12 Greatest Christmas Movies of All-Time

‪It’s Christmas Eve. Most of us are celebrating with our family, friends, and loved ones. If you choose to spend some of that time watching movies, I have some help for you when deciding what to watch. Don’t waste your time watching other Christmas movies before you finish these 12. It just so happens that some of the greatest Christmas movies of all-time are not kid-friendly, so I have included the ratings. The best Christmas movies are those you can watch year in and year out and still be entertained. Be sure to leave a comment or drop an email unafraidshow@gmail.com. Here is the definitive list of the 12 Best Christmas movies of all time:  

12. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (PG-13)

Come hell or high water, Clark Griswold is determined to have a great Christmas. He hassles his wife and kids while trying to make sure the lights, tree and everything else is perfect. Between unplanned family members showing up and not getting a holiday bonus at work all hell breaks loose.  

11. Miracle on 34th Street (PG)

You can’t go wrong with either version of this Christmas classic. It’s the story of a man on trial for claiming to be Santa Claus. It is impossible to leave Miracle on 34th Street off the list despite only needing to see it once.   

10. Gremlins (PG)

There’s far more naughtiness than niceness on display in the 1984 horror-comedy Gremlins. There is a mystical Chinese creature known as a “mogwai” named Gizmo. It looks cute and cuddly, but when fed after midnight or touched by water it gives bubbling birth to mischievous monsters.  

9. The Best Man Holiday (R)

The Best Man Holiday is completely underrated as a Christmas movie. It has everything you want. There is football, family, food, presents, and surprises. You laugh and cry when friends and family get together for the first time in 15 years.  

8. A Charlie Brown Christmas (G)

Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism that he sees everywhere during the Christmas season. Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant, and Charlie Brown accepts. He tries to restore the proper Christmas spirit and teach those around him.  

7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (PG)

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You really are a heel. You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch. You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel! A classic Dr. Seuss book adapted for the movies. The people of Whoville get their villain and hero in one.  

6. Bad Santa (R)

Bad Santa is a hilarious dark comedy. Santa Claus is a cold-hearted, drunk, sex-addict, and thief who robs department stores. The story ends well when Santas ends up finding hope and a heart in from a little boy who is determined to give him a Christmas present.

5. Die Hard (R)

I cannot believe that some people have the nerve to debate the validity of Die Hard as a Christmas movie. It is set on Christmas Eve, John McClane delivers the gift of freedom, there’s a pregnant woman, and it has a great Christmas Song (Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC).   

4. Home Alone (PG)

There is no limit on the number of times that a person can watch and enjoy Home Alone. Macaulay Culkin is forgotten at home by his family as they leave on a trip. He is forced to battle a couple of dimwit thieves who he catches in the act of robbing a home.  

3. It’s a Wonderful Life (PG)

Not only is this a Christmas movie, but it is also a classic movie despite the genre. Few films define Christmas like Frank Capra’s 1946 fantasy starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, who, on the verge of committing suicide, is visited by an angel who shows him the true importance of his life.  

2. Trading Places (R)

Trading Places doesn’t get enough praise as a Christmas movie. This movie embodies everything about the Christmas spirit. It starts a few days before Christmas and ends after New Years Day. What better way to embody the Christmas spirit than by charity, love, and a little payback!  

1. A Christmas Story (PG)

Absolutely and unequivocally the Best Christmas movie of all-time! This movie teaches you about bullying, leg lamps, washing your mouth out with soap, and air rifles. It is impossible to forget the best line from the entire movie, “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

Christmas Movie Debate: Home Alone Vs. Home Alone 2: Lost In New York

When I think of the perfect Christmas movie, one franchise comes to mind and that’s Home Alone. What’s not to like about the Home Alone franchise? The first two movies are hilarious, heart-warming, and most importantly, the most quotable Christmas movies of all-time. It’s rare to have two classic movies in the same franchise, but I’ll put Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York up with any Christmas movie out there.

This month, Home Alone will celebrate its 29th anniversary (Nov. 16) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York will celebrate its 27th anniversary (Nov. 20). Almost three decades later and these films are still extremely rewatchable. That being said, which one is better, the original or the sequel? Which movie has the better young Macaulay Culkin performance? There are no right answers, but then again, I have the right answer. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Better Plot

If you have never seen either movie, first of all, are you a normal human? Secondly, what basic plotline would grab your attention more?

  • “An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.”
  • “A nine-year-old troublemaker accidentally boards a plane to New York instead of Florida and must defeat a pair of criminals who seek revenge in an NYC apartment.”

The first plot doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why would a kid have to defend his house from burglars? Why would burglars attempt to fight a kid? The second plot has more storylines built-in. A kid misses his plane to Florida, ends up in NYC, and has to fend off revenge-seeking criminals. I’ll take the second plot, which belongs to Home Alone 2.

Winner – Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Better House

Home Alone
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

New York City brownstones are cool, but the McCallister’s Chicago residence is my dream home.

Winner – Home Alone

Better Proof That Peter And Kate McCallister Are The Worst Parents Ever

One of the underlying themes of the Home Alone series revolves around parenting. Peter and Kate McCallister SUCK as parents. How the hell do you leave your child behind not once, but twice? When/If I become a parent, my routine for leaving the house will be as followed: phone, keys, wallet, and child. The selfish McCallisters only care about arriving at the airport in order to enjoy Christmas in a foreign climate. How about you check to make sure you have your children before saying “bon voyage” to Chicago?

What makes you a worse parent, forgetting about your child before a flight the first time or the second time? Some may argue it’s the second time, but in Home Alone 2, getting lost in an airport and boarding the wrong flight is possible. You’re still a shitty parent, but I can throw you the tiniest of bones. In Home Alone, there are no excuses. Forgetting about your child who slept in the ATTIC is the more egregious offense.

Winner – Home Alone

Better Use Of The Angels With Filthy Souls Series


“Keep the change, you filthy animal,” or “Merry Christmas, you filthy animal?” I’ll preface this argument by saying Home Alone 2 has the funnier scene. Between Tim Curry’s “I love you,” to Cliff’s “It’s a lie,” the scene is comedic genius. However, the better use of the Angels With Filthy Souls happens in Home Alone. Not only does Kevin use the movie to purchase a pizza (Kevin left a shitty tip, but no 8-year-old knows how to tip), but he successfully scares off Marv from burglarizing his house during the afternoon. It was the first of many wins for Kevin.

Winner – Home Alone

Better Old Person Who Saves The Day

Full disclosure, Old Man Marley and Pigeon Lady still scare me to this day. Both Old Man Marley and Pigeon Lady are old, social outcasts who provide Kevin with sage wisdom and loving advice. I think of them as Kevin’s grandpa and grandma. Old Man Marley saved Kevin from having his fingers eaten by Joe Pesci, but his “talent” is shoveling salt onto the sidewalk. Whoop-de-doo, Basil! Pigeon Lady was a badass who could control the minds of pigeons and manipulate them to attack her enemies. Ok, so not all of that is true, but Pigeon Lady and her bird friends saved Kevin from being shot to death. Pigeon Lady gets the nod.

Winner – Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Better Performance From The Wet Bandits


This is by far the toughest category. Kevin may be the heart of the Home Alone series, but Harry and Marv aka the Wet Bandits are the backbones. Without the stupidity and the charm of the Wet Bandits, this movie doesn’t work. Between their iconic one-liners to their near-death experiences, Harry and Marv are the worst criminals known to man and we love them for it. This category is a wash.

Winner – Tie

Better Traps

The Wet Bandits would have had a hall of fame career as criminals had it not been for a boy genius with a thrill for the dramatics and love for torture. In both films, Kevin created deathly traps that would kill most people. The first movie has the iconic paint bucket trap as well as the tarantula scene. But, Kevin took his mischevious mind to the tenth power in the sequel. The electrocution, the hat explosion, the staple gun, and the rope-burn still make cringe. However, my favorite is still the brick throw. Suck brick, kid!

Winner – Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Better Ending

Waking up on a white, snowy Christmas to your mom and family is a pretty good ending. However, just like Kevin, I’m a sucker for Christmas trees and New York City has the crème de la crème of Christmas trees at Rockefeller Center. Kevin could have gone anywhere in New York City, but he chose one of the most magical (and touristy) places to go and for that, I salute him.

Winner – Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

In the end, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York narrowly beats Home Alone. However, you truly can’t go wrong with either film. It’s one of the few times that both the original and sequel are top-notch. If I don’t see you over the holiday season, Merry Christmas, you filthy animals.

P.S. We don’t talk about Home Alone 3, 4, and 5. However, we can talk about how a young Scarlett Johansson was in Home Alone 3. Save that fact for a snowy day.

Which is better, Home Alone or Home Alone 2: Lost in New York? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow, or email us at immad@unafraidshow.com.