10 of the Best Must-See Christmas Movies

We’re in that time of year again where family and friends gather to celebrate, have fun, eat, drink, kick back and relax, and eat some more. One thing’s for sure though, regardless of how much you do any of those things……there’s always room to watch some great movies. After you’ve had that nap of course.

Here at the Nerd Fu Dojo, we thought it’d be fun to come up with our own list of Cinematic Christmas Cheer that combines those timeless holiday traditions like laugher, love, goodwill, gunfire and even a little green monster or two. The movies listed below are pretty much 10 of our all-time favorite movies for this time of year that we try to watch in December! A fun aspect of this list is that there’s a little bit of something on it for everyone. You may notice that there isn’t a ranking system on our list but that’s the way we made it. The point is to have fun with the films and not worry about a numerical rank. Wanna watch Elf before Scrooged? Go for it! Decided to watch Home Alone last? Cheers to you! These are fantastic holiday movies to enjoy either by yourself or with others. So put on those “I Party with Santa” pj’s and warm up some hot chocolate. Heck, add a splash of whiskey in there while you’re at it – if you’re an elf of legal age that is – and let those good holiday times roll!

SCROOGED (1988)

Some visitors can’t be rescheduled and that’s a lesson that Frank Cross is about to learn multiplied by three! This updated take (well….updated back in the ’80s anyway) is a very funny and kind of serious re-telling of the 1938 movie A Christmas Carol. And let’s be honest, anything updated with Bill Murray is that much better.

DIE HARD (1988)

We saw a pretty funny meme the other day that said “It’s not Christmas until I see Hans Gruber fall out of a window” and on some levels, we have to agree. We’re also aware that many people out there don’t think of Die Hard as a Christmas movie. To that we say Yipee Ki Yay…..

ELF (2003)

Is there anything Will Ferrell can’t do? Other than shrinking down to the size of an elf, probably not. He delivers his signature over-the-top goofy comedy in spades and makes Elf a holiday film that begs to be watched repeatedly because, like the act of smiling, it’s one of our favorites.

HOME ALONE (1990)

There’s one question that has rarely been addressed regarding one of the most beloved holiday films: is it us or does Kevin’s dad really not seem too stressed about leaving the little guy at home? We know there’s no question his mom is fit to kill someone in order to get back to her baby on the other hand. Anyway, Home Alone’s charm is untouched even as it’s 1990 release year moves further and further away. From it’s memorable one-liners, to that airport run scene, to the super cool trap setup montage…..you can consider us thirsty for more!

GREMLINS (1984)


With so many positives about Gremlins – like year-round watchability and seeing the beautiful Phoebe Cates – the only complaint issue we have is that no one has made a real life Bathroom Buddy yet. Aside from that, Spielberg’s classic film about pet maintenance remains near and dear to our hearts to this day.

LOVE ACTUALLY (2003)


Possibly one of the greatest “multiple storylines that eventually cross paths with one another” films ever. It’s got a bevy of wonderful actors that were known and some whose potential was only just beginning to be tapped. You’ve got the great Alan Rickman, Walker killer extraordinaire Andrew Lincoln, unstoppable Liam Neeson, fantastic Chiwetel Ejiofor, adorable little Hugh Grant, and many, many more! You’ll need a trip to the dentist after watching this movie – it’s that sweet.

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)

We know better than to leave this one off the list and while we did leave off that other Miracle movie, we know at the end of the day there are true definitions of Christmas classics. We’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t a film that we can watch year-round and on repeat like some of these other movies BUT that doesn’t mean it’s power should be ignored. The Frank Capra classic should be viewed and enjoyed at least once in December. And if you don’t think you can make it through the whole movie, you’ll still end up more on the “nice” side of the list if you can at least watch the ending. Real tears will merit extra points.

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION (1989)


Poor Clark. He deserves to be on this list because the man always, ALWAYS tries to do the nicest things for his family. He just sometimes….well…..has “expectations no family can live up to”. But that’s okay because we will champion him on in his endeavors. Even when the shitter’s full.

THE FAMILY MAN (2000)

There’s Gone in Sixty Seconds Nicolas Cage, then there’s Drive Angry Nicolas Cage. The difference? A Cage we love and a Cage we want so hard to love but…but…<sigh> no. The Family Man is one of those movies about second chances which is exactly what you should give it. It’s Cage like we love to see him – witty, funny and the perfect amount of seriousness.  The holiday cherry on top goes to the great parts played by Tea Leoni, Jeremy Piven, Don Cheadle, and cutie Makenzie Vega.

A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983)

If, by some sort of Christmas miracle, you’re not tired of watching this movie by now then you deserve to get everything on your list this year. This movie has it all: Santa, revenge, a sexy one-of-a-kind lamp, Italian lessons, and the magic of seeing a young boy’s wish come true. Bonus points if you eat Chinese food while watching it!

About Steve

Co-founder of Nerd Fu, mild-mannered artist, gamer, movie aficionado, SDCC disciple.

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2 comments

  1. I don’t know why but I always watch Star Wars and LOTR’s during Christmas time.

    • Haha…that’s cool man. There’s never a wrong time to watch any of those franchises. Found out not that long ago that my gal hasn’t really seen any of the SW films!

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