A is for Arthur Christmas
Santa's son Arthur sets out with "Grandsanta" to save Christmas when a gift is left behind. Adorableness ensues.
B is for Bad Santa
Billy Bob Bloodvial plays a conman who poses as Santa in order to rob stores on Christmas Eve. Lorelai Gilmore costars.
C is for a Christmas Story
Lamp. Bunny suit. Triple dog dare.
If you've never seen this, you need to reevaluate your existence. It's a classic.
E is for Elf
Possibly the most quoted holiday film on the list. Favored by small children and twentysomethings the world wide. #syrup
F is for the Family Stone
*WARNING* Cancer-mom plotline = all the feels . SJP covered in raw egg almost makes up for it.
G is also for the Grinch (Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
Jenny Humphrey (before she discovered eyeliner) takes on a furry version of The Mask.
Q: Where are you, Christmas?
A: About 5 key changes away.
H is for Home Alone
Kid discovers (like everyone else past the age of 22) that being a grown-up and depending completely on yourself is really f-ing difficult.... and that it's ok to trust creepy old men with snow shovels...although that is maybe not the best life lesson.
I is for It's a Wonderful Life
Basically a feature-length PSA for suicide prevention... but good god DAMN is it endearing (and really quite a lovely film). Frank Capra, you charming devil, you. #clarenceitschristmas
J is for Jingle All the Way
The Governator -- unwittingly comedic gold -- and Sinbad battle it out over the season's hottest toy, illustrating that the struggle before the dawn of online pre-ordering was REAL.
K is for Kermit (in The Muppet Christmas Carol)
The ONLY Christmas Carol movie with which 90s kids are familiar. And let's be honest, it gives every other version a run for its money. Sorry George C. Scott.
L is for Love Actually
Every British actor ever (and a few Americans) in a movie with more stories than the Sears tower. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and if you're looking for love you'll consider being a stand-in for a porn-actor.
If you ask a female millennial for her favorite Christmas movie, chances are that this will be her answer.*
*or, like me, it may be in her list of favorite movies EVER
M is for Miracle on 34th Street
Santa's got a court date. Plot twist: the Mall-Santa is the real deal.
N is for the Nightmare Before Christmas
Skeleton wearing a dapper pinstripe suit goes through an existential crisis and decides to become Santa Claus ("Sandy Claws"). Yuletide: Tim Burton style.
Some people think this is a Halloween movie, and some people think it's a Christmas one. Why can't it be both, people?! Don't put it in a box. Unless you're giving it as a gift to someone. Then a box is acceptable.
O is for Olive the Other Reindeer
Drew Barrymore voices a spirited dog who saves Christmas when one of Santa's reindeer is injured. Or at least, that's what imdb.com says.
P is for the Preacher's Wife
Denzel Washington plays an angel. Whitney Houston sings. There's fantastic gospel music and a sassy grandmother. Need I say more?
(remake of The Bishop's Wife from 1947 starring Cary Grant)
Q is for mary Quite contrary (in Babes in Toyland)
Basically Mother Goose did some acid with Uncle Drosselmeyer from The Nutcracker and this is what resulted. It's fantastic.
R is for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Classic stop-motion film in which a woodland creature with body image issues goes on an adventure with an aspiring dentist. Self-acceptance achieved by way of encounters with Misfit Toys and a run-in with an abominable snowman.
S is for the Santa Clause
Buzz Lightyear plays a divorced dad who becomes the new Santa Claus when the previous one falls off the roof. Hilarity results.
T is for This Christmas
Loretta Devine plays the matriarch of an extremely attractive brood of children (including Idris Elba and Columbus Short) who are together for Christmas for the first time in years. Family drama follows.
U is for Unaccompanied Minors
Fez from That 70s Show must wrangle a ragtag bunch of kids who have been stranded mid-travel at an airport. Bonus: that dude from Walking Dead is in it as an adorable little gent.
V is for Vacation (National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation)
The Griswolds are at it again; complete with burnt turkeys, overflowing septic tanks, electrical malfunctions, and weird family members. Includes possibly the most truthful line ever uttered in a holiday film: "I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery."
W is for White Christmas
Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney star in this classic movie musical that is good clean fun for the whole family.*
X is for eXpress (The Polar Express)
Tom Hanks plays pretty much every character in this rendering of the beloved classic children's book. Definitely gets the award for best score -- the music is absolutely beautiful.
Y is for the Year Without a Santa Claus
Another stop-motion holiday extravaganza, that is really only famous for producing the song "Mr. Heatmiser" (video below).
Side note: Mr. Heatmiser and Bill Belichick are the same person. You heard it here first, folks.
Z is for craZy (Eight Crazy Nights)
Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song come to life!
There you have it, the ABC's of holiday films.
Have a fantastic holiday season!