Christmas Greetings: My Semi-Unconventional Top Christmas Films List

with Alan Mehanna - 2015-12-18

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."

- Charles Dickens -

It’s no surprise to anyone who fully knows me that I am a big fan of the Christmas Season. I mean seriously what’s not to love? Jolly music, family, friends, love, winter, most people seem to be in a happier mood, for those of us who are religious it is also quite a beautiful time of the year.

However, for film enthusiasts like myself, the month of December is also the month of some of the Fall/Winter season’s biggest films. This year will mark the return of a franchise, although franchise seems to be a terrible way to describe it, that has taken the galaxies by storm. 

This post is not about the franchise. 

Instead, I will be listing my favorite Christmas themed films, so here goes nothing. 

My Top Christmas Films:

5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Yes, Yes. You read that right. The first film in the Harry Potter Saga is, when you really think about it, a perfect Christmas film. It has magic. It has friendship. It has love of family. It has good triumphing over evil. It has snow. It has a Christmas scene which includes presents and a beautiful John Williams score, which was rare in the rest of the films. So, in my eyes, this film is a good addition to my Christmas film list. 

4. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Father Christmas makes an appearance in this film - that should be enough to put this film on the list. This was also, Disney’s attempt to reignite the Chronicles in a Lord of the Rings kind of way which it did with this film and miserably failed with the rest. Again, you’ve got magic within this film, and good triumphs over evil. What differs here, however, is the concept of faith. C.S. Lewis was known for his rebirth into Christianity and thus wrote The Chronicles of Narnia as a result. The story is a huge testament to his experience with his faith and this film is filled with such thematic elements. 

3. Home Alone & Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

This one is a tie ladies and gentlemen. I love both of those films. What most of us seem to forget about these films is how heavy they are on themes of forgiveness and love. In the first film, Kevin brings a man to reunite with his son and his son’s family. In the sequel, Kevin not only saves the day and as a result allows sick children to have a memorable Christmas but he also befriends a homeless woman and gifts her with a beautiful and sentimental gift, the turtledove ornament. More importantly, the connection between Kevin and his family, specifically his mother, is one that is sure to bring both of those films into the third spot on my list. The final scene of Lost in New York with Kevin’s mom running to him at the Christmas tree is one that still makes me tear up. And let’s not forget the amazing John Williams score.

2. The Holiday

A film that I will continue to defend until the day I die, Nancy Meyers weaves such a fantastical screenplay with some of the most poetic dialogue I have ever heard. Again, delivering similar Christmas themes in a new way, The Holiday offers up some great laughs, great tears, and some magical moments from Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black and Cameron Diaz. Hans Zimmer’s score is light and quite Christmasy.

1. Miracle of 34th Street (Both Versions)

Nothing says Christmas than a child trying to prove that Santa is real. The original film is a classic and resonates well to this day. Natalie Wood melts my heart. The remake with Mara Wilson, a.k.a Matilda, is also on point and if I were to compare the two actors according to cuteness I think Mara would win. For more reasons why the remake seems to have more fans check out this article on Huff Post. This story is just one that everyone can enjoy. 

Honorable Mentions:

It’s A Wonderful Life is just too easy to say is on my top 5 list because well, it is a global favorite. 

A Nightmare Before Christmas the film that still defines a generation and marks Tim Burton’s classic hit. 

Mickey’s Christmas Carol I am a Disney kid, sue me.

A Charlie Brown Christmas come on…its Peanuts.

The Nativity Story for any Christian this film is a beautiful retelling of the Nativity story. What makes me enjoy this film is the realistic approach to both Mary and Joseph and some of the dialogue between them. 

Christmas Films I have yet to see:

Love Actually I know don’t everyone kill me at once. Maybe I will just watch it tonight. 

Elf its not my fault I don’t like Will Ferrell.

Alan Mehanna

Instructor, Faculty of Information & Communication