The Best Holiday Movie of All Time
And here we are. It’s beautiful Christmas Eve and we arrive at the #1 of the Best Holiday Movies of All Time! The actual best holiday movie of all time. Can you feel the Christmas magic in the air? Can you hear Santa making his way? Have you been stuffing your face with delicious treats? Has holiday music been echoing in your household? Yep, I think you are ready for the ultimate, the best holiday movies of all time! This is for our Top 3 Holiday Movies countdown, so if you missed the first two, check #2 and #3 out here. We have such a special list today with heartfelt tributes and memories. We hope you enjoy.
Andrew – “The Polar Express”
My theme for my #1 is “for children.” It was a classic when I was in elementary school and we would come into school in pajamas and read the book/listen to the audio book in the hallway as a school. Years later, the Tom Hanks iconic adaption would come out and satisfy a new generation.
Sophie – “White Christmas” (1954)
This is my favorite movie to watch year after year. My family watches it on Christmas Eve and my dad and I can perform the entire movie, including musical numbers. Bing Crosby and Danny Kay’s chemistry, comedic timing, and physical comedy carry the show, while Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen’s singing and dancing simply put today’s best performers to shame. I can’t wait to watch it this week!
Cole – “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
You had me at an existential skeleton deals with an identity crisis. Add to that the stunning visuals, whimsy, and incredible Danny Elfman soundtrack and “What’s This?” – a classic.
Po – “It’s A Wonderful Life”
The sad truth is that it’s next to impossible to escape the commercialism of Christmas — just watch the Arnold Schwarzenegger holiday-consumerism-classic, Jingle All The Way (which would probably be #5, just after National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation), for a fair representation of the madness. But I’m not here to talk about Turbo Man. Everything from flavored coffee to automotive brands creating their own sales holidays accompanies the mass-marketed march toward Baby Jesus’s birth. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sale just as much as the next bloke, but I’d be a liar if I didn’t also shed a tear for what’s lost between the savings snowstorms and eggnoggin’ noise.
I’m referring to that good old-fashioned love, brotherhood, and proper treatment of your fellow man (and woman). Maybe you don’t need that second video game, but could instead donate some blankets and jackets to a local clothing drive. Maybe the time spent on your second ski trip would be better served volunteering at a soup kitchen — or even just shoveling the driveway of an elderly neighbor who you know needs the help. Living your life in pursuit of sainthood isn’t the goal — simply realizing your life is not just your own is. Every action you make, every word you say, matters — most of all to your loved ones. So go out there and do something special for the ones you love, and for the ones you just don’t know you love, yet.
And for the love of God, go watch It’s A Wonderful Life. That’s what it’s all about. And that’s what this season should be about.
Randy – “It’s A Wonderful Life”
Frank Capra directed this holiday favorite, but Jimmy Stewart almost turned it down. It won no prizes when it came out in 1946, released NOT at Christmastime. The good-hearted tale of George Bailey (a warm, folksy Jimmy Stewart at his best) who always steps up to the plate at the cost of his dreams when his town, Bedford Falls, needs him. One night he gets overwhelmed and jumps off a local bridge. To save him – an angel, Clarence, angel 2nd class, jumps with him. Clarence proceeds to guide him around a bleak Bedford Falls where there never was a George Bailey, to convince George to take back his suicide. And after George does take it back, practically everyone in Bedford Falls steps up to the plate to help George when he needs help.
This is the heart of Christmas for me. Donna Reed plays his quiet librarian wife with a lovely, steady glow. Lionel Barrymore is a superlative villain, hissable to any standard. But the reason this movie gained its popularity was that its copyright ran out in the 60’s and independent TV stations started playing it for free at the holidays. They would program It’s A Wonderful Life against glitzy empty holiday fare on the networks and that’s when we all watched it and kept watching it and adopted It’s A Wonderful Life as our classic holiday movie, watching it every year.
Eva – “Love Actually”
Love Eclipses All (that should be self-explanatory).
Hungry – “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”
If you know me, you’ll be shocked to see that I’ve chosen a comedy as my top pick since I don’t like comedies. If you really know me, you won’t be shocked at all since this might be the only movie that I “have to watch” every holiday season. I was only one when this was first released so I’m not entirely sure when I first watched it, but I seem to recall that this was one of the first DVDs my family ever owned, so it’s been a while. Our family watched a fair share of Chevy Chase’s vacation series since they were always on TV, but this one was special. It might have been some sort of reflection of the craziness of our family, but it has me laughing every time I see it. Extremely quotable and insanely relatable, from the moment that Santa gets beat up during the animated intro to the ridiculous sledding scene and the grand finale, I can’t take my eyes off the screen during this movie. I could go on for hours about this masterpiece, but I’ll just leave you by saying, save the neck for me.
Fit- “Love Actually”
This British holiday movie combines comedy, drama, and holiday cheer to get you in the mood. From Bill Nighy’s hilarious “Christmas Is All Around” to the fresh new love between the Prime Minister and his assistant to the aching heartbreak of a marriage gone stale, this movie gives you all the feels. The characters force you to feel something about them, whether it’s love or hate. You’ll find yourself cheering for most of the characters and the soundtrack conducting this holiday train makes it easy to get into the pace of the movie. There are so many stars in this film: Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson–I mean the list really does go on and on. There are many characters in the movie and they’re all somehow connected.
Not every story ends happily, but I like that about the movie. Life doesn’t always move in the glorious strokes you want it to, sometimes, there’s heartbreak, disappointment, and failure. However, those downfalls makes your happiness and wins that much sweeter. I love to watch this movie every holiday season, yell “yes!” for some of the characters, try not to tear up for others, and generally feel that love can be found in the smallest of places.
Well, that’s a wrap, folks. I hope you enjoyed our limited selection of holiday movies and I wonder if any of these make your “top 3″ holiday list. It’s fun to visit back and explore what we really love the most about these movies. Well, from Hungry & Fit to you, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!