The results are in! The Post staff picks the best Christmas movies and TV specials of all time.
10.) A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella is possibly the most enduring and familiar Christmas story of all time. It has been adapted for TV and film hundreds of times, including the latest 3D animated version released by Disney this year. Collectively, they are all our number-ten pick. Some of our favorites include Scrooge (1951), Scrooged (1988), starring Bill Murray, and Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983) (TV), starring Scrooge McDuck as Ebeneezer, of course. Two we could do without, both from the late 1990s, are Patrick Stewart’s A Christmas Carol (1999) (TV) and Ms. Scrooge (1997) (TV), starring Cicely Tyson as “Ms. Ebenita” Scrooge.
9.) Love, Actually (2003)
The most modern movie to make our list, Love, Actually, was an unexpected surprise. The British romantic comedy weaves together a number of love affairs into one well-wrapped holiday package. Sure to spark a dialogue among its viewers, as it did with our staff, this hip Christmas movie is actually loved.
8.) Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) (TV)
Developed in 1939 by Robert May for the department store Montgomery Ward, Rudolph remains one of the most recognizable Christmas characters. It’s hard to not feel sympathetic toward the lovable, red-nosed quadruped, and it’s nice to know that even he has a place at Christmas.
7.) How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) (TV)
The Grinch is the most famous holiday villain, and Chuck Jones’ 1966 cartoon is Seussean to a degree the big-budget, live-action Christmas movie just couldn’t achieve. Christmas isn’t Christmas without Cindy Lou, roast beast, and this TV classic, and we’d all do well to see our own hearts grow three sizes in a day.
6.) White Christmas (1954)
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, is the lone musical to make our list. The popular song by the same title actually first arrived on the American scene in 1941 when Crosby performed the song on his popular NBC radio show, The Kraft Music Hall. The rest, as they say, is history. In 1942, the song was released as part of an album from the film Holiday Inn. In 1954, White Christmas, the film, was released, building on the song’s popularity, which subsequently became the top selling record of all time, selling more than 50 million copies.
5.) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
No holiday family function is complete without the dysfunction of Clark W. Griswold Jr. and clan. Unequivocally quaint and quotable, our number-five pick is already a classic in its own right. It’s hard to not feel right at home at the Griswold’s table, and the disaster that is the Griswold family makes us all feel a little better about our own.
4.) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) (TV)
The first animated TV special based on the popular Peanuts comic strip by Charles Shultz is also arguable the best. It is easy to see a little of all of us in the downtrodden Charlie Brown as he attempts to see past the secularism of Christmas to find true meaning.
3.) It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
The bells still ring for this 1946 black-and-white classic starring Jimmy Stewart. As one of Stewart’s most memorable achievements as an actor, the flick delves into darker and more dramatic themes than most Christmas movies, including financial woes, troubled family life, and suicide. Still poignant today, especially in the midst of the current economic climate, this tale of retribution, family, and community captures the true spirit of the holidays.
2.) A Christmas Story (1983)
It’s Americana, nostalgic, and an almost perfect Christmas classic. In many minds, A Christmas Story is the quintessential Holiday tale. What is more American than spending the holidays with one’s family under the warm glow of a gleaming, Italian, sex-exuding “major award”—complete with fishnet stockings?
1.) Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York City, and Santa—it’s Christmas in America, and our number one Christmas movie of all time is sure to make almost any Christmas curmudgeon believe.