Must-Watch Movies for the Holiday Break

Ellie Guerriero

Movies are one of the most essential parts of the holidays. The thing that’s just so great about them is the variety: some can make you cry, others can make you laugh, but the best ones make you smile. The following list of suggestions are a variety of movies that are all uniquely different, but all embody that giddy holiday spirit that we all seek to acquire when pressing play. 


Home Alone (1990)

KEVIN! When rambunctious eight-year-old Kevin MCallitser is mistakenly left at home by his family during Christmas Time, it seems as though his dreams have come true: he is finally home alone. After being left to his own devices Kevin decides to take advantage of his new-found freedom and have fun as any kid would. Although Kevin encounters two burglars up to no good, descending into a showdown of the ages. 


Elf (2003)

Buddy, a human raised elf in the North Pole, travels to New York City in hopes of finding his biological father, Walter Hobbs, who is desperately in need of some Christmas cheer. Once Buddy finds Walter, the movie transcends into a series of chaotic, hysterical, and heartwarming events that all build on to the relationship that Buddy wishes he always had with his father. If you’re seeking to watch a movie to set the mood for the season, this is the one. 


Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh (2008)

Based on the popular Nickelodeon show Drake and Josh, this Christmas spinoff is a Gen-Z classic. When Drake and Josh’s parents leave to go on a tropical Christmas vacation, the brothers and their younger sister Megan are left alone during the holidays. But after meeting foster kid Mary Alice, Drake makes an unbreakable promise to give her the best Christmas ever. Seeing that her foster mom is sick and that her foster dad is preoccupied with work, he knows that he must fulfill this promise.The only question is, how? 


Love Actually (2003)

Love Actually follows the tales of eight different couples whose love stories are all interrelated in some sort of way. Love is conveyed in numerous forms in this film, with each couple’s story pertaining to a different kind of love depending on their situation. But what makes this movie different from your generic rom-com is the factor of realism that is expressed throughout the film. The variety of situations that this movie displays helps it emulate this core idea of what love in the real world actually looks like. If you’re looking to watch a quality holiday rom-com, this movie is perfect.


A Christmas Story(1983)

Nine-year-old Ralphie Parker only wants one thing for Christmas: a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-Shot Range Model air rifle. Despite constant warnings from his parents that “he’ll shoot his eye out,” he’s never wanted anything more in his life. The film is told through a series of anecdotes that are distributed throughout the main story, which is narrated by an older Ralphie, recollecting memories of a Christmas back when he was nine years old. A Christmas Story has all the components that make up a perfect holiday movie: it is heartwarming, hilarious, and just genuinely timeless. It is an absolute  must-watch if you want to set the mood for the season. 


National Lampoon’s Family Christmas Vacation (1989)

Clark Griswald has high hopes that this year he and his family will experience a Christmas like no other. But those hopes are soon no more when Clark finds out that both his parents and his in-laws will be spending Christmas with him and his family.  Even though Clark is faced with challenges, such as finding a Christmas Tree, dealing with relatives, and putting up house lights, he is still set on giving his family “the hap-hap-happiest Christmas” and making this holiday a one to remember.  This timeless Christmas Classic is a must-watch if you’re looking for a laugh during the holidays.


Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

When Kris Kringle is persuaded to work as a Macy’s Santa, he becomes a hit among the customers, spreading his positivity and kindness all around. But issues begin to surface when Kringle insinuates that he is the real Santa Claus, landing him in court, where he could potentially be put in a mental institution. This movie will leave you wondering if Kringle truly was the real Santa or if he was actually crazy. Miracle on 34th Street is the definition of a Christmas Classic. It encompasses all of the aspects of what a Christmas movie should have, making this film one of the best Christmas movies of all time.