5. Home Alone
"Home Alone" is one of those movies that is so memorable that it seems many shows or films take inspiration from it in some way. The premise is so simple that it makes you wonder, “Why hasn’t anybody done this before?” Kevin McCallister, played by a young Macaulay Culkin, is left home alone for Christmas after his family accidentally leaves without him. While his family is gone, Kevin defends their home against an attempted robbery. The sequel, "Lost in New York," is great too.
"Elf" is one of the few modern(ish) Christmas movies that established itself as a classic almost the instant it hit theaters. "Elf" stars Will Ferrell as Buddy, an elf that is surprisingly human-like. After learning that he is in-fact human, Buddy makes his way from the North Pole to New York to find his real parents. As you’d expect, hilarious antics ensue as he tries to live life in modern day New York City. "Elf" is a classic comedy that turns 15 years old this year, and honestly makes me wonder why good Christmas movies aren’t being made anymore.
3. Die Hard
After all these years, "Die Hard" is finally starting to be recognized as the Christmas movie it was always meant to be. Starring Bruce Willis as NYPD detective John McClain, Die Hard follows a Christmas party gone wrong when gunmen storm a skyscraper and attempt to rob the building and hold party-goers hostage. Luckily, John is separated from the rest of the party goers at the time of the heist and decides to a play a dangerous game of cat and mouse against the armed men. The group of bad guys is led by Hans Gruber, played by the legendary Alan Rickman, who you would recognize as Severus Snape from the Harry Potter films. So, “come out to the coast, get together, and have a few laughs” with this legendary Christmas film and action movie.
2. The Polar Express
"The Polar Express" may not be a hilarious comedy, but it nails the warm feeling of the holiday season. The film follows a young boy who steps onto a magical train called the Polar Express the night before Christmas as it travels all the way to the North Pole. I’ve watched this film countless times and it never seems to get old. And, surprisingly, the animation still holds up for the most part. Watching this movie feels like you’re partaking on a journey with the characters who, for some reason, all seem to be voiced by Tom Hanks.
1. A Christmas Story
Could there really be any other Christmas film at number one? "A Christmas Story" is still ridiculously funny despite coming out 35 years ago and remains the gold standard for Christmas movies. It’s seriously on about every cable TV channel and is played in marathons even more than "Elf." There’s something so relatable about the situations and comedy in "A Christmas Story," from how Ralphie’s parents react to situations, to how Ralphie becomes disillusioned thanks to his experiences with Santa Claus and Ovaltine.