Have a holly, jolly movie night: 15 movies to get you in the holiday spirit

Avoid the Christmas crowds and get into the Christmas spirit with these top must-see movies of the holiday season
2014-12-17T16:00:00Z Have a holly, jolly movie night: 15 movies to get you in the holiday spiritKari Kenner - Daily Herald Daily Herald
December 17, 2014 4:00 pm  • 
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  • If the Christmas music now invading your radio hasn’t tipped you off yet, Thanksgiving has come and gone and the holiday season is well upon us. Bringing with it decorations, baked goodies, gifts and a whole lot of commercialization, it can sometimes be tough to fight the holiday hustle and bustle and really get into the Christmas spirit.

    Whether you’re finding yourself in full-blown Santa Claus mode this holiday season or you’re a little more on the Scrooge and Bah Humbug side of things, here’s a list of movies sure to make your holidays “merry and bright.”

  • A good kick off to the Christmas season for me has always been “A Christmas Story.” Whether or not you’re a fan of leg lamps, Christmas tree shopping or Red Ryder BB Guns, this classic holiday staple is all about getting into the Christmas spirit, and it certainly makes me feel better about my family’s quirks during the holiday season! It will be all over television now through Christmas.

  • For something a little more classic, you can never go wrong with “It’s a Wonderful Life.” One of the best “what-if” movies of all time, this 1946 flick starring James Stewart never seems to wane in popularity. If you don’t have access to “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the BYU Motion Picture Archive Film Series has you covered with a free showing Dec. 12 on Brigham Young University Campus. For more information visit

  • If one James Stewart film isn’t enough to whet your appetite, you won’t want to miss out on the incredible holiday short film, “Mr. Krueger’s Christmas.” This 30 minute heart-warming story can be purchased on DVD or viewed on YouTube (

  • Along the lines of classic movies, the Christmas season isn’t complete without the fantastic music and moments of “White Christmas.” From the costumes to the love story and the touching finale, this show makes a fantastic tradition for any family.

  • Whether you’re a fan of straight-up Dr. Seuss or if you like Jim Carey humor, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a heart-warming holiday tale all about finding the meaning of the season.

  • From “The Year Without A Santa Claus” to “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the whole family can get together and enjoy claymation Christmas specials.

  • 7. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is another great family animated movie perfect for the season.

  • Especially great for children, the classic book “The Polar Express” comes to life with beautiful animation in a film creation quickly becoming a holiday must-see.

  • As a kid, one of my very favorite parts of Christmas was watching the “Home Alone” series. Though I never understood how that family could possibly keep forgetting their kid, those movies definitely made my holiday season.

  • For a little bit of Christmas fun, check out “Elf.” Complete with music, comedy, and child-like innocence, this movie is great for a family night, or even as a background to holiday decorating. If you don’t own or have access to “Elf,” check it out for free at the Orem Public Library Dec. 20, just in time for Christmas. For more information, visit

  • Sneaking in a few movies at once, “The Santa Clause” series is not only family-friendly, but can occupy several holiday-themed movie nights.

  • You can’t get through the month of December without being exposed to some form of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Good thing it’s quality literature! Check out one of the many film adaptations of the story, including Disney’s most recent animated re-make.

  • “Miracle on 34th Street” is one of those Christmas films you hear about every year. If you haven’t taken the chance to watch it yet, make this the year!

  • 14. “Rise of the Guardians” caught me off guard when it comes to holiday movies. Though far from the classic canon of Christmas viewing, this fun, animated show features fun childhood figures such as the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Jack Frost, not to mention the one and only Santa. Make “Rise of the Guardians” a family night out by viewing it for free at the Orem Public Library Dec. 27. For more information, visit

  • Topping off the list is Disney’s new princess smash hit - “Frozen.” Though not just “Christmas” or “holiday” per say, this movie is a perfect addition to the season, complete with snow, songs, great characters, and everything wonderful about Disney this time of year. Best part? You can check it out for just $4.50 if you buy tickets to a SCERA Center for the Arts showing before 6 p.m.

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