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Bill Murray in Scrooged. Photo: Video.

Grab some popcorn and relax with one of these classic Christmas movies

Taking a break to make popcorn and watch a classic Christmas movie is a good way to escape the holiday stress. Although there is no shortage of new movies (often having the same plot), here are some stories that have stood the test of time.

“A Christmas Story” follows the lovable Ralphie Parker as he dodges bully Scut Farkus while also dreaming of seeing his beloved Red Ryder air rifle under the tree. The film has been so impactful that a 24-hour marathon has aired on TBS and TNT during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day every year since 1997.

“Miracle on 34th Street has been a Christmas classic since its premiere in 1947. The film has been remade several times since its original release. Celebrate the holidays with the story of Kris Kringle, who plays Santa Claus at Macy’s department store in New York and tries to convince his skeptical supervisor (and her disbelieving daughter) that he’s the real thing. This iconic film stars Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood

READ: Google shares list of most searched Christmas movies

“A Christmas Carol” is a transformative story filled with important lessons that any family can learn from this holiday season. Countless adaptations of the Charles Dickens’ classic are available. “Scrooged” is a retelling starring Bill Murray as selfish and cynical business executive Frank Cross. In the film, Murray gets visited by several Christmas ghosts that ultimately transform him from the cynical man he was into one fully in tune with the Christmas spirit.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” has become a cultural icon as one of entertainment’s most relatable characters of all time. His depressed demeanor combined with periodic moments of optimism serve to show off the true strength of the Christmas spirit, despite all the struggles one may face.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is one of the longest continually running Christmas specials on TV. No one can forget the adorably innocent Rudolph and his bright red nose – and everyone remembers the iconic Rudolph jingle that we all happily sing along with at Christmastime.

“The Santa Clause” stars Tim Allen in the role the role of Santa Claus. Watch as everyone’s favorite “Home Improvement” star dons the iconic red garb and undertakes a journey to convince those he loves that he is, indeed, Father Christmas. “The Santa Clause 2” is the second installment of the film franchise, which includes two other “Santa Clause” movies and a follow-up series titled “The Santa Clauses,” which also features Allen as Scott Calvin, aka Santa, and Eric Lloyd as his son, Charlie.

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” features Jim Carrey donning a green, hairy suit. In this now classic film, the green patron living outside of Whoville atop a hill stomps around town wreaking havoc around town stealing presents, food, decorations and more — until his heart grows three sizes and he saves the Christmas he almost ruined.

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” shows the Griswold family at their absolute best (or is it worst?) when their clashing and eccentric families arrive to celebrate the holidays. Chaos seems too tame a word for what ensues in this PG-13 movie.


Kevin McAllister in Home Alone. 20th Century Fox video.

Home Alone” made Macauley Culkin a start as Kevin McCallister. His pranks against Harry (played by Joe Pesci) and Marv (played by Daniel Stern) have been a Christmas staple since its release in 1990. Nearly 30 years later, Culkin’s performance still stands the test of time. In “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, “Kevin finds himself in a world of trouble for the second year in a row, after he loses track of his father in the airport and gets on the wrong plane.

“Elf” was hailed as a holiday classic almost immediately after its release in 2003 and still stands as one of Will Ferrell’s greatest performances. The heartwarming tale of a long-lost father and son resonates with families as the holiday season rolls around.

“It’s a Wonderful Life,” perhaps the definitive Christmas classic, follows George Bailey as he learns just how important he is when he gets a glimpse of what his small town would look like without him. Family-friendly and full of heart, this 1946 black-and-white flick stars James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore.

“The Muppet Christmas Carol” is a reenactment of Charles Dickens’ holiday tale. Kermit the Frog appears as Bob Cratchit, Michael Caine plays Scrooge and Frank Oz is the one and only Miss Piggy.

“The Polar Express,” starring Tom Hanks and Josh Hutcherson, brings the characters in this animated fantasy holiday film to life. A young boy who doesn’t believe in Santa boards a train to the North Pole, where he meets the man he doubted. He experience adventures to and from the arctic and learns to believe along the way.

“Jingle All The Way” is a holiday favorite starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. In this film, Schwarzenegger plays the workaholic father of a boy who promises to find his son a Turbo-Man toy for Christmas. While every store is sold out, he adventures all over town to find one for his son to make up for often being absent.

–Dwight Widaman | MV & FNC


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