Movies to get you in the holiday spirit

Netflix displays a wide variety of Christmas movies to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Photo by Catherine Wilkinson.
Netflix displays a wide variety of Christmas movies to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Photo by Catherine Wilkinson.

To me the holidays are all about three things: food, decorations and movies. Christmas is an especially festive holiday with Christmas tree decorations, pies and family gatherings. The movies and television shows that fill our screens throughout December each year really separate Christmas from other holidays.

Christmas movies are special because they have a common theme of love, friendship and family unity. Christmas is a time to put differences aside and come together with family during a special time, and almost every Christmas movie out there embodies this. Although I’m a true fan of about 95% of all Christmas movies, there are some favorites that I will share.

My all-time favorite Christmas movie—hands down—is “The Santa Clause” movie with Tim Allen. The reason why this movie is my favorite is because it brings the magic of Santa Claus to life in a way that allows children to really imagine who he is, what the North Pole is like and everything else in between.

Also, “The Santa Clause,” along with its proceedings – The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause –  really embody the true meaning of family. The parents of the main character in these movies are divorced which I think is really relatable to a lot of children and families. The couple is able to work things out and give their son a family unit despite the circumstances which I think is important for children of divorced parents to see.

My next favorite Christmas movie is “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” I’m talking about the one with Jim Carrey from 2000.  This movie needs few words to describe because it is simply a classic. This movie, like “The Santa Clause,” embodies family, but also reaches a deeper level because it shows that love is better than anger. On top of the good message, it’s really just very funny! This is a great one for laughs.

“The Polar Express” is next on my list. “The Polar Express” embodies everything joyful about Christmas and the holiday season as a whole. It is the perfect mix of magic and truth.  This movie really narrows in on trying to make you understand yourself. The end message is that it doesn’t matter what people say, it matters what is in your heart and what you truly believe. Christmas is not about “stuff” but rather about love and giving. Giving is a huge theme to this movie, which is really special during this time. This movie leaves you wanting to give back to others instead of ask for presents.

“The Holiday” with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet is also at the top of my list of best Christmas movies. While the previous movies mentioned have each been movies for children, this movie is a romantic comedy that is a little unconventional. The two main characters, one from L.A. and one from England, switch homes for the holidays in hopes of escaping the troubles of their current lives. Both characters find love interests, and the ending is as warm and fuzzy as you could imagine.

Another one of my absolute favorites is the “Merry Christmas Drake and Josh” movie. This movie has been a favorite of mine since it came out in 2008. This movie is a Christmas spin off from the television show Drake and Josh. It features all of the same characters from the television series, along with some new characters that really bring this movie to life.

This movie is everything the television series is: fun and hysterical. This is a great movie for teens and adults that never gets old. This movie focuses on family and giving back to others. In the movie, Drake and Josh help make a foster child’s Christmas the “best Christmas ever.” They do so by engaging in all of the fun traditions of Christmas: Christmas tree shopping and decorating, baking cookies, caroling and much more.

They even become part of a holiday parade! If you are looking for a Christmas movie that warms your heart but also makes you laugh until you cry, look no further.

Last, but definitely not least, the final movie I will talk about is one we all know—“Elf.” Elf is such a classic, and, with Will Ferrell playing the lead, you know this will be one that makes you laugh until you cry. In case you haven’t seen it, “Elf” is a story about a man who was raised by elves and leaves the North Pole for New York in search of his birth father. This movie embodies family and love, but does it with a spin by making it as funny as it is tender. If you haven’t seen it, you have to; if you have, then no persuading is needed for this one.

If you were in a movie rut and needed someone to point you in the right direction, I hope this helped. Also, another good thing to keep in mind is that if it’s cold outside, and you don’t want to go out to rent a movie, even Netflix has tons of options to choose from. Although I have only touched on a few, I hope this shows that there are plenty of amazing Christmas movies out there to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

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