We’re fast approaching Christmas, so what better way to get into the festive spirit than thinking about some of the most iconic Christmas movies of all time? Everyone has their favorites, their family traditions, their secret indulgences. Here’s my list of most iconic movies…what is yours? Leave a comment and share your favorites!
5. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
I actually came to this movie rather late in life, but it definitely ranks among my holiday favorites. We all know the story — a little girl who has long-since given up believing in Santa meets a Macy’s store Santa who claims to be the real deal, who will stop at nothing to help Susan and her practical mother believe in him…and in miracles.
4. Little Lord Fauntleroy
For the life of me I can’t find a DVD of this version, but I used to love watching an old version of this classic story starring Sir Alec Guinness and Rick Schroder. Sir Alec Guinness shines as the callous, hard-hearted grandfather who calls his grandson Cedric back to England to educate him to become the next Earl of Dorincourt. Little does he know that he’s the one who needs educating! The touching Christmas conclusion of this movie made this one of my holiday favorites. Too bad I haven’t seen it in so many years!
3. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Who doesn’t know A Charlie Brown Christmas? Even if you haven’t seen it in years, I’m sure there are scenes that stick out in your memory. Charlie Brown gets asked to direct the Christmas pageant at his school, but no one seems to care what Christmas is all about. Instead of the spirit of giving and friendship and family, Charlie Brown only sees the spirit of buying and getting. But who can forget when Linus stands up and reminds everyone of the true meaning of Christmas? Like my next favorite, this is a story that never fails to hit home.
2. A Christmas Carol
There are many versions of this classic story by Charles Dickens, but my favorite would have to be the 1999 version featuring Patrick Stewart as Scrooge. This beautiful story of a cold-hearted miser who learns of charity, redemption and the transforming power of Christmas is always poignant, perhaps now more than ever.
And because I don’t want to use another entry for the same story, I’m going to give a shout-out here to one of my favorite childhood Christmas traditions: Mickey’s Christmas Carol. The version we had, tape-recorded off the TV, had all kinds of Christmas stories with Mickey and gang, concluded with a retelling of the Dickens classic. I still think it’s one of the best out there.
1. It’s a Wonderful Life
This is, hands-down, my favorite Christmas movie ever. I’ve watched it almost every year of my life at Christmastime. It’s the touching story of George Bailey, pushed to the brink of despair by a financial disaster, who is given the gift of seeing what the world would have been like if he’d never been born. It’s a beautiful reminder of how much one small person can influence the world, and how the bonds of love and friendship can overcome anything.