This list of 12 Christmas movies will bring you to tears and laughter as well as offer new insights into the meaning of life, love and living from your heart.

Ranging from absurd to romantic, hilarious to heartfelt, you are sure to find a movie or two on this list that will suit your mood and cinematic preferences.

You can also download the list HERE.


1. The Family Stone (2005)

Starring :: Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Luke Wilson, Dermot Mulroney, Craig T. Nelson, + Paul Schneider

This holiday movie is layered, heartwarming and full of humorous all-too-familiar family dynamics that will have you both laughing and cringing with understanding. It took me several views to absorb the complexity of the characters and intimacy of the scenes. Can’t recommend enough!


2. The Family Man (2000)

Starring :: Nicolas Cage, Tea Leoni, Don Cheadle, + Jeremy Piven

This movie is a modern take on A Christmas Carol, only it’s wayyyy funnier and far more romantic. For anyone who is a fan of can’t-live-without-you romance, the joys of family (even when it’s hard), and the ultimate beauty of choosing a life of deep connection + unconditional love, this movie is for you!


3. Elf (2003)

Starring :: Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, Bob Newhart, Mary Steenburgen, + Amy Sedaris,

This heartfelt and silly Christmas movie is a favorite for children and adults of all ages! If you want to laugh, cry and feel your way through the holidays with the transformative power of love, joy, and innocence (mixed with some edgy humor), this movie is for you!


4. A Christmas Story (1983)

Starring :: Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Peter Billingsley, + Jean Shepherd

I grew up watching this movie with my family every Christmas eve and it’s one of my favorite childhood memories as a kid. It’s fully of nostalgia, humor, and childhood daydreams that everyone will relate to. If you haven’t seen it yet, put this movie at the top of your list. So good!


5. Home Alone (1990) + Home Alone 2 (1992)

Starring :: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Catherine O’Hara, + Daniel Stern

For anyone who grew up in the 90’s these movies are classics! Home Alone was released when I was 10-years-old – the same age as the main character, which made it SUPER FUN and relatable. Watching a kid take care of himself with so much fun + ease while maintaining a mischievous heart of gold makes these two of best movies to watch during the holidays. (P.S. Home Alone + Home Alone 2 are always my kids’ first pick when I ask what Christmas movie they want to watch; and honestly, they’re mine too!)


6. The Grinch (2000)

Starring :: Jim Carrey, Molly Shannon, Christine Baranski, + more

I grew up watching the 1966 animated version of the Grinch and it’s still a favorite. However, this live action rendition with Jim Carrey is total perfection. This is another movie that will have you laughing and crying, and feeling your heart expand by three sizes in one day! So, so good!


7. Polar Express (2004)

Starring :: Tom Hanks

After watching the Home Alone movies, this is the next movie on my kids’ watch-next list. The first time I watched it, I was mesmerized by the realistic and stunningly beautiful animations as well as the heart of the message. Be sure to watch this while drinking hot chocolate and snuggling on the couch. This movie will give you allll the good feelings.


8. Die Hard (1988)

Starring :: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, + Bonnie Bedelia

For those of you who aren’t into the classic Christmas movies but still want to join in the movie-watching fun, this action film takes place during Christmas but has zero to do with the actual holiday, which makes it good for anyone looking for a break from all the laughing, crying and heartfelt feelings brought on by the other movies on this list. Also see: Gremlins – another movie that takes place during Christmas but isn’t about Christmas.


9. The Holiday (2006)

Starring :: Jack Black, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, + Cameron Diaz

This is where four, very attractive but sad single people serendipitously break free from limiting romantic beliefs, find themselves, and meet someone they love, and who loves them back. It all takes place during the Christmas season. And even though it’s a traditional girl-meets-guy scenario, it’s packed with laughter, tears and heartening characters.


10. Love Actually (2003)

Starring :: Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Kiera Knightly, + more

A series of short stories woven together with attractive + funny characters exploring the intricacies of love + romance. I have a love-hate with this movie. Some aspects trigger the recovering codependent inside me, while other aspects warm my heart and fill me with love.


11. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Starring :: Judy Garland

I will admit I haven’t seen this movie but it’s been on my list for yearrrs. From what everyone says about it, it’s a must-see and an overlooked classic that will have you smiling, crying and singing along. Plus, Judy Garland is at the center of it. How can it not be amazing?!


12. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Starring :: Maureen O’Hara, Natalie Wood, Gene Lockhart, Porter Hall, + more

This is one of the first black & white films I ever saw as a kid. I remember being mesmerized by the storyline as well as the funny way everyone talked. To this day, I am immediately transported to my childhood every time I watch it.


{BONUS} Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)

Starring :: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Cate Blanchett, + more

Every year I host an all-day Lord of the Rings movie-watching marathon. We start first thing in the morning and watch into the night. Friends come and go throughout the day (or stay all day) to watch all three movies back-to-back, with lots of good food + merriment throughout. It’s one of my favorite holiday traditions! If you’re a fan of LotR, this is such a fun way to spend the day with your family during the holiday season.



xoxo – Jessica

P.S. Want more? Check out this list of 111 Movies to Make You Laugh, Cry + FEEL

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