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Top 10 Holiday Films of All Time

It’s that time of the year again when you start to plan for Winter vacation. You shop and stress while trying to plan the best holiday you can, but it’s important to take time for yourself too. I’m here to help you de-stress after a long day of planning. What I propose: when you get home at night and need to let go of all the burdens of the holidays, put your feet up, grab some popcorn, and watch a movie. Here is my list of ten movies to relax you and help you enjoy the season.

10. Miracle on 34th Street (1947): A timeless classic about the power of belief, Miracle on 34th Street revolves around a man name Kris Kringle, played by Oscar winner Edmund Gwenn, who is hired by Doris Walker, played by Maureen O’Hara, to be a Macy’s department store Santa who turns out to be the real Santa Claus.A timeless classic of a feel-good film, and perfect for all ages.

9. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946): The late James Stewart leads this holiday classic about a man whose guardian angel Clarence, played by Henry Travers, shows him what really matters in life. This beautifully emotional film has an incredibly deep message about how, despite the obstacles, you still can have a wonderful life.

8. A Christmas Story (1983): Possibly the most popular holiday story ever, this movie is shown every Christmas on cable for 24hrs. I think all of us have had that one present we wanted for Christmas would do anything to get it, and A Christmas Story is about one boy’s struggle to get that present. Ralphie, played by Peter Billingsley, desperately tries to convince his parents to buy him a BB gun for Christmas. A Christmas Story is a warmhearted family film that reminds us of our childhoods come Christmas time.

7. The Santa Clause (1994): Another fun holiday film for all ages. This one follows a toy company executive named Scott Calvin, played by the excellent Tim Allen, who accidentally kills the real Santa Claus and is told by an elf he has to take Santa’s place before the next Christmas.

6. Home Alone (1990): Home Alone is centered around a boy named Kevin, played by Macaulay Culkin, who accidentally gets left at home while his family goes on Christmas vacation. Kevin must fend for himself when a pair of burglars, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, try to rob his house on Christmas Eve.

5. The Nightmare before Christmas (1993): Director Tim Burton produced this wonderful stop motion animation story about Jack the Pumpkin King, voiced by composer Danny Elfman and Chris Sarandon, who tries to merge his home Halloweentown and the neighboring Christmas town together. This results in a catastrophic and confusing holiday for the residents of both towns, but a wonderful story for us..This works both as a children’s story and as a movie for adults to enjoy!

4. Scrooged (1988): This is a modern retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic story A Christmas Carol, and even though the film is 30 years old you will never get tired of watching it. Scrooge stars Bill Murray who plays an arrogant, selfish television executive who is visited by 3 ghosts, the ghosts — the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future — to make him a better person. I love this film. It has a great message, and when watching it, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it will uplift your soul.

3. Elf (2003): Will Ferrell stars in this hilarious comedy about an orphan who is raised by elves at the North Pole who eventually goes to visit his real father in New York. Elf is a holiday classic for the whole family, and even after 15 years it’s as good as when it was first released.

2. Prancer (1989): When a young farm girl named Jessica, played by Rebecca H. Tickell, finds an injured reindeer, she believes that it might actually belong to Santa Claus and is lost. Prancer is a wonderfully lighthearted film to enjoy for the holidays even if you don’t believe in Santa Claus.

1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989): One of my all time favorite Christmas films and the third installment in the National Lampoon’s vacation film franchise, this deserves the number one spot on this list. The film is about the Griswold family, whose perfect Christmas vacation doesn’t go as planned. Saturday Night Live alum Chevy Chase has some laugh out loud moments in the film, along with the rest of the cast.

We at The Seattle Collegian hope that you have an excellent holiday season no matter what you do or don’t celebrate, and we’re sending you well wishes for any upcoming finals!


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