One of our local papers had a fun poll this Christmas season: a bracket of holiday movies, competing for the title of champion. In their poll, the winner turned out to be (no surprise) It’s a Wonderful Life. As a huge fan of Christmas movies (even bad, made-for-TV ones), I decided to go ahead and fill in my own picks.
The 4 regions:
- It’s a Wonderful Life
- Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
- White Christmas
- A Christmas Story
- The Santa Clause
- Die Hard
- Home Alone
- The Bishop’s Wife
Semi-finalist: #7 Home Alone
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- Love Actually
- The Preacher’s Wife
- Bad Santa
- This Christmas
- A Madea Christmas
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
Semi-finalist: #3 Love Actually
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- Frosty the Snowman
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
- Hallmark movies (multiple)
- Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
- The Year Without a Santa Claus
- The Christmas Shoes
Semi-finalist: #1 How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- A Christmas Carol (1951, Alastair Sim)
- Scrooged (1988, Bill Murray)
- A Christmas Carol (1984, George C. Scott)
- Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)
- A Christmas Carol (1999, Patrick Stewart)
- The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
- Scrooge (1970, Albert Finney)
- A Christmas Carol (2009, Jim Carrey animated)
Semi-finalist: #6 The Muppet Christmas Carol
So here’s my full bracket:
There are two films in this list of 32 that some people might question. Die Hard is typically thought of as a mere action movie, but I definitely think it is a Christmas movie because the holiday is key to the plot and themes. Plus, I’ve always liked that Hans Gruber sounds like Franz Gruber, who wrote “Silent Night.” The Nightmare Before Christmas, on the other hand, is not a Christmas movie, and I wouldn’t have included it here. Despite the fact that it has “Christmas” in the title, it’s more of a Halloween movie. But I’m sure many people feel the exact opposite about these two. You can fight me in the comments.
There are also a bunch of these movies that I haven’t ever seen (including half of the Christmas Carol versions), so I just didn’t vote for any of those.
The hardest head-to-head match up in the first round was White Christmas vs. Die Hard in the Old School category. I love them both, but they are so different it is hard to compare. I went with White Christmas because I love the music, and also I saw it more recently haha.
In the semi-finals, I also had trouble with How the Grinch Stole Christmas vs. The Muppet Christmas Carol. The Grinch was a Christmas tradition in my house growing up, and I can probably quote most of the movie (not to mention singing the song). But how can you beat the Muppets and Michael Caine singing in the Dickens classic? I gave the edge to the Grinch because the nostalgia factor was stronger there.
No one that knows me will be surprised that I picked Home Alone for my number one Christmas movie. Growing up, it was a tradition to watch this movie on Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday season. I recently even went to see the Cleveland Orchestra perform the movie score live. It really is such a good movie: great writing and acting, plenty of comedy of all kinds, 90s nostalgia, and a killer score by John Williams that manages to be festive yet sinister. It also really captures the spirit of Christmas in childhood.
So that’s why Home Alone is my #1 Christmas movie. What’s yours? How would you fill out your bracket?