Classic Christmas Movies to Watch This Season

Whether the hubbub and joy of the holidays are drawing to a crescendo or you’re just beginning your winter preparations, curling up with loved ones and a great movie will help boost your holiday spirit. At Pottery Barn, we’ve put together this list of film favorites to get you started. Settle in with some snacks and hot cocoa, and get ready to indulge in the magic of Christmas. These cinema classics will delight with a few laughs and plenty of merriment that only the most wonderful time of year can deliver.

Animated Movies

Finish off an afternoon of decorating the tree with the kids and watch a fun animated film. Share the importance of being big-hearted while you watch Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Even though the grumpy Grinch does his best to ruin the holiday for the residents of Whoville by stealing their decorations and gifts, their Christmas spirit prevails in the face of negativity. This is an ideal movie to watch if you’re in the mood to enjoy a nostalgic classic from your childhood. And, this heartwarming cartoon is the perfect way to introduce kids to Christmas classics or start a new holiday movie-night tradition with your family.

Old-time Classics

If you’re yearning to settle in for a longer Christmas tale, consider It’s a Wonderful Life. This 1946 film tells the story of George Bailey, a man who, despite all his successes, doesn’t feel like his contributions matter. With the help of his guardian angel and an alternate view of how the future might have turned out, George realizes that his actions have impacted and helped many people around his town. This Academy Award winner may not be the most lighthearted film for the season, but it delivers a powerful message about showing gratitude to those who help us.

Does Santa exist? Watch the classic Miracle on 34th Street and put to rest any doubts you have about who’s filling the stockings and nibbling from the plate of cookies you leave out. When the real Kris Kringle shows up to play Santa at a Manhattan department store, people mistake his kindness, and he gets himself into trouble over his true identity. The resolution to this story is bound to bring you a smile. And, the film's powerful reminder about having faith in yourself and others can spark enough joy over believing in childlike wonder to carry you through the New Year.

Christmas Comedies

If you’ve ever had a holiday celebration that felt unexpected at every turn, you’ll empathize with Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. From meticulously placed twinkle lights creating a citywide power outage to a hilarious Christmas Eve boss-napping, this film is packed with sidesplitting but surprisingly sentimental moments. And at the end, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your holiday preparations will undoubtedly go much smoother than the Griswold family’s do.

Wrap up your cozy evening on the sofa with a family vacation gone awry for Kevin McCallister in Home Alone. In the flurry of activity on the morning of a group trip to Paris for Christmas, Kevin’s family accidentally leaves him behind. During the days leading up to the holiday, Kevin finds clever ways to deter two bumbling burglars while he enjoys being the only one in the house and gets to know a lonely elderly neighbor. If you’re a fan of slapstick comedy, you’ll enjoy the ways Kevin delivers the Wet Bandits their comeuppance. And it’s not hard to appreciate the lessons he learns about sharing Christmas cheer with those who could use extra happiness and friendship during the holiday season.