My wife and I have developed a favorite Christmas movie list through the years, with a tradition of watching one or two each December. In order of preference, I’d say the top five come down to these:
- It’s a Wonderful Life (Jimmy Stewart). Cathy and I discovered this movie the first winter we were married, and we circle back to it more often than any of our other Christmas favorites. It probably adds to the appeal that Jimmy Stewart was my father’s Eighth Air Force commander during World War II, and an alumnus of my own alma mater.
- Miracle on 34th Street (a young Natalie Wood). Maybe it’s the legal piece, but this one never grows old for us.
- A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott version). The appeal of this one is obvious. The problem is which version of the story to trot out each Christmas. For me, George C. Scott’s portrayal of Scrooge is unbeatable. (Although a close second is Mister Magoo.)
- The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (Boris Karloff narrating). For years we played this movie while making holiday cookies with the kids. Then the kids went away to school, and we had to admit that their presence was just an excuse to watch the Grinch in action.
- Holiday Inn (Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire). My wife introduced me to Fred Astaire. We love all his movies—but this one that circles around to a Christmas finish is our favorite.
Bonus: White Christmas (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye). Another great musical from the same era as Holiday Inn – and the second movie in which Bing Crosby sang “White Christmas.” A very close pick behind Holiday Inn for Christmas viewing.
Which Christmas movies would you put on your list, and why?
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