The holidays are fast approaching and the time is right to re-watch all of our holiday movie favorites. Our steadfast go-tos are truly something we never get sick of watching, but sometimes it’s nice to get in the holiday spirit with some films that are a bit off the beaten path. We all love our Home Alones and Love Actuallys, but we’ve surveyed our team’s personal faves and realized we have some more interesting choices at hand. Let’s get into it!
1. Scrooge (1970)
I know what you’re thinking, “But…this is a pretty obvious Christmas movie” and you’d be right about that, but you’d be wrong in thinking that a lot of people know about it, because they don’t. It’s one of my personal favorites and only 1 in 1,000,000 people I’ve told about it actually know it. So without further adieu, I present to you Alberty Finney as Ebenezer Scrooge in a fantastic adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ classic story, “A Christmas Carol”. This version is filled with amazing 1970’s era ghostly special effects, touching and festive music, and up close shot of an old man eating soup. But those are just SOME of the reasons to watch this classic. Albert Finney won a Golden Globe for this film and it was nominated for 4 Academy Awards. Do yourself a favor and check out this gem or you might get visited by the ghost of Christmas past!
2. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
The very classic that brings us Judy Garland crooning “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is often overlooked as a true Christmas film. This movie is what I like to call a “calendar movie” (looking at you, too, Steel Magnolias). It features a series of seasonal vignettes starting in the Summer of 1903 and leading up to the opening of the World’s Fair in the Spring of 1904. We follow Esther (JUDY GARLAND HERSELF) as she basically develops a crush on the dumdum next door aka “The Boy Next Door” and it takes him almost a year to realize that she likes him, even though she sings an entire movie’s worth of songs about him. The main draw here is her red velvet gown during the Christmas ball scene and then the inevitable reality that is me ugly crying along to her wistfully singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” This film was directed by Vincent Minelli, who Judy later married and had one baby Liza Minelli with, so it’s safe to say we owe Meet Me in St. Louis a debt of gratitude for bringing us the fab Liza with a Z.
3. Tree Man (2016)
Did you ever wonder where all those Christmas trees shops that line the streets of the city come from? This incredible documentary follows Francois, a tree farmer from Quebec as he makes his yearly journey to New York City to sell trees. He leaves his wife and 3 children behind to sell trees on the cold winter streets only to retire each night to the van he calls home. He does this all for his family and for his New York friends who his also calls family. This must watch is totally fascinating and heart warming.
4. Hook (1991)
A childhood favorite yes, but a Christmas movie? Hey! If it makes you feel Christmas-y than it’s a Christmas movie. That is a scientific fact. From Alaina, our founder, “There’s like a lot of snowy opening shots of London in the 90s and they go to visit their Granny and she’s British. Gets me in the Christmas mood I’ll tell you that.” We tend to agree. We’ve got magic, Tinkerbell, British accents, and snow. Yes, it makes the cut.
5. The Harry Potter Films
These magical people truly know how to do the holidays right. A snow covered castle, tables FILLED with roast turkeys and treacle and pumpkin pasties (what even ARE those, I want one!), and a great hall filled with floating candles? I’m going to explode. This is so Christmas-y, I could burst into tears. Actually, if I think about Harry Potter at all I could burst into tears. After all this time? Always.
Honorable mentions: Edward Scissorhands, Gremlins, Lethal Weapon, that one scene in Mean Girls