The Empire's Top 10 Christmas movies

A Christmas Story (1983)

As Juneauites spend the Christmas holiday season with friends and family, undoubtedly, there will come the time to choose which Christmas movie to watch.


For many, tradition will dictate which classic or newer film entertains the group, but for some, there may be uncertainty. The Juneau Empire staff sent in their picks for the best Christmas movies of all time, so if you’re not sure what to watch, here are our favorite movies.

1. A Christmas Story — Peter Billingsley stars as Ralphie in this 1983 Christmas tale about the boy who has to hurdle opposition on his way to convincing his parents, his teacher and Santa Claus himself that the perfect Christmas gift for him is a Red Rider BB gun.

2. (tie) It’s a Wonderful Life — The 1947 classic centers on George Bailey (James Stewart), a generous businessman who contemplates suicide after his company nearly collapses on Christmas eve. An angel named Clarence takes Bailey on a mental journey to show him what life would have been like had he never existed.

2. (tie) How the Grinch Stole Christmas — Inspired by Dr. Suess’ book, this 1966 TV show tells the story of a bitter Grinch that lives in a mountain overlooking the village of Whoville and tries to ruin Christmas, but things don’t go quite as he planned.

2. (tie) Christmas Vacation — A National Lampoon movie, the 1989 film narrates a near-disastrous Christmas season for the Griswold family that has no shortage of unfortunate bad turns for husband and father Clark (Chevy Chase) when family guests start coming to town.

5. Home Alone — Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin McCallister in this hilarious 1990 film about an eight-year-old boy who accidently gets left at home when his family takes a Christmas vacation. While home alone, McCallister finds creative ways to defend his home from two less-than-intelligent burglars.

6. Elf — Will Ferrell stars as Buddy the Elf in the 2003 movie which ties it as the most recent choice for the Empire’s Top 10 list. Buddy discovers his parents aren’t elves, so he travels to New York City to meet his father. What ensues is a compilation of hilarious, bizarre and romantic.

7. Scrooged — Lacking fond childhood memories, TV executive Frank Cross (Bill Murray) doesn’t have the nicest feelings about the Christmas season in this 1988 film, but visits from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future seek to change that.

8. (tie) Bad Santa — The other movie on this list from 2003, Bad Santa is about a convicted felon named Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) who teams with a pint-sized friend to dress as Santa Claus during the Christmas season as a cover for robbing department stores. Carefree living and individual nuisances provide the duo with plenty of challenges during their heist.

8. (tie) Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas — Directed by Muppets creator Jim Henson, this 1977 made-for-TV movie features a family of otters that compete in a talent show for a $50-prize so they can buy the other the perfect Christmas gift.

10. (tie) Home Alone 2 Lost in New York — The sequel to No. 5 on this list, the 1992 film follows Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) as he is separated from his family again at Christmas. Enjoying the pleasures of life in the Big Apple, McCallister runs into his bandit-friends from before and must outsmart them again — this time without all the conveniences of home.

10. (tie) Nightmare Before Christmas — Jack Skellington is the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, but he gets bored with doing Halloween year after year, so in this 1993 film he travels to Christmas Town and decides to get his goblin and ghoul groupies to help him put on a Christmas celebration instead. Things don’t exactly go as he hoped.


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