Holiday Movie Tournament: What Is the Best Classic Holiday Movie of All Time?

By Kelsey Klemme Dec 05, 2019 2:00 PMTags
Watch: Jane Krakowski & Maya Rudolph Talk "A Christmas Story Live!"

UPDATE: While every movie below is worth a watch, you sounded off that Home Alone is the best classic holiday film of all time. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!

Nothing puts us in the holiday spirit better than a classic movie!

You weighed in and voted that How the Grinch Stole Christmas was the Best Family Holiday Movie ever, and now it's time to vote for which nostalgic picture deserves the title for Best Classic Holiday Movie.

Whether these films remind you of past holidays with the family or their familiarity just brings you joy, there are a few movies that crop up around this time of year that are required viewing and it's up to you to determine which is the best of all.

Perhaps you are partial to saying "you'll shoot your eye out, kid" whenever A Christmas Story pops up on your TV Guide. Then again, some of you may like to go way, way back to the '40s for flicks like It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street

There's also the classics that make us laugh, too, like Kevin McCallister's booby traps in Home Alone, Steve Martin and John Candy's friendship in Planes, Trains and Automobiles or the many incidents that go wrong for the Griswold family in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal: All the Ways Home Alone Reminds Us of Our Childhood Christmases

For those that like a little controversy when throwing on a movie, there are also the debatable holiday flicks like Die Hard or Gremlins to watch after you've pointed out to someone that they DO take place during Christmas!

While all are great, only one can walk away with the title, so be sure to vote below.

Also, check back on Monday when we unveil what films are in contention to become the Best Funny Holiday Movie of all time!

Die Hard

Listen, we don't really care if Bruce Willis disagrees that this is a Christmas movie.

What we DO care about is that John McClane spends 132 minutes trying to save his estranged wife from her company's Christmas party that has been overrun by terrorists.


A Christmas Story

"You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"

The film that revitalized leg lamp businesses and scared us away from ever licking a pole is such a staple of the holidays that TBS and TNT run it for 24 hours straight on Christmas day.


You don't get them wet, let them into sunlight or ever feed them after midnight.

Those were the three simple rules that were too hard for Billy Peltzer to handle when he was gifted Gizmo, a furry little creature that, in real life, Hasbro ripped the design off of to create their once-popular Furby toys (and got sued in the process.)

In the film, after the precious mogwai turn into Gremlins, they go on a killing rampage, all to the backdrop of Christmas cheer.

Interestingly, Chris Columbus, the writer of Gremlins, went on to direct...

Home Alone

...Home Alone!

The holidays are a time many spend with their family, but sometimes your family just forgets you exist! Such was the case for Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin, when he is left to his own devices after his parents accidentally forget him en route to Paris.

Kevin's fun of eating ice cream all day is cut short when two burglars attempt to break into the McCallister's home and, unluckily for the would-be criminals, Kevin turns out to be pretty good at setting booby traps. 

It's a Wonderful Life

This 1946 classic plays out what would have happened if George Bailey, a selfless man and banker, had never been born. Bailey's guardian angel Clarence shows him how his town, family and love of his life all would be worse off without him.

The heartwarming film went on to be nominated in five Academy Award categories, including Best Picture.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

The third installment of the National Lampoon franchise saw Chevy Chase return as Clark Griswold desperately trying to have a nice Christmas despite his wacky family causing roadblocks all the way.

Whether you loved this film for the introduction of the "Jelly of the Month Club" or for Griswold's light display that causes a citywide blackout, there's plenty of laughs to be had in this iconic movie.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Technically, this is a Thanksgiving movie, but if Christmas fans hanging their lights the day after Halloween aren't going to respect Thanksgiving's holiday window, then this list won't respect theirs, either!

In this movie, the late and great John Candy and comedian Steve Martin play two characters who end up stuck on an adventure together after their flight gets diverted. As they try to make their way back to Chicago via—you guessed it—planes, trains and automobiles, an unlikely friendship blossoms between the two, leading to an ending that still makes us tear up.

Miracle on 34th Street

This 1947 black-and-white film has survived for decades as a must-see holiday film.

It's a heartwarming tale about a man named Kris Kringle who is convinced he truly is Santa Clause as he helps his boss Doris, her daughter Susan (played by Natalie Wood) and other parents enjoy the holidays. 


Best Classic Holiday Movies

What do you think is the best classic holiday movie of all time?
Die Hard
A Christmas Story
It's a Wonderful Life
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Home Alone
Miracle on 34th Street
Voting For This Poll Has Closed!