A Ranking Of The Best Holiday Movies Betches

The Only Christmas Movies That Are Acceptable To Watch This Holiday Season

By Betchy Crocker

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, we’ve all gained 20 pounds, gone down the dark road that is family time, and are on the darker road to Chrismahanakwazakah, it’s time to round up the absolute best ways to kill time alone because sweatpants is all that fits us right now holiday movies. Yah, we’ve all seen them a million times, they’re tacky, and you may be caught dabbing tears out of your eyes, but they’re one of the only things that make us feel feelings during this season of materialism, overcooked in-law dinners, and ironic sweaters. May you, too, be filled with fuzzy and warm feelings of holiday cheer or just get really drunk and enjoy these.


1. 'Elf'

This is Will Ferrell at his fucking finest. Traipsing through New York, getting plowed into by taxis, tasting shitty coffee, and singing loud for all to hear are all part of this magical adventure, and I’m honestly here for it. If you haven’t said “Byeeee Buddy, hope you find your dad” to at least one friend when she wanders out of a bar, I don’t want to know you.

2. 'It’s A Wonderful Life'

If you like, need to cry and feel appreciated, this is probs what you should watch. Grab your sweatpants and watch the 1940s movie that will make you feel low-key annoyed no guy ever offered to buy you the moon.

3. 'Die Hard'

I don’t even care if this doesn’t count—it’s amazing. It’s amazing in July, it’s amazing in September, and goddamnit, it’s amazing at Christmas time. Watching Bruce Willis in his glory days thwart crime while making v 80s comebacks is perfect with alcoholic eggnog and a slice of pie.

4. 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer'

This OG creepy claymation movie is life. It’s the ultimate story of revenge—kid gets made fun of for having what is clearly a serious deformity, runs away, meets a monster and homeless Yukon pervert who licks gold, kidnaps a lady deer, then takes vengeance and highjacks Santa’s sleigh. That’s pretty much exactly how this movie goes, with all its 60s wholesomeness plus some sing-a-longs.

5. 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas'

NOT THE ATROCIOUSLY BAD JIM CARREY VERSION. I’m talking the original animated 30-minute Grinch that struck fear into children's hearts back in the 60s. Not only do I know all the words to every song in this feature, but I identify a lot with the Grinch, who, at the end of the day, just wanted some goddamn peace and quiet. My heart, too, is several sizes too small, and I’m not ashamed of that.

6. National Lampoon’s 'Christmas Vacation'

Nothing helps me identify with feeling like I’m in a goddamn insane asylum when my in-laws are around than watching Chevy Chase literally hallucinate imaginary women in this classic. If you, too, get kicks from animals being electrocuted by trees, sewage running down streets, and rampant child endangerment, this is the movie for you.

7. 'Home Alone'

Full disclosure, I hadn’t seen this movie all the way through until last year. My first question is, who are these parents that leave a kid at home in that fucking mansion? Second question, wtf does Mr. McCallister do for a fucking living and is he available? Watch this and the sequel just for the Trump cameo, then cry yourself to sleep.

8. 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'

Idk if this is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie, but something about kidnapping Santa, terrorizing children, and ghost dogs really got me. Real thought—isn’t this a lil dark to be a children’s movie? I feel like it more closely aligns with being an artistic autobiography of Tim Burton’s real life adventures. 

9. 'A Christmas Story'

So much good here. If you, for some unknown reason, have not managed to see at least 30 minutes of this while it airs for 24 hours straight on Christmas day, shame on you. Do yourself a favor and bask in the glory that is a fishnet-clad lamp, the wonder of saying "fuck" in front of your parents, and understanding what happens when you lick a frozen flagpole.

10. 'Charlie Brown Christmas'

You know you’ve referred to the bundle of sticks you call a tree as a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. This shit has a chokehold on visions of Christmas, and it’s all thanks to these wacky kids and their unsupervised adventures. 




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