Holiday traditions are vital to drumming up holiday spirit.  For me and my family, one of the most crucial is the mandatory viewing of certain films.  Like special holiday foods or decorations, these movies are carefully squirreled away until the frantic end of year draws near.  Then, we dig them out from their dusty hidey-holes and view them with copious quantities of eggnog, cookies and other treats, thinking, “Ahhhh…… the holidays are here.”  Somehow, the season doesn’t feel quite right without them.  So, what’s on my viewing list?

1.    It’s a Wonderful Life (1947) – A great movie for percolating warm, fuzzy feelings and remembering what the season is all about.

2.    Elf (2003) – We’ve watched this one so many times that I know the lines by heart.  And what other film has a narwhal as a character?

3.    A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973) and A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) – Pair these together for a high-dose nostalgia injection of holiday cheer.

4.    Home for the Holidays (1995) – This film gets my vote for funniest holiday flick.  Poor Holly Hunter goes home to see her dysfunctional family, creating many cynical and hilariously awkward moments.

5.    The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (1966 cartoon version) – Boris Karloff has an awesome voice and I always get a little bit teary when the Whos in Whoville all hold hands and sing.

6.    A Christmas Carol (1999) – Patrick Stewart makes a great Scrooge in this Dickens classic and it always makes me want to try steamed figgy pudding.

Click here to see a list of holiday movies you can check out from Cecil County Public Library.  And tell us – what movies do you watch to get in the holiday spirit?

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28 Responses

  • darrell Posted November 30th, 2009

    I love the movie A Christmas Story – you know, the one with the leg lamp and “you’ll shoot your eye out”. My wife hates it, but we still watch it every year. Mandatory viewing.

  • Mary Beth Posted November 30th, 2009

    I have been begging my husband to watch Elf since before Thanksgiving, so we watched it on Friday! We will definitely be watching It’s a Wonderful Life too! We are also fans of the first Home Alone!

  • RDH Posted November 30th, 2009

    Oh, I love “Elf” and during the month of December, I like to answer the phone by saying, “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?!?” I also like the funky claymation types…Rudolph, Baby New Year, etc. Very cheesy and cool.

  • mark Posted November 30th, 2009

    You forgot The Nightmare Before Christmas!


  • Tony Posted November 30th, 2009

    Elf, A Christmas Story, and Charlie Brown Christmas are my favorites. One that I haven’t seen mentioned yet is A Muppet Christmas Carol – definitely my favorite of them all!

  • admin Posted November 30th, 2009

    Just so you know, CCPL has A Muppet Christmas Carol and Rudolph.

  • Sandy Posted November 30th, 2009

    There are so many. One of my favorites is “Prancer” – a sweet movie about love of family and believing. Also White Christmas, Holiday Inn, and let’s not forget Miracle on 34th St. I could go on and on, but those are a few of my favorites.

  • Gabe Posted November 30th, 2009

    Loved your blog! I’ll be watching Nightmare Before Christmas to get me into the spirit and listening to my South Park Christmas album. I like all of the movies you recommended.

  • Caroline Posted November 30th, 2009

    There are just WAY too many. We like to start off Thanksgiving with Pieces of April. Then, Charlie Brown, Rudolph, Frosty, Olive the Other Reindeer, A Christmas Story with the kids. Miracle on 34th Street, Scrooged, It’s a Wonderful Life. And let’s not forget about National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, we watch it putting up our Christmas tree every year. I’m sure I’m forgetting some, Christmas movies are an addiction!

  • Tracy Posted November 30th, 2009

    When I was little, I loved Rudolf, but now my new fav is Elf.

  • Ella Posted November 30th, 2009

    I love Christmas Carol, but I like George C. Scott better. And I love to watch Scrooged!

  • barb Posted December 1st, 2009

    It’s a Wonderful Life – every year!!!

  • e.s. Posted December 1st, 2009

    It’s a Wonderful Life, for sure!

  • Carlyn Posted December 1st, 2009

    While You Were Sleeping.

  • kg Posted December 1st, 2009

    “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “White Christmas”, “Charlie Brown Christmas” they are all my faves and in that order.

  • DJ Posted December 1st, 2009


  • brad Posted December 1st, 2009

    It’s a Wonderful Life and Silent Night, Deadly Night

  • ADL Posted December 1st, 2009

    Love Actually! It’s so heartwarming and funny too!

    “There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?”

  • Laura Posted December 1st, 2009

    National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is definitely the best!

  • Kerry Posted December 1st, 2009

    A Muppet Christmas Carol is my favorite! I also love The Nativity Story (2006) with Keisha Castle-Huges as Mary.

  • Leah Posted December 1st, 2009

    It’s a Wonderful Life, hands down, no competition. But let’s not forget that if George had never been born, Mary would have become — GASP! — a librarian. And we could all see how good that was working out…

  • anonymous Posted December 1st, 2009

    I will always cry watching It’s a Wonderful Life and Charlie Brown Christmas. I even get a little teary-eyed watching the scene in Home Alone where Kevin is in the church with his neighbor.

    But the cartoon Grinch definitely has the best lines of all holiday films. Who doesn’t love “stink, stank, stunk”?!

  • Monica Posted December 1st, 2009

    Absolutely, positively “A Christmas Story”! There are so many great moments in that movie (My personal favorite-Fragile…it must be Italian) it makes for great laughs no matter what the season!

  • Lisa Posted December 2nd, 2009

    We start off the Christmas season by watching Christmas Vacation on Thanksgiving night. I also love A Christmas Story, The Best Christmas Pagent Ever and Rudolf. I’m glad I never realized as a kid how mean and grumpy Santa is in Rudolf though. Geeze! 🙂

  • LOB Posted December 3rd, 2009

    We watch National Lampoon “Christmas Vacation” every year and just laugh and laugh and laugh.

  • rbs Posted December 3rd, 2009

    i have several that i must watch every december: a christmas story, rudolph, home alone, and elf.

  • pjo Posted December 8th, 2009

    Definitely the “Muppet Christmas Carol”… Michael Caine played an awesome Scrooge.

  • Jenny Posted January 6th, 2010

    Anyone remember “Emmit Otter’s Jugband Christmas?”