With Christmas just 12 days away, now is the perfect time to start planning twelve evenings of Christmas movie binge watching. It’s a great way to relax and unwind from the hectic schedules of the season, and the movies are sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Pour yourself an eggnog, grab a plate of Christmas cookies, and settle in with your family for some movie fun.
A Christmas Carol (1938)
In this Christmas classic, it’s Christmas Eve and the old miser Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner, Jacob Marley. The deceased partner was as mean and miserly in his lifetime as Scrooge is now and he warns Scrooge to change his ways or face the consequences in the afterlife. Scrooge dismisses the apparition but the first of the three ghosts, the Ghost of Christmas Past, visits as promised. Scrooge sees those events in his past life, both happy and sad, that forged his character. The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, shows him how many currently celebrate Christmas. The Ghost of Christmas yet to Come shows him how he will be remembered once he is gone. To his delight, the spirits complete their visits in one night giving him the opportunity to mend his ways.
Favorite Quote: [Ebenezer Scrooge] “He was here! He was a spirit!” [Leader of watch, laughing] “Of course, sir! A fine night for spirits – of one form or another, sir!”
Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)
The year is 1903 and the wealthy Smith family has four beautiful daughters, including Esther and little Tootie. 17-year old Esther has fallen in love with the boy next door who just moved in, however, John barely notices her at first. The family is shocked when Mr. Smith reveals that he has been transferred to a new job position in New York, which means the family has to leave St. Louis and the St. Louis Fair, that they had been looking forward to. This movie features Judy Garland and her song Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Favorite Quote: [Esther Smith] “Meeting him across the lawn for the first time would be so ordinary. I don’t want to be just introduced to him. I want it to be something strange and romantic and something I’ll always remember.”
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
Journalist Elizabeth Lane is one of the country’s most famous food writers. In her columns, she describes herself as a hard working farm woman, taking care of her children and being an excellent cook. But this is all lies. In reality she is an unmarried New Yorker who can’t even boil an egg. The recipes come from her good friend Felix. The owner of the magazine she works for has decided that a heroic sailor will spend his Christmas on *her* farm. Miss Lane knows that her career is over if the truth comes out, but what can she do?
Favorite Quote: [Alexander Yardley] “What a Christmas! Ho, ho, what a Christmas!”
The Cheaters (1945)
A wealthy family facing bankruptcy decide to ‘adopt’ a down-and-out suicidal actor (known as Mr. M) for Christmas to make themselves look good. They are also keen to hide away a young actress in order to claim her inheritance for themselves without telling her. Take this scenario to a country cabin hideaway and you have a rather complicated plot that gets the morality message across. NOTE: In 1949, this movie was re-edited and re-released as The Castaway.
Favorite Quote: [Anthony Marchand (Mr. M.)] “Gratitude in most men is usually a secret desire to receive greater benefits.”
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Another Christmas classic… George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George’s modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George’s Uncle Billy loses the business’s $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved ones result in a gentle angel named Clarence coming to earth to help George.
Favorite Quote: [Clarence] “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
A harassed Episcopal bishop, Henry Brougham, gets distracted from the things that matter most, including his wife Julia, while trying to raise money for a new cathedral from a demanding widow. The bishop prays for guidance. Enter a cheeky, charming angel in the shape of Cary Grant who reminds the bishop – and the rest of the town – about life’s priorities. The film ends as angel Dudley walks off into the Christmas Eve snow, his work completed and everything as it should be. This whimsical story is packed full of traditional Christmas spirit with a cast of likeable characters and a perfect balance of comedy and charming sentimentality.
Favorite Quote: [Dudley] “Sometimes angels rush in where fools fear to tread.”
The Lemondrop Kid (1951)
When the Lemon Drop Kid accidentally steers Moose Moran’s girl away from a winning bet, he is forced to come up with $10,000 to repay the angry gangster. Fortunately it’s Christmas, a time when people can be persuaded to part with money for the right cause.
Favorite Quote: [Sidney Melbourne] “Santy Claus don’t drink.” [Gloomy Willie] “Oh, no? Well, how come he’s always falling down chimleys?”
White Christmas (1954)
Having left the Army following WWII, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis team up to become a top song-and-dance act. Davis plays matchmaker and introduces Wallace to a pair of beautiful sisters (Betty and Judy) who also have a song-and-dance act. When Betty and Judy travel to a Vermont lodge to perform a Christmas show, Wallace and Davis follow, only to find their former commander, General Waverly, as the lodge owner. A series of romantic mix-ups ensue as the performers try to help the General.
Favorite Quote: [Phil Davis] “My dear partner, when what’s left of you gets around to what’s left to be gotten, what’s left to be gotten won’t be worth getting, whatever it is you’ve got left.” [Bob Wallace] “When I figure out what that means I’ll come up with a crushing reply.”
Babes in Toyland (1961)
Tom the Piper’s Son is about to marry Mary Quite Contrary. On the eve of their wedding, evil miser Barnaby hires two henchmen to drown Tom and steal Mary’s sheep, cared for by Little Bo Peep, thus depriving Mary and the children she lives with of their livelihood, forcing her to marry Barnaby. The sheep are stolen, but Gonzorgo and Roderigo, Barnaby’s henchmen, double-cross him by selling Tom to a band of gypsies instead, leaving Tom with the opportunity to escape and make his way with Mary, Bo-Peep, and other Mother Goose characters to Toyland.
Favorite Quote: [Toymaker] “We are gathered here today to witness this young lady making her first step toward unhappiness. She’s gonna marry you.”
An American Christmas Carol (1979)
In Depression-era New England, a miserly businessman named Benedict Slade receives a long-overdue attitude adjustment one Christmas eve when he is visited by three ghostly figures who resemble three of the people whose possessions Slade had seized to collect on unpaid loans. Assuming the roles of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future from Charles Dickens’ classic story, the three apparitions force Slade to face the consequences of his skinflint ways, and he becomes a caring, generous, amiable man.
Favorite Quote: [Ghost of Christmas Present] “If? That word can be found on dry river beds and trails overgrown by weeds. What’s more important are the paths we follow now…”
A Christmas Story (1983)
Christmas is approaching and 9 year-old Ralphie wants only one thing – a Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB gun. When he mentions it at the dinner table, his mother’s immediate reaction is that he’ll shoot his eye out. He then decides on a perfect theme for his teacher but her reaction is like his. He fantasizes about what it would be like to be Red Ryder and catch the bad guys. When the big day arrives he gets lots of present under the tree including a lovely gift from his aunt that his mother just adores. But what about the BB gun?
Favorite Quote: [Flick] “Are you kidding? Stick my tongue to that stupid pole? That’s dumb!”
It’s Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark’s continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon.
Favorite Quote: [Clark] “Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?”
(Excerpts from IMDB)
Do you have any other favorite Christmas movies to add to the list? Please share in a comment below.
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