Must-see holiday movies

A look at some of the popular movies this time of year

  • Home Alone

A young boy named Kevin is accidentally left behind when his family takes off for a vacation in France over the holiday season. Once he realizes they have left him home alone, he learns to fend for himself and, eventually has to protect his house against two bumbling burglars who are planning to rob every house in Kevin’s suburban Chicago neighborhood.


  • Dr. Seuss’s When the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Grinch is a heartless being that hates Christmas and becomes extremely irritated with the out of control Christmas festivities in Whoville. He plans on stopping all their cheerful and joyful celebrating by stealing everything related to the holiday but soon learns that the meaning of Christmas goes much deeper than gifts and decorations.


  • Bad Santa

Willie T. Stokes is a washed-up, wise-cracking department store Santa but he is actually a safecracker who makes one big score every year on Christmas Eve. As shoppers head home from the mall, Santa cracks the store safe and makes off with the holiday stash.  His annual heist is endangered by a pesky store manager, a savvy mall detective, a sexy Santa fan and an innocent but beleaguered 8-year-old boy.


  • Elf

As a baby, Buddy crawls into Santa’s toy bag and is raised as an elf. Buddy ultimately heads to his birthplace of New York City to seek out his roots. Unfortunately, they turn out to be a “Scrooge”-like father and a 10-year-old stepbrother who doesn’t believe in Santa. Worst of all, everyone seems to have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. But using his simple elf ways, Buddy sets out to single-handedly win over his family.


  • A Christmas Story

Nine-year-old Ralphie wants one thing for Christmas, an official Red Ryder BB rifle. When he asks his mother for the BB gun for Christmas, she says, “No, you’ll shoot your eye out”. When he writes an essay about it at school his teacher gives him a note saying “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Next he asks Santa for the gun, but he says, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” Ralph fears that he’ll never get the BB gun for Christmas. But there may be a surprise in store for him.


  •  Polar Express

A young boy lies awake in his room one snowy Christmas Eve, excited and alert. He’s listening for a sound he’s afraid that he might never hear–the ringing bells of Santa’s sleigh. He hears a thunderous roar and through his window he sees the most amazing sight–a gleaming black train.  He takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole where he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.


  • Nothing Like the Holidays

A Puerto Rican family living in the area of Humboldt Park in Chicago is having their first Christmas together in years. Enjoying and making this one of the best holidays is almost impossible for this family and secrets start to come out. But although loving each other is hard, family is still family and they are determined to be happy.


  • Santa Clause

Scott Calvin is an ordinary man but he accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall from his roof on Christmas Eve. With an injured Santa Claus, there is no one to deliver the toys to all the boys and girls of the world.  Scott is forced to take Santa’s place and safe Christmas before it’s too late.


  • Nightmare Before Christmas

Halloweentown’s beloved Pumpkin King, Jack, attempts to take over the Christmas holiday. Against the advice of Sally, a lonely rag doll who has feelings for him, Jack enlists three mischievous trick-or-treaters to help him kidnap Santa Claus. Jack eventually realizes his mistake but has to contend with the evil Oogie Boogie before he can make things right and restore the Christmas holiday.


  • Love Actually

Everywhere you look, love is causing chaos. From aging rock stars, to a stony headmistress, to a monolingual Portuguese housemaid–love arrives in many forms, shapes and sizes. Ten separate–but intertwining–stories of love all lead up to a big climax on Christmas Eve, proving that love is the driving force in all of these people’s lives.