SHC’s Favorite Christmas and Holiday Movies


Kat Biggar '23

A photo of my grandparents’ Christmas tree.

One of my favorite ways to relax and enjoy the holiday season is watching Christmas-themed films. Whether I play one in the background as I decorate my room or watch a new release with a hot chocolate in hand, I’ve always loved the movies of the Christmas season. Holiday films have a very nostalgic feel and provide a sense of comfort that can be enjoyed by all. 

Over the years, I’ve watched countless holiday movies. But one question has always lurked in the back of my mind: what is the BEST Christmas movie? Or is it even possible to choose just one? I decided to ask the SHC student body what they think. 

In a poll released to the entire school, I divided favorite movies into categories. With so many genres of holiday film, it’s hard to land on just one overall winner. The categories included “Classic/quintessential,” “Kids and family,” “Netflix original,” and “Disney Channel Christmas episode.” With over 100 respondents, it seemed that many other students were similarly interested in determining the best movie.  

Starting with the best classic/most quintessential film of the season, the top pick was Elf, the top choice of nearly 55% of people who responded. The 2003 comedy follows the story of an orphaned boy named Buddy who grows up in Santa’s workshop, raised by the elves. When he discovers his true origins, Buddy sets off from the North Pole to reunite with his real father in NYC. The rest of the story, set in New York, takes the viewer on a whimsical but heartwarming journey as Buddy navigates the bustling city and slowly rekindles relationship with his father. If you’re looking for a feel-good film and good laugh, make sure to give it a watch. Aside from Elf, the next two most popular picks were A Christmas Story and Love, Actually, at around 13% and 11% favorites. In reference to A Christmas Story, Sofia Juricic ‘23 noted, “it reminds me of spending the holidays with my family because I watched it a lot with them growing up.” 

The winning movie in the kids and family section was Home Alone, with 36% choosing it as their favorite. Released in 1990, this comedic family film has only grown in popularity over the years amongst young kids and teenagers. It tells the story of 8-year-old Kevin McCallister, who lives with his large family in a Chicago suburb. When his family accidentally leaves him behind while going on their Christmas vacation, Kevin is overjoyed to have the house all to himself. As Ari Beddoes ‘23 commented, “I really wanted to be him as a kid.” Little does he know that two burglars are planning to hit the house this Christmas, mistakenly thinking the entire family has left. The movie, filled with comedic moments and exciting adventures, is the perfect nostalgic and entertaining option. Coming in second place is How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a classic children’s movie with multiple beloved adaptations over the years. If you haven’t already, watch the most recent release from 2018. 

The Netflix original genre is a newer addition to the Christmas film collection, with the majority of these movies having come out in the past 4 years or less. Netflix originals are endearing and often cheesy rom-coms that usually follow the story of a female protagonist during Christmastime. The Princess Switch, a 2018 original, was the top choice by students. The first movie of the trilogy is about bakery owner Stacy who is invited to a baking competition for the made-up Kingdom of Belgravia. When she runs into the crown prince’s fiancée, they are both shocked because they look identical. The rest of the story follows the two women as they switch roles and become intertwined in each other’s lives. The next most popular Netflix originals were Let It Snow,A Christmas Prince, and Love Hard (the most recent release).    

The last category of the survey, slightly different from the rest, was favorite Christmas episode from a Disney Channel show. Over the years, many popular Disney shows have added holiday special episodes going into the Christmas season for fans to enjoy. According to SHC students, the Christmas episodes on the show, Jessie, are the best. There are two different specials, “Christmas Tree Double” and “Criminal Christmas.” However, Disney holiday specials are not just limited to TV episodes. In 2011, Disney released the heart-wearning movie Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas! for the festive season. “I love this movie because you already know the characters from the show but get to see them in a completely different setting,” remarked Scarlett Goh ‘23.     

While it may be impossible to agree on a single BEST Christmas movie, there are plenty of great options to explore this season. I recommend checking out the above-mentioned ones and forming your own opinion about which is your favorite. After all, watching holiday movies is a trademark of this time of year and something I hope everyone can enjoy. Happy holidays, SHC!