Cuddling up on the couch in your apartment with a warm drink and your favorite holiday movie is quite simply one of the highlights of the season. It allows you to take a break from the hustle and bustle and enjoy the smaller things in life, and it’s a relaxing way to spend those days off from work or school. Some of the must-see holiday movies are so beloved that just about everyone has seen them numerous times. Whether you want to stick with your favorite go-tos or watch something different, here’s a list of some of our favorites.
Must-See Holiday Movies You Should Watch
“Love Actually,” 2003
The title and plot don’t scream of the holidays, which is why you may have overlooked this movie. But it’s definitely a heartwarming film that’s set during the holiday season, and it features some of the biggest stars of the decade.
The Plot: The movie follows the lives of couples dealing with their relationships (or lack thereof), and the tales become intertwined.
“Holiday Affair,” 1949
If you love the classics, this 1949 movie starring Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh is for you. It has slowly become a holiday favorite over time.
The Plot: A woman is romanced by a sales clerk she accidentally got fired.
“Four Christmases,” 2008
An adult comedy featuring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon, Four Christmases has several scenes that will make you laugh out loud.
The Plot: An unmarried couple who try to avoid their families at Christmastime are forced to visit each one after they are caught in a lie. Along the way, they learn more about their families and the quality of their own relationship.
“Eloise at Christmastime,” 2003
Based on the beloved children’s books, this is a made-for-TV comedy that many holiday movie fans may have missed.
The Plot: Six-year-old Eloise, who lives at New York’s Plaza Hotel with her parents, gets into the holiday spirit while playing cupid.
“The Great Rupert,” 1950
The Great Rupert is somewhat of a cross between “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Starring Jimmy Durante and Terry Moore, it’s one that will have you laughing and leave you feeling grateful for all you have.
The Plot: A family is left homeless as Christmas approaches. After finding a room at a house, they wonder how they will pay the rent. A curious squirrel soon uncovers a pile of money the homeowner has been hiding in the ceiling, and more complications arise.
“Holiday Inn,” 1942
A musical featuring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, this movie includes many holiday songs and spectacular dancing, as you would expect from these two iconic artists.
The Plot: The movie is based on the ups and downs in the lives of a trio of performers. During the course of their experiences, they turn the inn into a holidays-only entertainment venue, and two people fall in love with the same woman.
“Meet Me in St. Louis,” 1944
Starring the legendary Judy Garland, this romantic musical comedy includes singing, dancing, and fantastic scenery. It features the classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” sung by Judy Garland.
The Plot: Four sisters learn about life and love prior to the 1904 World Fair, and the family is upset by the news that they will relocate after Christmas. It includes drama among the four sisters and their love interests, especially on Christmas Eve.
Top Holiday Movies You May Know by Heart
Just in case you missed these too, following are the iconic holiday movies everyone knows and loves.
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”
- “Home Alone”
- “It’s a Wonderful Life”
- “A Christmas Story”
- “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”
- “The Polar Express”
- “Miracle on 34th Street”
- “White Christmas”
- “The Santa Clause”
- “A Christmas Carol”
- “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
- “Christmas with the Kranks”
- “A Charlie Brown Christmas”