favorite Christmas film and last year he demanded that I watch it (not sure how I managed 23 years without seeing this). This film is HILARIOUS! Who hasn’t had a long-round of everything going wrong? But in the end being with family is what Christmas is all about.

6. The Ref. Every family has a preference for a particular Christmas film and this just happens to be my family’s. If you haven’t seen this film (which I’m betting is the case), you MUST! It is absolutely hilarious! Denis Leary and Kevin Spacey are so witty in this film and all of the one-liners will have you quoting this film after your first viewing. A bonus: this film is perfect for even the scroogiest of Christmas haters – lots of swearing and manly one-liners.

5. Holiday Inn. Another brilliant Irving Berlin Christmas classic. I go weak-at-the-knees everytime I hear Bing Crosby sing anything Christmas-y but this film also happens to have Fred Astaire’s amazing dancing. Win-win-Christmas win.

4. The Shop Around the Corner. James Stewart is brilliant in any Christmas film and this old one actually inspired Judy Garland’s In the Good Old Summertime (another Christmas classic, despite the misleading name). This is one of those old films which you’ll start to watch nochalantely and be glued to the screen by the end.

3. It’s A Wonderful Life. Growing up I hated this film – the injustice that James Stewart suffers and his suicidal sadness so contradicted my idea of a jolly Christmas that for 15 years I refused to watch this. But it was one of my fathers favorites so a few years ago I gave it another try and was pleasantly surprised by how lovely this film it. Now it is a Christmas tradition.

2. The Holiday. Another holiday movie for the scrooges in your life – more romantic comedy than Christmas. This film has some superb acting from Kate Winslet and is a fun twist on traditional holiday cheer. A bonus: Jude Law’s british daughters are absolutely adorable and steal the spotlight.

1. The Muppet Christmas Carol. My all-time-never-to-be-removed-from-it’s-well-deserved-first-place-favorite-Christmas-movie. The muppets did a fabulous version of this ultimate Dickens Christmas tale complete with catchy soundtrack. Anytime I see this movie I can’t help feel like this film captures the original tale so well.

If you had to list your favorite Christmas movies, what would you recommend?


Honorable Mentions:

A Christmas Story

In the Good Old Summertime

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Miracle on 34th Street

Supplemental Reading:

5 thoughts on “Christmas-gasming: Holiday Movies Worth Watching

  1. Right on, girl! I grew up watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation every Thanksgiving with all my cousins. It’s how we kicked off the holiday season! And I am a fellow Muppet fan…I actually watched The Muppet Christmas Carol a few weeks ago! You would love the new Muppet movie – go see it if you haven’t already! Merry Christmas 😉

  2. A Christmas Vacation is such a comedy classic – I love watching it every year! All of the Muppet holiday movies are so great, I especially love A Muppet Family Christmas. Oh, and I can’t forget about Elf! 🙂

  3. I adore Love Actually and the Holiday but a favorite of mine has always been Scrooged starring Bill Murray. It’s still hilarious after all these years and pretty heart warming.

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