The Ultimate Christmas Movie Bucket List

It’s time to make your list and check it twice, because Christmas is on its way! We’re talking about your Christmas movie bucket list, of course. When you want some quality time at home this holiday season, check out these films to enjoy. Whether you’re watching them with your family, friend, significant other, or going solo – snuggle up with a bowl of popcorn and get ready for some great entertainment.

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an affiliate, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases.

A mother and her children watching a Christmas movie on a tablet near the Christmas tree.

1. Miracle on 34th Street

Miracle on 34th street DVD.

You can grab the original 1947 version, or the remake from 1994. In both films, a man hired to play Santa Claus is certain he’s the real thing – and the claim is brought to court. It’s a movie about trust, belief, and the joy of Christmas – sure to be enjoyed by the whole family.

2. Home Alone

Home alone DVD cover.

My absolute personal favorite on my Christmas bucket list! When 8-year-old Kevin is accidentally left home alone, he must defend his house from some clumsy burglars, while his family scrambles to get back home by Christmas.

There is something special about Macaulay Culkin’s acting in Home Alone that will make you feel like a kid again. And if you watched this as a kid, I’m betting you’ll remember all the classic lines (from “Look what you did, you little jerk” to “Keep the change, ya filthy animal.”).

I also personally love Home Alone 2 – so I’d suggest adding that to your bucket list too.

3. The Santa Clause

The Santa Clause DVD cover.

The Santa Clause has Tim Allen at his best, and it is certainly one of my holiday favorites. This Christmas classic tells the story about an everyday guy who accidentally kills Santa on Christmas Eve – now he must take over his role in order to save Christmas.

It’s a great option for the whole family. There’s two sequels – but neither are as great as the original.

4. The Grinch

The Grinch DVD cover.

You’ve got three popular options to choose from here, all based on the 1957 book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” by Dr. Seuss.

  • 1966 movie – The classic cartoon version many of us grew up with, with that song we’ve all come to know and love.
  • 2000 movie – This version features Jim Carrey playing the Grinch, and a little older Cindy Loo Who compared to the original.
  • 2018 movie – The computer-animated version offers more character development and extra songs. It’s my pick of the three, and the one my son likes the best.

In all three versions, watch as The Grinch plans to destroy Christmas for Whoville – but discovers the true meaning of Christmas.

5. Elf

Elf DVD cover.

“Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?!”

This funny story follows an elf who finds out he’s a human, and leaves the north pole to discover his roots. Featuring Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel, the movie has hilarious moments and is a fun one for the family.

Elf is a must-have on any Christmas movie bucket list!

6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation DVD cover.

Clark Griswold and his family have big plans for a spectacular Christmas – but as expected, the result is a funny disaster. Any dad will relate to Clark trying to get the Christmas lights to work! 😉

If you don’t already have a copy, you can buy National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation here.

7. A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story DVD cover.

I admittedly don’t like this movie, but I feel like it’d be a crime not to include A Christmas Story on the list. This classic tale tells the story of Ralphie Parker, who wants nothing more than getting his hands on an Official Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas. From the leg lamp to “you’ll shoot your eye out!”, this has definitely been a TV tradition ever since it was released.

8. A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas DVD Cover.

This 1965 animated movie is based on the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. Charlie Brown is not filled with joy at the beginning of the holiday season, and Lucy suggests he directs the Christmas play. At first it’s a struggle, but a little help from Linus proves to help everyone understand the true meaning of Christmas.

9. Christmas with the Kranks

Christmas with the Kranks DVD cover.

This 2004 movie stars Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, who are the parents of a daughter away for the season. They plan to go on an extended cruise for Christmas – but their daughter decides to come home for the holidays after all.

Left with no tree, no presents, and no annual Christmas party planned – there are plenty of laughs as Luther and Nora Krank scramble to get everything in order before their daughter arrives back home.

You can grab a combo set of Christmas with the Kranks and The Holiday in this two-pack on Amazon.

10. The Family Man

The Family Man DVD Cover.

This movie stars Nicholas Cage, playing a wealthy, single guy that only seems to care about himself. Before Christmas, he gets to see what his life would have been like if he’d taken the other path and gotten married – and then discover how he handles that knowledge once he returns back to his regular life.

The Family Man will leave you appreciating your own family even more.

11. Love Actually

Love Actually DVD Cover.

Love is in the air for many couples during Christmas time, but it’s not always perfect. Love Actually shares nine intertwined stories all taking place at once – and all connected by the complexity of love in different ways. This is one for the grown-ups, so snuggle up with your spouse after the kiddos are in bed.

12. This Christmas

This Christmas DVD Cover.

This 2007 film tells the story of a family’s Christmas reunion, where they all get to see one another again after time apart. There’s laughs, drama, tears, and more – plus it features an ensemble cast including Chris Brown, Idris Elba and Regina King.

While it may not have received rave reviews, it’s one of my personal favorites – and the soundtrack is incredible. This Christmas is another movie that’s only for the grown-ups!

13. It’s a Wonderful Life

It's a wonderful life DVD cover.

This classic tale follows George Bailey, a man who’s about to give up on his life – when an angel appears one Christmas Eve to grant him a glimpse of what life would have been like if he never existed. The story is beautiful – and shows how every choice we make matters in our own lives.

If you don’t own it, you can buy It’s a Wonderful Life or stream it via Prime.

I hope you enjoy watching these movies this holiday season! If you’re looking for more festive fun, be sure to check out our list of Christmas events and activities.

Share: Are there other movies you’d add to this Christmas movie bucket list? Which is your favorite from this list?

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