Top 5 holiday films

Elizabeth Golden

The holidays may be a time for celebrating, but any holiday celebration wouldn’t be complete without a few classic holiday films. Get ready to bake some scrumptious cookies, stoke a fire and turn on the VCR to watch these classic films.

Miracle on 34th Street

Whether it be the classic released in 1947 or the modern-day telling of 1994, “Miracle on 34th Street” is sure to entertain audience members of all ages. Both versions tell the same story, but most viewers will probably be partial to the one released in 1994 since the old-fashioned dialogue is abandoned. Color is also utilized, unlike the previous film in black and white.

The story centers on Macy’s executive Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) and her young daughter Susan (Mara Wilson). Both are against Christmas until they meet an old man by the name of Kriss Kringle (Richard Attenborough), who actually believes he is Santa Claus. After being threatened with going into an insane asylum, he needs a young lawyer, also Dorey’s love interest, to come to his rescue.

“Miracle on 34th Street” is a sweet film centered on a cynical viewpoint. Susan is a snarky, yet adorable child and all characters are extremely enjoyable. The script is very typical, but what else is expected from a Christmas movie?

Overall, this film is the best of the best when it comes to Christmas movies. Anything greater would be hard to accomplish.

The Santa Clause

It’s hard to believe this film paved the way for Tim Allen to become a big screen sensation. In his debut feature film, Allen plays Scott Calvin, who accidentally kills Santa on Christmas Eve. He discovers a business card in the pocket of Santa’s jacket that says he has now been chosen to replace Santa.

In a secondary storyline, recently divorced Calvin has to deal with his ex-wife (Wendy Crewson), her new husband (Judge Reinhold) and his estranged son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd).

As opposed to the typical Christmas movie, “The Santa Clause” brings laughter and entertainment to all viewers. Not a moment passes without evoking some sort of feeling from audience members, whether it is sadness or excessive humor. Every scene of this 1994 classic is worthwhile and hilarious.


Although more recent than most Christmas classics, “Elf” is quickly making a name for itself among those films necessary for the perfect holiday season.

Buddy (Will Ferrell) managed to make his way to the North Pole as an infant and was raised by an elf.

After wreaking havoc due to his excessive size, Buddy realizes he must venture out into the real world in order to find his family and live a normal life. This plan doesn’t go over well. He is completely unaware of normal customs and walks around in an elf outfit, eating used gum from random places.

“Elf” is not without several annoying moments, and it’s especially frustrating when Buddy seems unable to adjust to normal behavior. The film is still worth watching, as it paints a picture of faith and believing. Buddy, with his faith alone, manages to save Christmas and bring cheer to all the children of the world.

Jingle all the Way

This 1996 comedy may be one of the lesser-known holiday films, but it is not without a hilarious sense of adventure.

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Howard, an anxious father who tries to get his son the hottest toy of the season on Christmas Eve. This plan doesn’t work out well, but he’s willing to pull out all the stops. He’s involved in several near-death experiences as he attempts to achieve the impossible.

Every sequence in this film is hilarious in an extremely slapstick way. Schwarzenegger is beaten up by a Reindeer, flies through the sky, and wins the heart of his son and wife, who believe he may be insane.

Although this film may be more enjoyable for younger ages, everyone can appreciate Schwarzenegger’s enjoyable sense of humor as well as his impressive acting.

Home Alone

“Home Alone” will be found on any top Christmas list ever made even though it may not be everyone’s ideal film. Made in 1990, this film contains everything necessary for a holiday classic: adventure, comedy and family.

When an 8-year-old boy (Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left behind while his family leaves the country for Christmas, he has to defend himself and his home when burglars decide to break in.

This comedy may be too over-the-top when it comes to slapstick humor, but Culkin’s charming and adorable childhood made this film into a success.

Children will most likely enjoy “Home Alone” much more than adults, since adults will see the film as unrealistic while kids will give into the entertainment value.

However, this film will always be considered one of the top holiday staples.

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