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Top Ten Holiday Movies of All Time

10. “Home Alone” (1990) This movie is about a young boy (Macaulay Culkin) left home alone by his parents. He must then try to keep a pair of bumbling burglars from robbing the house. Good flick to watch if you need to be in the holiday spirit.The two sequels that followed paled in comparison to this one.

9. “Miracle on 34th Street” (1994) This movie, the fifth remake since the 1947 original, is a heartwarming story about a man who calls himself Kris Kringle and a girl who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. And yes, it does have a happy ending.

8. “A Christmas Story” (1983) One of the quintessential holiday movies of all time, this story of a dysfunctional family at Christmas makes the list because of it’s total watchability. Filmed at the Higbee’s department store (now Dillard’s) in downtown Cleveland (which, incidentally, will be closing the week after New Years). Great movie to see for such things as a kid’s tongue stuck to a flag pole and a risqué leg lamp. And who could forget “you’ll shoot your eye out!”

7. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964) This stop-action cartoon version of the famous song details the plight of Rudolph who wants to be accepted among the other reindeer. Not only is this a holiday staple for many children and adults, it also is a great social commentary on accepting people that are different.

6. “The Santa Clause” (1994) Another funny take on the many misadventures that poor St. Nick faces thanks to Hollywood. Tim Allen stars as a man who accidentally kills Santa Claus on Christmas and is magically recruited to take his place. Who knew that Santa could die?

5. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989) This movie is a must-see for people who find the holidays a little…well…stressful. Chevy Chase reprises his role as Clark Griswold from the other “Vacation” movies with Beverly D’Angelo as his wife Ellen and Juliette Lewis as his daughter Audry. This movie is a barrel of laughs from start to finish with exceptional performances from Chase and D’ Angelo.

4. “A Christmas Carol” There are numerous versions of Charles Dickens’ classic novel. All feature the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future; Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge, Jiminy Cricket and Bob Cratchet. You just can’t go wrong with this one.

3. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” a.k.a. “The Grinch” (2000) The live action movie based on Dr. Seuss’ children’s book stars Jim Carrey as the Mean One himself. The plot follows pretty much the storyline set forth in the book but adds more depth. The sets are breathtaking and Carrey’s performance is stunning. Anthony Hopkins, however, doesn’t hold a candle to Boris Karloff as the Narrator.

2. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (1966) The cartoon version of the children’s book of the same name captures the true essence of Dr. Seuss’ characters, the Grinch, his dog Max and the citizens of Whoville. By now, we all know that Christmas came in spite of the Grinch’s actions, but really, who cares? It’s still fun to watch no matter how old you are.

1. “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) Almost 60 years old and this film still inspires generation after generation. Impossible to avoid (it’s on TV multiple times every year), this movie stars Jimmy Stewart as a frustrated man that is showed by an angel (Clarence, played by the amazing Henry Travers) what his town and family would be like if he never existed. The movie is dark and gut-wrenching at times, but has a magical ending. Remember, “every time a bell rings and angel gets it’s wings.”

Beyond 10: These movies didn’t make the Top 10, but they are just as much a part of the holiday season.

“White Christmas” (1954) Bing Crosby , Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney star in this Post World War II classic about two song-and-dance acts in a Vermont ski lodge. Romantic mishaps surround great singing and dancing, including Irving Berlin’s title song that was originally written for “Holiday Inn” (1942), also starring Crosby. The song, meant to lift spirits of overseas troops, became so popular, that a movie of the same name was commissioned. The song was Crosby’s greatest hit, spending 30 weeks on the popular music charts.

“A Very Brady Christmas” (1988) Mike, Carol, Alice, Marcia, Greg, Jan, Peter, Cindy and Bobby are back together trying to overcome personal obstacles in order to spend Christmas together. Though, just as corny as anything else “Brady,”this is the first time we see the family having actual problems. Marcia’s husband Wally lost his job. Greg and his wife differ over which family to visit. Jan is in the midst of a sticky divorce. Peter is having difficulties dating his boss. Cindy doesn’t want to be ordered to come home, and Bobby has dropped out of college to pursue his dream of auto racing. Susan Olsen, was the only original cast member that didn’t appear in the holiday special.

“Frosty the Snowman” (1969) This is the animated version of the song of the same name. The cartoon, based upon the popular children’s song finds the children who made Frosty come alive (via a silk top hat) fight to keep possession of the top hat and move Frosty to a cooler climate before spring comes. It was followed by three lackluster sequels,: “Frosty’s Winter Wonderland” (1976), “Frosty and Rudolph’s Christmas in July” (1979) and “Frosty Returns” (1993).

Some information courtesy of the Internet Movie Database.

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