I suspect most people have a list of favorite holiday programs, some of which they may or may not confess to watching. For me, that holiday is Christmas, and I’ll freely admit several of the shows on my list are fairly…cheesy–or maybe sappy is a better description–in point of fact. I don’t care. I’m happy to own my list. Because when it comes right down to it, most of these shows are tied to happy memories, and that’s why they’re my favorite holiday viewing. They either take me back to my childhood or they remind me of good times later in life.
The first part of the list are the theatrical movies I associate with Christmas. Some of them aren’t Christmas movies, per se, but they make me think of Christmas–maybe because they’re set during the Christmas season or they have a Christmas scene that somehow fixed them forever in Christmas for me. It’s funny that doesn’t happen with all such movies. For instance, The Thin Man is one of my all time favorite films and it’s set during Christmas, but I’ve never once thought of it as a Christmas movie.
Anyway, here’s part one of my list. The first movie is my favorite Christmas movie of all time, but the rest of the list is in alphabetical order.
Favorite Christmas Movies
- White Christmas
- Auntie Mame
- The Bishop’s Wife
- Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
- Die Hard
- Holiday Inn
- Home Alone
- The Lemon Drop Kid
- Love Actually
- The Man Who Came To Dinner
- Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
- The Polar Express
- The Santa Clause
- Scrooge (1951)
- We’re No Angels
I watched White Christmas every year on TV with my Grandmother. She loved Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. After she passed away, there were years when I couldn’t find it on TV and so I was thrilled to discover it on DVD. I’ve kept the tradition going ever since and every time I watch it, I think of Grandma.
You’ve probably noticed the lack of It’s A Wonderful Life on my list. That’s because it doesn’t resonate with me as a Christmas movie for some reason. Don’t get me wrong–I like it–I just don’t associate it with Christmas, no matter how many times it’s shown each year. Maybe it’s because I was in my late 20s the first time I saw it. I dunno.
The second part of my list is TV Christmas episodes and specials. Again, the first entry is my all time favorite show, the rest are in no particular order.
Favorite TV Christmas Episodes and Specials
- The Great Santa Claus Switch (The Muppets and Art Carney, 1970 Ed Sullivan Special)
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
- Night of the Meek (Twilight Zone 1985)
- But Can She Type? (Twilight Zone 1985)
- Any Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, or Perry Como Christmas show or special, ever
Unfortunately, you won’t find The Great Santa Claus Switch on DVD. Maybe someday whoever owns the rights to the Ed Sullivan Show will realize they’re sitting on the first ever full length Muppets Christmas Special (with Art Carney in dual roles!) and release it. If you search, though, you’ll probably find a very poor quality copy somewhere on youtube…
So there you have it. My lists of favorite Christmas shows for your view pleasure or, if you wish, for mocking. I don’t mind. They represent cherished memories and it’s easy to overlook their flaws.