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Our Top 5 Favorite Christmas Movies!

Christmas comes but once a year!

A picture of Charlie Brown standing next to Snoopy's red house while Snoopy sleeps on tip and the tiny, measly Christmas tree stands by.
A Charlie Brown Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching and 2020 finally coming to an end, we thought we’d share some of our favorite Christmas movies of Christmas’ past, you know, back when things made sense.  We all need a reason to smile right now and these will give you one for sure.

Wil Farrell and Zooey Deshimel decorated the Christmas Tree in Santa's Workshop.
Wil Farrell and Zooey Deshimel decorated the Christmas Tree in Santa’s Workshop.

1.  Elf

You know I’m right.  Completely original and funnier than most, Elf reminds us of what pure, open-hearted love looks like.  And that is the best lesson of Christmas.  Every year I make my daughters watch it with me, yes I said “make”.  For some reason, they think “Elf” is too silly.  Clearly, I’ve failed as a parent.

A picture of Jamie Lee Curtis hanging from a roof top screaming.
Jamie Lee Curtis in Christmas with the Kanks.
A picture of Tim Allen's frozen face after Botox injections and Jamie Lee Curtis looking on, displeased.
Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis star in Christmas with the Kranks.


2.  Christmas with the Kranks

One of the most overlooked Christmas movies of modern times, this movie gives us a Christmas tale within a larger story about community and our connection to others.  The strength of the story lies in it’s ability to be knee slappingly funny (the mall scenes, the grocery store) and yet honestly touching as it explores how our actions effect others, especially around the holidays.  Everyone in the family will love it, or they’ll have to answer to me!


Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed embrace their children as a happy family.
Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in It’s a Wonderful Life!
Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed sing "Dance by the Light of the Moon".
Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed sing “Dance by the Light of the Moon”.

3.  It’s a Wonderful Life

…Because it’s not a wonderful life right now, but we wish it were.  Yes, it’s a traditional staple of the holidays, and it should be.  Frank Capra’s classic tale of love and personal sacrifice never disappoints.  Plus who can resist Jimmy Stewart?


A picture of the cast of White Christmas around the tree on stage.
Bing Crosby and Danny Kay in White Christmas.

4.  White Christmas

Since we’re on a traditional Christmas bent, let’s go all the way.  White Christmas is one of my favorites for all that it encompasses: singing, dancing, holiday cheer, romance and of course, snow!  It’s really got everything.  And in a time when we could all use some love and cheer and beauty, this is just what the doctor ordered.


A picture of three young women carrying a silver decorated Christmas tree out of a store in a shopping mall.
Mila Kunis, Kristin Bell and Kathryn Hahn in A Bad Moms Christmas.

5.  Bad Moms’ Christmas

Yes, I said it.  You read that right.  We just went from traditional to unapologetically rule breaking; unconventionally ‘bad’.  As a mom, I can relate and I’m guessing from its popularity, others can too.  So put the kids to bed, open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion, snuggle up with the dog and put this bad baby on.  You’ll be glad you did!

VIAMelody Stewart
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Melody Stewart is the founder of act.land and President of iactingstudioskc.com. She is a filmmaker in Kansas City.