The Top 10 Greatest Christmas Movies Of All Time

Well, you guys rock.

177 of you graciously took the time to respond to my desperate plea for your favorite Christmas movies…which means a lot this time of year considering how busy we can all get!  Thank you for helping me craft a list of The Top 10 Greatest Christmas Movie of All Time!

The Top Ten Greatest Christmas Movies of All Time...compiled by The Thinking Closet & Friends!

Because I am confident that The Thinking Closet readers are the best readers around, this is a list I can stand behind.  And I’m giddy with glee to reveal the final results with you all.  But first…

Here’s How I Created the List

  • All of the films in the top ten received the highest number of votes from everyone (I voted, too).
  • The order you see below is similar to what was reflected in the numbers, however, I made a few tweaks in the order according to my own personal preferences.

To give you a taste of each film, I’ve included trailers a la YouTube and film deets a la IMDb, along with some memorable quotes.  I hope this might inspire you to plan a movie night with your friends or family during this week before Christmas.  Mark and I have a tradition of watching the #1 movie together every Christmas season…and there are a few others I’m itching to watch now, thanks to your suggestions!

As with any great top ten list, we’ll start at ten, and countdown to one.  Ready…steady…go!

10.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Starring:  Burl Ives, Billie Mae Richards, Paul Soles

Genre:  Family, Fantasy, Musical

Quotable: “Why am I such a misfit? I am not just a nitwit. Just because my nose glows… why don’t I fit in?” –Rudolph voiceover by Billie Mae Richards

9.  National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki

Genre: Comedy

Quotable: “The most enduring traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith and kin. Thith tree is a thymbol of the thspirit of the Griswold family Chrithmath.” –Clark played by Chevy Chase

8.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Starring: Boris Karloff

Genres: Comedy, Family, Musical

Quotable: “He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!” –Narrator voiceover by Boris Karloff

7.  Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Starring: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family

Quotable: “Look Doris, someday you’re going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn’t work. And when you do, don’t overlook those lovely intangibles. You’ll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile.” –Fred Gailey played by John Payne

6.  Home Alone (1990)

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern

Genres: Comedy, Family

Quotable: “You guys give up yet? Or are you thirsty for more?” –Kevin McCallister played by Macaulay Culkin

5.  A Christmas Story (1983)

Starring: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin

Genres: Comedy, Family

Quotable: “You’ll shoot your eye out.” –Most characters in the film….

4.  White Christmas (1954)

Starring: Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen

Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance

Quotable: “I wanna wash my hands, my face, my hair with snow….” –Betty Haynes played by Rosemary Clooney

3.  A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Starring: Peter Robbins, Christopher Shea, Tracy Stratford

Genres: Animation, Comedy, Family

Quotable: “Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Maybe Lucy’s right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.” –Linus Van Pelt voiceover by Christopher Shea

2.  Elf (2003)

Starring: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Quotable: “I just like to smile! Smiling’s my favorite.” –Buddy the Elf played by Will Ferrell

1.  It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Starring: Jimmy Stuart, Donna Reed, Henry Travers

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Quotable: “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” –Clarence played by Henry Travers

Lauren’s Honorable Mentions

The Polar Express (2004)

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe (2005)

Little Women (1994)

Holiday Inn (1942)

Now in my Netflix Queue Thanks to You

The Family Man (2000)

The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945)

Mixed Nuts (1994)

Fred Claus (2007)

Remember the Night (1940)

Hopefully this list keeps you lovelies entertained for many a Christmas season.  And if you have a hankering for something with a more romantic bent, be sure to check out the post from this past February that inspired this one, The Top Ten Most Romantic Movies of All Time.

The Top Ten Most Romantic Movies of All Time...compiled by The Thinking Closet & Friends!

Merry movie watching!

{Linking up at these parties.}


Lovely comments so far...

  1. LOVE this list Lauren! National Lampoon’s is my absolute favorite funny Christmas movie, followed closely by Elf. But for a sweet taste of the season, I love Miracle on 34th Street and It’s A Wonderful Life. Great choices! Now to add some to my own Netflix queue. :)

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      My Mom and I watched National Lampoon’s this year during her visit, and we laughed to tears the entire time. No one does goofball slapstick quite like Chevy Chase. And I’m glad to hear there are some movies in this mix you’re adding to the queue this year! A very Merry Christmas to you, friend!

  2. Great list! I loved watching Charlie Brown, the Grinch and Lion, Witch and Wardrobe (1988) growing up every year for Christmas. At work we did a little poll and several people said that their favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard! LOL! I’m going to have to add some movies to my queue. :)

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Oooo…you’ve just listed some of my faves, Bethany. (Of course we share similar movie taste. Smile.) And I laughed out loud at the Die Hard comment…though in truth, I haven’t seen that movie! I just always thought of it in the “Action” genre. I guess I had better give it a fair shot! ;-)

  3. great list! your readers have good taste :) we’ve seen all but It’s a Wonderful Life and The Christmas Story so far this year — those are on the schedule for this weekend! Merry Christmas to you and all your readers, Lauren!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Yes, they do! {Wink.} I love that you’ve watched most of these already THIS YEAR! (And the rest are on the docket.) You’re my movie-watching role model! ;-) Merry Christmas to you and the fam, sweet Linda!

  4. Great list, Lauren. I sure hope to squeeze in a couple of these before Christmas.

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Yes, I hope you can! I know life gets so busy this time of year, but there’s just something about cuddling up with the family to watch a Christmas movie that gives me the warm fuzzies…. ;-)

  5. I’ve just realized…I’ve never watched “Its a Wonderful Life” with my boys before….Hastings, here I come!!!!!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      It’s a date then! You and the boys and Jimmy Stewart with his incredible acting. (Every time I re-watch that movie, I’m always in awe of his performance. Such solid work.)

  6. Surprisingly there are two movies on here that I’ve never seen. White Christmas is on my Netflix watch list (it was on at my MIL’s the other night and I promised her I would watch it before Christmas) and I really need to see Elf, I just never have gotten around to it…

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Soooo glad you have White Christmas on the docket. It’s a must-see! As is Elf! You have your movie nights planned this Christmas, that’s for sure! (Let me know what you think!) ;-)

  7. I’d love to hear how you like The Family Man and Fred Claus! I love A Christmas Story. TBS (I think) used to (may still?) have a 24 hour marathon… and I’d watch it multiple times. Great movie. Have a very Merry Christmas, and don’t shoot your eye out! ;)

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Yes! I remember with fondness the marathons of A Christmas Story on TBS! We’d have it playing all day long…. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without it. And ha ha, I won’t shoot my eye out as long as you don’t lick a flagpole. Merry Christmas, Emily!

  8. What about Jim Carrey’s The Grinch?? :)

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      I hear ya, Jess! Jim Carrey does no wrong. But alas, it didn’t earn as many votes as the classic animated version or enough to make it into the Top 10! :-( Glad to hear you’re a fan, though!

  9. The List came together great! can you believe I’ve never seen ELF? I’m going to have to watch it this year for sure…I mean it DID make Top 10 Greatest afterall… ;)

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Aw, thanks, Tiffany! And no, I cannot believe you’ve never seen it! I’m glad to hear you’re adding it to the top of your list this year because it is a real gem. (My hubby and I just watched it again recently…it makes me laugh every time.) Let me know what you think!

  10. a great list indeed! I am a little sad that the Polar Express isn’t in that list (but I appreciate the honorable mention!)

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      The Polar Express was #11! I was so bummed it didn’t make the list either! And in truth, would have booted Rudolph for it…but I wanted to be true to the votes. Yet, you’ll note it’s at the TOP of my Honorable Mentions. I saw that movie in 3D when it first came out, and it moved me then…still moves me now! #greatminds

  11. A really fun and interesting list.

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Thanks, Sharon! Ya know, working on this post, I was having fun looking back at my Top Ten Romantic Movies List and remembered that you were a part of the Collectively Creative Blog Hop I participated in that day. I do believe that is how we first “met”! #timeflies #nostalgia #bloggybuddy

  12. Great job Lauren! You nailed it! Now I’m adding some flicks to the netflix queue also. I’ve been wanting to see Christmas in Connecticut, and Mixed Nuts sounds funny, kind of like my family this time of year (wait that’s all year!) happy holidays to you!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      I feel like the Christmas movies that show families with their quirks and dysfunction (like A Christmas Story) are some of my favorite! Because it’s actually relatable. Ha ha, we’re all a little nutty, aren’t we? Happy holidays to you, as well, Christina!

  13. This is so fun, Lauren! What a great list. I love it and pinning. xo

  14. Great list! I have yet to see The Polar Express. Will have to check it out. :-)

  15. What a great top ten list! I went through each one, watching the trailers and enjoying the quotes. My personal Christmas faves (in no particular order) are: White Christmas, Little Women, Elf, It’s A Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, Charlie Brown, and A Christmas Story. I was bummed to see that Little Women and Holiday Inn didn’t make the list, but glad they got an honorable mention from you!! I definitely want to check out those in your netflix queue too…I haven’t seen any of them. Maybe over New Years? Thanks for such an enjoyable post! P.S. I always think of your spot-on impression of George Bailey- “Merry Christmas you wonderful ole’ Building and Loan!” I’m hoping you’ll do it for us sometime next week. :)

  16. One of my personal favorites (that you reminded me of) is the Claymation Christmas. The rest are pretty spot-on, though I never sat down to watch Rudolph (except for the song)–so maybe I should give it a try. The Nativity is also quite good for the true story of Christmas, along with Charlie Brown’s Christmas.
    I’ve pinned this to my Christmas board on Pinterest. I do want to watch A Christmas Story and Little Women something before the end of January! :-)
    I’m spreading Christmas out for at least two months!

  17. I literally love all of these, and I especially love the memorable quotes! I watched Elf twice this year already… Gets me every time! “Us elves like to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup.” – He gets me, you know? I was born to be an elf, apparently! Another great list, Lauren!!!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Ha ha. You and me both, Thalita! I certainly have the sweet tooth and love of smiling to qualify…though I’d probably be a slow gift-maker like Buddy. At least, based on how slowly I finish craft projects and blog posts! #morecaffeineplease

  18. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE It’s a Wonderful Life! I cry every time I watch it!


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